settimeofday(2) get/set date and time

Other Alias



Lb libc


In sys/time.h Ft int Fn gettimeofday struct timeval *tp struct timezone *tzp Ft int Fn settimeofday const struct timeval *tp const struct timezone *tzp


Bf -symbolic Note: timezone is no longer used; this information is kept outside the kernel. Ef

The system's notion of the current Greenwich time and the current time zone is obtained with the Fn gettimeofday system call, and set with the Fn settimeofday system call. The time is expressed in seconds and microseconds since midnight (0 hour), January 1, 1970. The resolution of the system clock is hardware dependent, and the time may be updated continuously or in ``ticks'' If Fa tp or Fa tzp is NULL, the associated time information will not be returned or set.

The structures pointed to by Fa tp and Fa tzp are defined in In sys/time.h as:

struct timeval {
        time_t          tv_sec;         /* seconds */
        suseconds_t     tv_usec;        /* and microseconds */
struct timezone {
        int     tz_minuteswest; /* minutes west of Greenwich */
        int     tz_dsttime;     /* type of dst correction */

The Vt timezone structure indicates the local time zone (measured in minutes of time westward from Greenwich), and a flag that, if nonzero, indicates that Daylight Saving time applies locally during the appropriate part of the year.

Only the super-user may set the time of day or time zone. If the system is running at securelevel >= 2 (see init(8)), the time may only be advanced or retarded by a maximum of one second. This limitation is imposed to prevent a malicious super-user from setting arbitrary time stamps on files. The system time can be adjusted backwards without restriction using the adjtime(2) system call even when the system is secure.


Rv -std


The following error codes may be set in errno

An argument address referenced invalid memory.
A user other than the super-user attempted to set the time.


The Fn gettimeofday system call appeared in BSD 4.2