CAL(1) BSD General Commands Manual CAL(1)
cal, ncal -- displays a calendar and the date of Easter
cal [-3hjy] [-A number] [-B number] [[month] year]
cal [-3hj] [-A number] [-B number] -m month [year]
ncal [-3bhjJpwySM] [-A number] [-B number] [-s country_code] [[month] year]
ncal [-3bhJeoSM] [-A number] [-B number] [year]
ncal [-CN] [-H yyyy-mm-dd] [-d yyyy-mm]
The cal utility displays a simple calendar in traditional format and ncal offers an alterna-
tive layout, more options and the date of Easter. The new format is a little cramped but it
makes a year fit on a 25x80 terminal. If arguments are not specified, the current month is
The options are as follows:
-h Turns off highlighting of today.
-J Display Julian Calendar, if combined with the -e option, display date of Easter
according to the Julian Calendar.
-e Display date of Easter (for western churches).
-j Display Julian days (days one-based, numbered from January 1).
Display the specified month. If month is specified as a decimal number, it may be
followed by the letter 'f' or 'p' to indicate the following or preceding month of
that number, respectively.
-o Display date of Orthodox Easter (Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches).
-p Print the country codes and switching days from Julian to Gregorian Calendar as they
are assumed by ncal. The country code as determined from the local environment is
marked with an asterisk.
Assume the switch from Julian to Gregorian Calendar at the date associated with the
country_code. If not specified, ncal tries to guess the switch date from the local
environment or falls back to September 2, 1752. This was when Great Britain and her
colonies switched to the Gregorian Calendar.
-w Print the number of the week below each week column.
-y Display a calendar for the specified year.
-3 Display the previous, current and next month surrounding today.
Display the number of months after the current month.
Display the number of months before the current month.
-C Switch to cal mode.
-N Switch to ncal mode.
Use yyyy-mm as the current date (for debugging of date selection).
Use yyyy-mm-dd as the current date (for debugging of highlighting).
-M Weeks start on Monday.
-S Weeks start on Sunday.
-b Use oldstyle format for ncal output.
A single parameter specifies the year (1-9999) to be displayed; note the year must be fully
specified: ``cal 89'' will not display a calendar for 1989. Two parameters denote the month
and year; the month is either a number between 1 and 12, or a full or abbreviated name as
specified by the current locale. Month and year default to those of the current system
clock and time zone (so ``cal -m 8'' will display a calendar for the month of August in the
Not all options can be used together. For example ``-3 -A 2 -B 3 -y -m 7'' would mean: show
me the three months around the seventh month, three before that, two after that and the
whole year. ncal will warn about these combinations.
A year starts on January 1.
A cal command appeared in Version 5 AT&T UNIX. The ncal command appeared in FreeBSD 2.2.6.
The output of the cal command is supposed to be bit for bit compatible to the original Unix
cal command, because its output is processed by other programs like CGI scripts, that should
not be broken. Therefore it will always output 8 lines, even if only 7 contain data. This
extra blank line also appears with the original cal command, at least on solaris 8
The ncal command and manual were written by Wolfgang Helbig <helbig@FreeBSD.org>.
The assignment of Julian-Gregorian switching dates to country codes is historically naive
for many countries.
Not all options are compatible and using them in different orders will give varying results.
BSD March 14, 2009 BSD