The date unix utility can set or show the current time.

Cheat Sheet[edit | edit source]

The date utility can be used with a custom format specified by as +<FORMAT>.

Here are some commonly used formats.

Format Output Comment
date Thu Jun 11 14:00:47 MDT 2020 default output
date +%T 12:34:56 HH:MM:SS
date +%r 09:30:55 PM HH:MM:SS AA
date +%m-%d-%y 12-02-15 MM:DD:YY
date +%m-%d-%Y 12-02-2015 MM:DD:YYYY
date +%D 12/02/2015 MM/DD/YYYY

Date can also parse a timestamp given with --date argument.

$ date --date="Dec 25, 1889" +%m-%d-%y
12-25-89

## Convert to unix timestamp
$ date --date="Dec 25, 1889" +%s
-2525099168

## Or to nanoseconds (9 0's)
$ date --date="Dec 25, 1998" +%s000000000
914569200000000000


Setting the Time[edit | edit source]

You can set the system clock:

# date -s "Mar 30 2020 13:16"

Though, you really should be using NTP instead.