How do I get the time since the epoch, in milliseconds, in the OSX terminal?
The Linux/Ubuntu equivalent is
Linux $ date +%s.%N 1403377762.035521859
Which does not work in my OSX terminal:
OSX $ date +%s.%N 1403377800.N
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date program in OS X is different than GNU's coreutils
date program. You can install coreutils (including gnu-date), then you will have a version of
date that supports milliseconds.
As the installation from source can be a hassle for native OS X users I advise you to use Homebrew.
To install these tools using Homebrew run this oneliner in your terminal:
/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
Homebrew is now installed (it is wise to follow the installer's suggestions after installation). Now we will install coreutils using
brew install coreutils
As the installation says, all commands have been installed with the prefix 'g' (e.g. gdate, gcat, gln, etc etc). If you really need to use these commands with their normal names, you can add a "gnubin" directory to your PATH (
You can now run
and this will output your time since the epoch in milliseconds.
In OS X, just run
date +%s as OS X doesn't support any more precision than this in
date's output and any excess precision not supported by the internal representation is truncated toward minus infinity.
If you want milliseconds output, you can use the following command, although the output is just corrected by appending zeros rather than adding precision due to the aforementioned reason. The following does output correct milliseconds on systems which support the necessary precision.
echo $(($(date +'%s * 1000 + %-N / 1000000')))
Source for above command: Unix.SE – How to get milliseconds since Unix epoch
If you just want a command that appends the right number of zeros in OS X, you can use: