DATE(1) User Commands DATE(1)
date - print or set the system date and time
date [OPTION]... [+FORMAT]
date [-u|--utc|--universal] [MMDDhhmm[[CC]YY][.ss]]
Display the current time in the given FORMAT, or set the system date.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
display time described by STRING, not 'now'
like --date once for each line of DATEFILE
output date/time in ISO 8601 format. TIMESPEC='date' for date only (the default),
'hours', 'minutes', 'seconds', or 'ns' for date and time to the indicated preci-
display the last modification time of FILE
output date and time in RFC 2822 format. Example: Mon, 07 Aug 2006 12:34:56 -0600
output date and time in RFC 3339 format. TIMESPEC='date', 'seconds', or 'ns' for
date and time to the indicated precision. Date and time components are separated
by a single space: 2006-08-07 12:34:56-06:00
set time described by STRING
-u, --utc, --universal
print or set Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
--help display this help and exit
output version information and exit
FORMAT controls the output. Interpreted sequences are:
%% a literal %
%a locale's abbreviated weekday name (e.g., Sun)
%A locale's full weekday name (e.g., Sunday)
%b locale's abbreviated month name (e.g., Jan)
%B locale's full month name (e.g., January)
%c locale's date and time (e.g., Thu Mar 3 23:05:25 2005)
%C century; like %Y, except omit last two digits (e.g., 20)
%d day of month (e.g., 01)
%D date; same as %m/%d/%y
%e day of month, space padded; same as %_d
%F full date; same as %Y-%m-%d
%g last two digits of year of ISO week number (see %G)
%G year of ISO week number (see %V); normally useful only with %V
%h same as %b
%H hour (00..23)
%I hour (01..12)
%j day of year (001..366)
%k hour, space padded ( 0..23); same as %_H
%l hour, space padded ( 1..12); same as %_I
%m month (01..12)
%M minute (00..59)
%n a newline
%N nanoseconds (000000000..999999999)
%p locale's equivalent of either AM or PM; blank if not known
%P like %p, but lower case
%r locale's 12-hour clock time (e.g., 11:11:04 PM)
%R 24-hour hour and minute; same as %H:%M
%s seconds since 1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
%S second (00..60)
%t a tab
%T time; same as %H:%M:%S
%u day of week (1..7); 1 is Monday
%U week number of year, with Sunday as first day of week (00..53)
%V ISO week number, with Monday as first day of week (01..53)
%w day of week (0..6); 0 is Sunday
%W week number of year, with Monday as first day of week (00..53)
%x locale's date representation (e.g., 12/31/99)
%X locale's time representation (e.g., 23:13:48)
%y last two digits of year (00..99)
%z +hhmm numeric time zone (e.g., -0400)
%:z +hh:mm numeric time zone (e.g., -04:00)
%::z +hh:mm:ss numeric time zone (e.g., -04:00:00)
%:::z numeric time zone with : to necessary precision (e.g., -04, +05:30)
%Z alphabetic time zone abbreviation (e.g., EDT)
By default, date pads numeric fields with zeroes. The following optional flags may follow
- (hyphen) do not pad the field
_ (underscore) pad with spaces
0 (zero) pad with zeros
^ use upper case if possible
# use opposite case if possible
After any flags comes an optional field width, as a decimal number; then an optional modi-
fier, which is either E to use the locale's alternate representations if available, or O
to use the locale's alternate numeric symbols if available.
TZ Specifies the timezone, unless overridden by command line parameters. If neither
is specified, the setting from /etc/localtime is used.
Convert seconds since the epoch (1970-01-01 UTC) to a date
$ date --date='@2147483647'
Show the time on the west coast of the US (use tzselect(1) to find TZ)
$ TZ='America/Los_Angeles' date
Show the local time for 9AM next Friday on the west coast of the US
$ date --date='TZ="America/Los_Angeles" 09:00 next Fri'
GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/> Report date transla-
tion bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>
The --date=STRING is a mostly free format human readable date string such as "Sun, 29 Feb
2004 16:21:42 -0800" or "2004-02-29 16:21:42" or even "next Thursday". A date string may
contain items indicating calendar date, time of day, time zone, day of week, relative
time, relative date, and numbers. An empty string indicates the beginning of the day.
The date string format is more complex than is easily documented here but is fully
described in the info documentation.
Written by David MacKenzie.
Copyright (C) 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY,
to the extent permitted by law.
The full documentation for date is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and date
programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info coreutils 'date invocation'
should give you access to the complete manual.
GNU coreutils 8.22 June 2014 DATE(1)