cal displays a simple calendar. If no arguments are specified, the
current month is displayed.
The month may be specified as a number (1-12), as a month name or as
an abbreviated month name according to the current locales.
Two different calendar systems are used, Gregorian and Julian. These
are nearly identical systems with Gregorian making a small adjustment
to the frequency of leap years; this facilitates improved
synchronization with solar events like the equinoxes. The Gregorian
calendar reform was introduced in 1582, but its adoption continued up
to 1923. By default cal uses the adoption date of 3 Sept 1752. From
that date forward the Gregorian calendar is displayed; previous dates
use the Julian calendar system. 11 days were removed at the time of
adoption to bring the calendar in sync with solar events. So Sept
1752 has a mix of Julian and Gregorian dates by which the 2nd is
followed by the 14th (the 3rd through the 13th are absent).
Optionally, either the proleptic Gregorian calendar or the Julian
calendar may be used exclusively. See --reform below.
Display single month output. (This is the default.)
Display three months spanning the date.
-n , --months number
Display number of months, starting from the month containing
Display months spanning the date.
Display Sunday as the first day of the week.
Display Monday as the first day of the week.
Display using a vertical layout (aka ncal mode).
--iso Display the proleptic Gregorian calendar exclusively. This
option does not affect week numbers and the first day of the
week. See --reform below.
Use day-of-year numbering for all calendars. These are also
called ordinal days. Ordinal days range from 1 to 366. This
option does not switch from the Gregorian to the Julian
calendar system, that is controlled by the --reform option.
Sometimes Gregorian calendars using ordinal dates are referred
to as Julian calendars. This can be confusing due to the many
date related conventions that use Julian in their name:
(ordinal) julian date, julian (calendar) date, (astronomical)
julian date, (modified) julian date, and more. This option is
named julian, because ordinal days are identified as julian by
the POSIX standard. However, be aware that cal also uses the
Julian calendar system. See DESCRIPTION above.
This option sets the adoption date of the Gregorian calendar
reform. Calendar dates previous to reform use the Julian
calendar system. Calendar dates after reform use the
Gregorian calendar system. The argument val can be:
· 1752 - sets 3 September 1752 as the reform date (default).
This is when the Gregorian calendar reform was adopted by
the British Empire.
· gregorian - display Gregorian calendars exclusively. This
special placeholder sets the reform date below the smallest
year that cal can use; meaning all calendar output uses the
Gregorian calendar system. This is called the proleptic
Gregorian calendar, because dates prior to the calendar
system's creation use extrapolated values.
· iso - alias of gregorian. The ISO 8601 standard for the
representation of dates and times in information interchange
requires using the proleptic Gregorian calendar.
· julian - display Julian calendars exclusively. This special
placeholder sets the reform date above the largest year that
cal can use; meaning all calendar output uses the Julian
See DESCRIPTION above.
Display a calendar for the whole year.
Display a calendar for the next twelve months.
Display week numbers in the calendar (US or ISO-8601). See
NOTES section for more details.
Colorize the output. The optional argument when can be auto,
never or always. If the when argument is omitted, it defaults
to auto. The colors can be disabled; for the current built-in
default see the --help output. See also the COLORS section.
Display version information and exit.
Display help text and exit.
Single digits-only parameter (e.g., 'cal 2020')
Specifies the year to be displayed; note the year must be
fully specified: cal 89 will not display a calendar for 1989.
Single string parameter (e.g., 'cal tomorrow' or 'cal August')
Specifies timestamp or a month name (or abbreviated name)
according to the current locales.
The special placeholders are accepted when parsing timestamp,
"now" may be used to refer to the current time, "today",
"yesterday", "tomorrow" refer to of the current day, the day
before or the next day, respectively.
The relative date specifications are also accepted, in this
case "+" is evaluated to the current time plus the specified
time span. Correspondingly, a time span that is prefixed with
"-" is evaluated to the current time minus the specified time
span, for example '+2days'. Instead of prefixing the time span
with "+" or "-", it may also be suffixed with a space and the
word "left" or "ago" (for example '1 week ago').
Two parameters (e.g., 'cal 11 2020')
Denote the month (1 - 12) and year.
Three parameters (e.g., 'cal 25 11 2020')
Denote the day (1-31), month and year, and the day will be
highlighted if the calendar is displayed on a terminal. If no
parameters are specified, the current month's calendar is
A year starts on January 1. The first day of the week is determined
by the locale or the --sunday and --monday options.
The week numbering depends on the choice of the first day of the
week. If it is Sunday then the customary North American numbering is
used, where 1 January is in week number 1. If it is Monday (-m) then
the ISO 8601 standard week numbering is used, where the first
Thursday is in week number 1.
The default cal output uses 3 September 1752 as the Gregorian
calendar reform date. The historical reform dates for the other
locales, including its introduction in October 1582, are not
Alternative calendars, such as the Umm al-Qura, the Solar Hijri, the
Ge'ez, or the lunisolar Hindu, are not supported.
This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
utilities) project. Information about the project can be found at
⟨https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/⟩. If you have a
bug report for this manual page, send it to
firstname.lastname@example.org. This page was obtained from the
project's upstream Git repository
2020-06-09. (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
was found in the repository was 2020-06-08.) If you discover any
rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
(which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to
util-linux January 2018 CAL(1)