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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 'now'

-f, --file=DATEFILE
like --date; once for each line of DATEFILE

-I[FMT], --iso-8601[=FMT]
output date/time in ISO 8601 format. FMT='date' for date only (the default),
'hours', 'minutes', 'seconds', or 'ns' for date and time to the indicated
precision. Example: 2006-08-14T02:34:56-0600

-R, --rfc-2822
output date and time in RFC 2822 format. Example: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 02:34:56 -0600

output date/time in RFC 3339 format. FMT='date', 'seconds', or 'ns' 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)

--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)

%Y year

%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
modifier, 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.


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'


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.

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