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21.1 date: Print or set system date and time


date [option]… [+format]
date [-u|--utc|--universal] [ MMDDhhmm[[CC]YY][.ss] ]

The date command displays the date and time. With the --set (-s) option, or with ‘MMDDhhmm[[CC]YY][.ss]’, it sets the date and time.

Invoking date with no format argument is equivalent to invoking it with a default format that depends on the LC_TIME locale category. In the default C locale, this format is ‘'+%a %b %e %H:%M:%S %Z %Y'’, so the output looks like ‘Thu Jul  9 17:00:00 EDT 2020’.

Normally, date uses the time zone rules indicated by the TZ environment variable, or the system default rules if TZ is not set. See Specifying the Time Zone with TZ in The GNU C Library Reference Manual.

If given an argument that starts with a ‘+’, date prints the current date and time (or the date and time specified by the --date option, see below) in the format defined by that argument, which is similar to that of the strftime function. Except for conversion specifiers, which start with ‘%’, characters in the format string are printed unchanged. The conversion specifiers are described below.

An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value indicates failure.

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