Date and Time

How can I set the system date and time from the command prompt (bash shell)? I don’t have GUI installed and I am login over ssh session. How can I set date under Linux operating systems?

Use the date command to display the current date and time or set the system date / time over ssh session. You can also run the date command from X terminal as root user.

This is useful if the Linux server time and/or date is wrong, and you need to set it to new values from the shell prompt.

You must login as root user to use date command.

Linux Set Date

Use the following syntax to set new data and time:

date --set="STRING"

For example, set new data to 2 Oct 2006 18:00:00, type the following command as root user:

# date -s "2 OCT 2006 18:00:00"

OR

# date --set="2 OCT 2006 18:00:00"

OR

# date -s "Fri OCT 2 19:00:48 IST 2006"

You can also simplify format using following syntax:

# date +%Y%m%d -s "20081128"

Linux Set Time

To set time use the following syntax:

# date +%T -s "10:13:13"

Where,

  • 10: Hour (hh)
  • 13: Minute (mm)
  • 30: Second (ss)

Use %p locale’s equivalent of either AM or PM, enter:

# date +%T%p -s "6:10:30AM"
# date +%T%p -s "12:10:30PM"

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