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UNIX Date Command Examples

How do I view and set date under UNIX operating systems?

The date command under UNIX display date. It is also used to set date and time. You must be the super-user (root) to change the date and time.

UNIX Date Command Syntax

date "+format"

Task: Display Current Date and Time

Type the following command:


Sample outputs:

Tue Oct 27 15:35:08 CDT 2009

Task: Set The Current Time

To set the current time to 05:30:30, enter:

date 0530.30

Task: Set Date

Set the date to Oct 25, 12:45 a.m., enter:

date 10250045

Another example – set the current date and time to Oct 15, 2009 04:30 you type:

date --set="20091015 04:30"

Task: Generating Output

WARNING! These examples may not work on Linux computer i.e. GNU coreutiles date command. All examples are tested on HP-UX, AIX, Sun Solaris and other propitiatory UNIXoperating systems only.
Type the following command:

date '+DATE: %m/%d/%y%nTIME:%H:%M:%S'

Sample outputs:

DATE: 10/27/09

Try the following examples:

date "+%m/%d/%y"
date "+%Y%m%d"
date +'%-4.4h %2.1d %H:%M'

Unix Command Help

Type the following command to read the date command man page:

man date

Originally posted 2016-01-29 18:26:20.

About admin

I have been working with Linux based systems since 2002. I hope the article published on this site will be useful to those new to server administration.
  • thuypv

    Hi Ad!

    I want to change my system date format as: YYYY/MM/DD (not show in console)

    Pls show me how to config.

    Thanks you.