Section (1) date

Linux manual pages Section 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.

−d, −−date=STRING/

display time described by STRING, not _zsingle_quotesz_now_zsingle_quotesz_


annotate the parsed date, and warn about questionable usage to stderr

−f, −−file=DATEFILE/

like −−date; once for each line of DATEFILE

−I[FMT], −−iso−8601[=FMT/]

output date/time in ISO 8601 format. FMT=_zsingle_quotesz_date_zsingle_quotesz_ for date only (the default), _zsingle_quotesz_hours_zsingle_quotesz_, _zsingle_quotesz_minutes_zsingle_quotesz_, _zsingle_quotesz_seconds_zsingle_quotesz_, or _zsingle_quotesz_ns_zsingle_quotesz_ for date and time to the indicated precision. Example: 2006−08−14T02:34:56−06:00

−R, −−rfc−email

output date and time in RFC 5322 format. Example: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 02:34:56 −0600


output date/time in RFC 3339 format. FMT=_zsingle_quotesz_date_zsingle_quotesz_, _zsingle_quotesz_seconds_zsingle_quotesz_, or _zsingle_quotesz_ns_zsingle_quotesz_ for date and time to the indicated precision. Example: 2006−08−14 02:34:56−06:00

−r, −−reference=FILE/

display the last modification time of FILE

−s, −−set=STRING/

set time described by STRING

−u, −−utc, −−universal

print or set Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)


display this help and exit


output version information and exit

FORMAT controls the output. Interpreted sequences are:


a literal %


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s abbreviated weekday name (e.g., Sun)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s full weekday name (e.g., Sunday)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s abbreviated month name (e.g., Jan)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s full month name (e.g., January)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s date and time (e.g., Thu Mar 3 23:05:25 2005)


century; like %Y, except omit last two digits (e.g., 20)


day of month (e.g., 01)


date; same as %m/%d/%y


day of month, space padded; same as %_d


full date; like %+4Y−%m−%d


last two digits of year of ISO week number (see %G)


year of ISO week number (see %V); normally useful only with %V


same as %b


hour (00..23)


hour (01..12)


day of year (001..366)


hour, space padded ( 0..23); same as %_H


hour, space padded ( 1..12); same as %_I


month (01..12)


minute (00..59)


a newline


nanoseconds (000000000..999999999)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s equivalent of either AM or PM; blank if not known


like %p, but lower case


quarter of year (1..4)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s 12−hour clock time (e.g., 11:11:04 PM)


24−hour hour and minute; same as %H:%M


seconds since 1970−01−01 00:00:00 UTC


second (00..60)


a tab


time; same as %H:%M:%S


day of week (1..7); 1 is Monday


week number of year, with Sunday as first day of week (00..53)


ISO week number, with Monday as first day of week (01..53)


day of week (0..6); 0 is Sunday


week number of year, with Monday as first day of week (00..53)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s date representation (e.g., 12/31/99)


locale_zsingle_quotesz_s time representation (e.g., 23:13:48)


last two digits of year (00..99)




+hhmm numeric time zone (e.g., −0400)


+hh:mm numeric time zone (e.g., −04:00)


+hh:mm:ss numeric time zone (e.g., −04:00:00)


numeric time zone with : to necessary precision (e.g., −04, +05:30)


alphabetic time zone abbreviation (e.g., EDT)

By default, date pads numeric fields with zeroes. The following optional flags may follow _zsingle_quotesz_%_zsingle_quotesz_:

(hyphen) do not pad the field


(underscore) pad with spaces


(zero) pad with zeros


pad with zeros, and put _zsingle_quotesz_+_zsingle_quotesz_ before future years with >4 digits


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 modifier, which is either E to use the locale_zsingle_quotesz_s alternate representations if available, or O to use the locale_zsingle_quotesz_s alternate numeric symbols if available.


Convert seconds since the epoch (1970−01−01 UTC) to a date

$ date [email protected]_zsingle_quotesz_

Show the time on the west coast of the US (use tzselect(1) to find TZ)

$ TZ=_zsingle_quotesz_America/Los_Angeles_zsingle_quotesz_ date

Show the local time for 9AM next Friday on the west coast of the US

$ date --date=_zsingle_quotesz_TZ=America/Los_Angeles 09:00 next Fri_zsingle_quotesz_


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.


GNU coreutils online help: <>

Report any translation bugs to <>


Full documentation <>

or available locally via: info _zsingle_quotesz_(coreutils) date invocation_zsingle_quotesz_


Copyright © 2019 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.