NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUE | ENVIRONMENT | CONFORMING TO | NOTES | BUGS | EXAMPLE | SEE ALSO | COLOPHON

STRFTIME(3)               Linux Programmer's Manual              STRFTIME(3)

NAME         top

       strftime - format date and time

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <time.h>

       size_t strftime(char *s, size_t max, const char *format,
                       const struct tm *tm);

DESCRIPTION         top

       The strftime() function formats the broken-down time tm according to
       the format specification format and places the result in the
       character array s of size max.

       The format specification is a null-terminated string and may contain
       special character sequences called conversion specifications, each of
       which is introduced by a '%' character and terminated by some other
       character known as a conversion specifier character.  All other
       character sequences are ordinary character sequences.

       The characters of ordinary character sequences (including the null
       byte) are copied verbatim from format to s.  However, the characters
       of conversion specifications are replaced as follows:

       %a     The abbreviated name of the day of the week according to the
              current locale.

       %A     The full name of the day of the week according to the current
              locale.

       %b     The abbreviated month name according to the current locale.

       %B     The full month name according to the current locale.

       %c     The preferred date and time representation for the current
              locale.

       %C     The century number (year/100) as a 2-digit integer. (SU)

       %d     The day of the month as a decimal number (range 01 to 31).

       %D     Equivalent to %m/%d/%y.  (Yecch—for Americans only.  Americans
              should note that in other countries %d/%m/%y is rather common.
              This means that in international context this format is
              ambiguous and should not be used.) (SU)

       %e     Like %d, the day of the month as a decimal number, but a
              leading zero is replaced by a space. (SU)

       %E     Modifier: use alternative format, see below. (SU)

       %F     Equivalent to %Y-%m-%d (the ISO 8601 date format). (C99)

       %G     The ISO 8601 week-based year (see NOTES) with century as a
              decimal number.  The 4-digit year corresponding to the ISO
              week number (see %V).  This has the same format and value as
              %Y, except that if the ISO week number belongs to the previous
              or next year, that year is used instead. (TZ)

       %g     Like %G, but without century, that is, with a 2-digit year
              (00-99). (TZ)

       %h     Equivalent to %b.  (SU)

       %H     The hour as a decimal number using a 24-hour clock (range 00
              to 23).

       %I     The hour as a decimal number using a 12-hour clock (range 01
              to 12).

       %j     The day of the year as a decimal number (range 001 to 366).

       %k     The hour (24-hour clock) as a decimal number (range 0 to 23);
              single digits are preceded by a blank.  (See also %H.)  (TZ)

       %l     The hour (12-hour clock) as a decimal number (range 1 to 12);
              single digits are preceded by a blank.  (See also %I.)  (TZ)

       %m     The month as a decimal number (range 01 to 12).

       %M     The minute as a decimal number (range 00 to 59).

       %n     A newline character. (SU)

       %O     Modifier: use alternative format, see below. (SU)

       %p     Either "AM" or "PM" according to the given time value, or the
              corresponding strings for the current locale.  Noon is treated
              as "PM" and midnight as "AM".

       %P     Like %p but in lowercase: "am" or "pm" or a corresponding
              string for the current locale. (GNU)

       %r     The time in a.m. or p.m. notation.  In the POSIX locale this
              is equivalent to %I:%M:%S %p.  (SU)

       %R     The time in 24-hour notation (%H:%M).  (SU) For a version
              including the seconds, see %T below.

       %s     The number of seconds since the Epoch, 1970-01-01 00:00:00
              +0000 (UTC). (TZ)

       %S     The second as a decimal number (range 00 to 60).  (The range
              is up to 60 to allow for occasional leap seconds.)

       %t     A tab character. (SU)

       %T     The time in 24-hour notation (%H:%M:%S).  (SU)

       %u     The day of the week as a decimal, range 1 to 7, Monday being
              1.  See also %w.  (SU)

       %U     The week number of the current year as a decimal number, range
              00 to 53, starting with the first Sunday as the first day of
              week 01.  See also %V and %W.

       %V     The ISO 8601 week number (see NOTES) of the current year as a
              decimal number, range 01 to 53, where week 1 is the first week
              that has at least 4 days in the new year.  See also %U and %W.
              (SU)

       %w     The day of the week as a decimal, range 0 to 6, Sunday being
              0.  See also %u.

       %W     The week number of the current year as a decimal number, range
              00 to 53, starting with the first Monday as the first day of
              week 01.

       %x     The preferred date representation for the current locale
              without the time.

       %X     The preferred time representation for the current locale
              without the date.

       %y     The year as a decimal number without a century (range 00 to
              99).

       %Y     The year as a decimal number including the century.

       %z     The +hhmm or -hhmm numeric timezone (that is, the hour and
              minute offset from UTC). (SU)

       %Z     The timezone name or abbreviation.

       %+     The date and time in date(1) format. (TZ) (Not supported in
              glibc2.)

       %%     A literal '%' character.

       Some conversion specifications can be modified by preceding the
       conversion specifier character by the E or O modifier to indicate
       that an alternative format should be used.  If the alternative format
       or specification does not exist for the current locale, the behavior
       will be as if the unmodified conversion specification were used. (SU)
       The Single UNIX Specification mentions %Ec, %EC, %Ex, %EX, %Ey, %EY,
       %Od, %Oe, %OH, %OI, %Om, %OM, %OS, %Ou, %OU, %OV, %Ow, %OW, %Oy,
       where the effect of the O modifier is to use alternative numeric
       symbols (say, roman numerals), and that of the E modifier is to use a
       locale-dependent alternative representation.

