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How to Time a Linux Shell Command

October 7th, 2008 by Jim

Date and TimeKnowing how long a Linux command line task executes can be useful in many situations. For example, how long does it take to…

  • …perform a backup? [rsync]
  • …calculate a directory’s size? [du]
  • …find files within large folders? [find]

How to time a Linux command line operation:

$ START=`date`; COMMAND_GOES_HERE; END=`date`; echo -e "Start: $START\nEnd  : $END"

Command Output

Start: Tue Oct  7 10:12:31 CDT 2008
End  : Tue Oct  7 11:42:07 CDT 2008

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Revision History

2008.10.07 Initial revision.


I do not offer a warranty or guarantee for anything described in this article. All of my tips are based on personal and professional experience, but you are solely responsible for your own actions.

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