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TIME(1) General Commands Manual TIME(1)

time command execution

time [-lp] utility [argument ...]

time executes and times utility with optional arguments. After the utility finishes, time writes the total time elapsed, the time consumed by system overhead, and the time used to execute utility to the standard error stream. Times are reported in seconds.

The options are as follows:

The contents of the rusage structure are printed.
The output is formatted as specified by IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (“POSIX.2”).


The time utility exits with one of the following values:

An error occurred in the time utility.
The utility was found but could not be invoked.
The utility could not be found.

Otherwise, the exit status of time shall be that of utility.

csh(1), ksh(1), getrusage(2)

The time utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”) specification.

The flag [-l] is an extension to that specification.

time also exists as a built-in to csh(1) and ksh(1), though with a different syntax.

A time command appeared in Version 3 AT&T UNIX.
January 1, 2019 OpenBSD-current