       The broken-down time structure tm is defined in <time.h>.  See also
       ctime(3).

RETURN VALUE         top

       Provided that the result string, including the terminating null byte,
       does not exceed max bytes, strftime() returns the number of bytes
       (excluding the terminating null byte) placed in the array s.  If the
       length of the result string (including the terminating null byte)
       would exceed max bytes, then strftime() returns 0, and the contents
       of the array are undefined.  (This behavior applies since at least
       libc 4.4.4; very old versions of libc, such as libc 4.4.1, would
       return max if the array was too small.)

       Note that the return value 0 does not necessarily indicate an error.
       For example, in many locales %p yields an empty string.  An empty
       format string will likewise yield an empty string.

ENVIRONMENT         top

       The environment variables TZ and LC_TIME are used.

CONFORMING TO         top

       SVr4, C89, C99.  There are strict inclusions between the set of
       conversions given in ANSI C (unmarked), those given in the Single
       UNIX Specification (marked SU), those given in Olson's timezone
       package (marked TZ), and those given in glibc (marked GNU), except
       that %+ is not supported in glibc2.  On the other hand glibc2 has
       several more extensions.  POSIX.1 only refers to ANSI C; POSIX.2
       describes under date(1) several extensions that could apply to
       strftime() as well.  The %F conversion is in C99 and POSIX.1-2001.

       In SUSv2, the %S specifier allowed a range of 00 to 61, to allow for
       the theoretical possibility of a minute that included a double leap
       second (there never has been such a minute).

NOTES         top

   ISO 8601 week dates
       %G, %g, and %V yield values calculated from the week-based year
       defined by the ISO 8601 standard.  In this system, weeks start on a
       Monday, and are numbered from 01, for the first week, up to 52 or 53,
       for the last week.  Week 1 is the first week where four or more days
       fall within the new year (or, synonymously, week 01 is: the first
       week of the year that contains a Thursday; or, the week that has 4
       January in it).  When three of fewer days of the first calendar week
       of the new year fall within that year, then the ISO 8601 week-based
       system counts those days as part of week 53 of the preceding year.
       For example, 1 January 2010 is a Friday, meaning that just three days
       of that calendar week fall in 2010.  Thus, the ISO 8601 week-based
       system considers these days to be part of week 53 (%V) of the year
       2009 (%G); week 01 of ISO 8601 year 2010 starts on Monday, 4 January
       2010.

   Glibc notes
       Glibc provides some extensions for conversion specifications.  (These
       extensions are not specified in POSIX.1-2001, but a few other systems
       provide similar features.)  Between the '%' character and the
       conversion specifier character, an optional flag and field width may
       be specified.  (These precede the E or O modifiers, if present.)

       The following flag characters are permitted:

       _      (underscore) Pad a numeric result string with spaces.

       -      (dash) Do not pad a numeric result string.

       0      Pad a numeric result string with zeros even if the conversion
              specifier character uses space-padding by default.

       ^      Convert alphabetic characters in result string to uppercase.

       #      Swap the case of the result string.  (This flag works only
              with certain conversion specifier characters, and of these, it
              is only really useful with %Z.)

       An optional decimal width specifier may follow the (possibly absent)
       flag.  If the natural size of the field is smaller than this width,
       then the result string is padded (on the left) to the specified
       width.

BUGS         top

       If the output string would exceed max bytes, errno is not set.  This
       makes it impossible to distinguish this error case from cases where
       the format string legitimately produces a zero-length output string.
       POSIX.1-2001 does not specify any errno settings for strftime().

       Some buggy versions of gcc(1) complain about the use of %c: warning:
       `%c' yields only last 2 digits of year in some locales.  Of course
       programmers are encouraged to use %c, it gives the preferred date and
       time representation.  One meets all kinds of strange obfuscations to
       circumvent this gcc(1) problem.  A relatively clean one is to add an
       intermediate function

           size_t
           my_strftime(char *s, size_t max, const char *fmt,
                       const struct tm *tm)
           {
               return strftime(s, max, fmt, tm);
           }

       Nowadays, gcc(1) provides the -Wno-format-y2k option to prevent the
       warning, so that the above workaround is no longer required.

EXAMPLE         top

       RFC 2822-compliant date format (with an English locale for %a and %b)

         "%a, %d %b %Y %T %z"

       RFC 822-compliant date format (with an English locale for %a and %b)

         "%a, %d %b %y %T %z"

   Example program
       The program below can be used to experiment with strftime().

       Some examples of the result string produced by the glibc
       implementation of strftime() are as follows:

           $ ./a.out '%m'
           Result string is "11"
           $ ./a.out '%5m'
           Result string is "00011"
           $ ./a.out '%_5m'
           Result string is "   11"

   Program source
       #include <time.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>

       int
       main(int argc, char *argv[])
       {
           char outstr[200];
           time_t t;
           struct tm *tmp;

           t = time(NULL);
           tmp = localtime(&t);
           if (tmp == NULL) {
               perror("localtime");
               exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
           }

           if (strftime(outstr, sizeof(outstr), argv[1], tmp) == 0) {
               fprintf(stderr, "strftime returned 0");
               exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
           }

           printf("Result string is \"%s\"\n", outstr);
           exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
       }

SEE ALSO         top

       date(1), time(2), ctime(3), setlocale(3), sprintf(3), strptime(3)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of release 3.64 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

GNU                              2014-03-18                      STRFTIME(3)