Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Get Date and Time in Terminal: Command Line Interface

Ubuntu 8

In this article, we will guide you through the process of retrieving the date and time via the terminal using the command line interface. This can be particularly useful for system administrators, developers, and anyone who frequently works with Unix or Linux systems.

Quick Answer

To get the date and time in the terminal using the command line interface, simply use the date command. Type date in the terminal and press enter to display the current date and time in the default format. You can also customize the output using the + option followed by a format string.

The date Command

The simplest and most direct method to get the current date and time is by using the date command. Open your terminal and simply type date and press enter. The terminal will then display the current date and time in the default format.

$ date

The output will be something similar to:

Tue Mar 15 17:36:18 UTC 2022

The default format includes the day of the week, the month, the date, the time in hours, minutes, and seconds, the time zone, and the year.

Customizing the date Command

You can customize the output of the date command by using the + option followed by a format string. The format string allows you to specify the format of the date and time.

For instance, if you want the date and time displayed in the format 14:09:22 09/06/2015, you can use the following command:

$ date "+%H:%M:%S %d/%m/%y"

In this command, %H stands for the hour in a 24-hour format, %M represents minutes, %S is for seconds, %d is the day of the month, %m is the month, and %y is the year in a two-digit format.

For a more detailed explanation of the date command and its options, you can refer to the man page by typing man date in the terminal or visit the Ubuntu Man Pages.

Other Useful Commands

There are several other commands and methods to get the date and time in the terminal.

The zdump Command

The zdump command is used to echo the time in a specified time zone. For example:

$ zdump EST

The hwclock Command

The hwclock command displays the hardware clock time, which is independent of the operating system and continues to run even when the system is not powered on.

$ hwclock

The ntpdate Command

The ntpdate command can be used to set the system time or print the time from an NTP server.

$ ntpdate -q pool.ntp.org

The timedatectl Command

Available in Ubuntu 15.04 and later, the timedatectl command can be used to view and change the system time and time zone.

$ timedatectl

Remember that some of these commands may require additional packages to be installed on your system.

Conclusion

In this article, we have covered how to get the date and time in the terminal using the command line interface. We’ve looked at the date command and how to customize its output, as well as several other useful commands for working with date and time. We hope you find this guide helpful as you navigate the world of Unix and Linux systems.

How can I change the format of the date and time displayed by the `date` command?

To change the format of the date and time displayed by the date command, you can use the + option followed by a format string. The format string allows you to specify the desired format of the date and time. For example, to display the date and time in the format 14:09:22 09/06/2015, you can use the command date "+%H:%M:%S %d/%m/%y". In this command, %H represents the hour in a 24-hour format, %M represents minutes, %S represents seconds, %d represents the day of the month, %m represents the month, and %y represents the year in a two-digit format.

How can I view and change the system time and time zone in Ubuntu?

In Ubuntu 15.04 and later versions, you can use the timedatectl command to view and change the system time and time zone. Simply type timedatectl in the terminal, and it will display the current system time and time zone. To change the system time or time zone, you can use the set-time and set-timezone options followed by the desired value. For example, to set the system time to "2022-03-15 18:00:00" and the time zone to "America/New_York", you can use the command sudo timedatectl set-time "2022-03-15 18:00:00" and sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/New_York. Note that you may need to use sudo to run these commands with administrative privileges.

How can I display the hardware clock time using the `hwclock` command?

The hwclock command can be used to display the hardware clock time, which is independent of the operating system and continues to run even when the system is not powered on. Simply type hwclock in the terminal, and it will display the current hardware clock time. Note that you may need to use sudo to run this command with administrative privileges.

How can I set the system time or print the time from an NTP server using the `ntpdate` command?

The ntpdate command can be used to set the system time or print the time from an NTP (Network Time Protocol) server. To set the system time, you can use the command sudo ntpdate [NTP server], replacing [NTP server] with the address of the NTP server you want to sync with. For example, sudo ntpdate -q pool.ntp.org will print the time from the pool.ntp.org NTP server. Note that you may need to use sudo to run this command with administrative privileges.

How can I view the time in a specific time zone using the `zdump` command?

The zdump command can be used to echo the time in a specified time zone. Simply type zdump [time zone] in the terminal, replacing [time zone] with the desired time zone. For example, zdump EST will display the current time in the Eastern Standard Time (EST) zone.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *