Python Time Module Example | Python Time Tutorial
Python has the module named time to handle time-related tasks. In this article, we will explore the time module in detail. We will learn to use the different time-related functions defined in the time module. The Python time module provides many ways of representing time in the code, such as objects, numbers, and strings.
It also provides functionality other than representing time, like waiting during the code execution and measuring the efficiency of the code.
Python Time Module
If we want to use functions defined in the module, we need to import the module first.
You can manage the concept of Python time in your application is by using the floating-point number that represents a number of seconds that have passed since the beginning of an era that is, since the particular starting point. Let’s go to that Epoch point.
It is a Python time with a floating-point number representing elapsed time since the beginning of an era.
An important concept to grasp here is that, when dealing with Python time, you’re considering the period identified by the starting point.
In computing, you call that starting point the epoch.
Let’s calculate the total seconds since the epoch.
# app.py from time import time seconds = time() print("Seconds since epoch =", seconds)
➜ pyt python3 app.py Seconds since epoch = 1575025885.825993 ➜ pyt
For the Unix system, January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 at UTC is epoch (the point where time begins).
We can use the time.gmtime() to determine your system’s epoch.
# app.py import time print(time.gmtime(0))
➜ pyt python3 app.py time.struct_time(tm_year=1970, tm_mon=1, tm_mday=1, tm_hour=0, tm_min=0, tm_sec=0, tm_wday=3, tm_yday=1, tm_isdst=0) ➜ pyt
Python time.ctime() function takes seconds passed since epoch as the argument and returns a string representing local time.
# app.py from time import ctime import time # seconds passed since epoch seconds = 1575025885.825993 local_time = ctime(seconds) print("Local time:", local_time)
➜ pyt python3 app.py Local time: Fri Nov 29 16:41:25 2019 ➜ pyt
A string representation of time, also known as the timestamp, returned by Python ctime() is formatted with the following structure:
- Day of the week: Fri (Friday)
- The month of the year: Nov (November)
- Day of the month: 29
- Hours, minutes, and seconds using a 24-hour clock notation: 16:41:25
- Year: 2019
Python 3.7 introduced the time_ns() function, which returns the integer value representing the same elapsed time since an epoch, but in nanoseconds rather than seconds.
Measuring time in seconds is useful for several reasons:
- You can use the float to calculate the difference between two points in time.
- The float is easily serializable, meaning that it can be stored for data transfer and come out intact on the other side.
Python sleep() function suspends (delays) execution of the current thread for the given number of seconds. To learn more, visit Python sleep().
# app.py from time import sleep sleep(1.1) print("After 1.1 seconds")
➜ pyt python3 app.py After 1.1 seconds ➜ pyt
It will print the statement after 1.1 seconds.
Python localtime() function takes the number of seconds passed since epoch as an argument and returns struct_time in local time. See the following code.
# app.py from time import localtime ltime = localtime(1575125769) print(ltime)
➜ pyt python3 app.py time.struct_time(tm_year=2019, tm_mon=11, tm_mday=30, tm_hour=20, tm_min=26, tm_sec=9, tm_wday=5, tm_yday=334, tm_isdst=0) ➜ pyt
You can extract the year, month, day, hour, min, sec, and more data.
# app.py from time import localtime ltime = localtime(1575125769) print(ltime) print("Year", ltime.tm_year) print("Month", ltime.tm_mon) print("Day", ltime.tm_mday) print("Second", ltime.tm_sec)
➜ pyt python3 app.py time.struct_time(tm_year=2019, tm_mon=11, tm_mday=30, tm_hour=20, tm_min=26, tm_sec=9, tm_wday=5, tm_yday=334, tm_isdst=0) Year 2019 Month 11 Day 30 Second 9 ➜ pyt
If there is no argument or None is passed to localtime() function, then the value returned by time() is used.
The mktime() function takes the struct_time (or the tuple containing 9 elements corresponding to struct_time) as the argument and returns the seconds passed since epoch in local time. It’s the inverse function of localtime().
See the following code.
# app.py from time import mktime tm = (2019, 11, 29, 8, 44, 4, 4, 362, 0) local_time = mktime(tm) print("Local time:", local_time)
➜ pyt python3 app.py Local time: 1574997244.0 ➜ pyt
Python asctime() function takes struct_time (or a tuple containing 9 elements corresponding to struct_time) as the argument and returns the string representing it.
# app.py from time import asctime tm = (2019, 11, 29, 8, 44, 4, 4, 362, 0) local_time = asctime(tm) print("Local time:", local_time)
➜ pyt python3 app.py Local time: Fri Nov 29 08:44:04 2019 ➜ pyt
Python time.struct_time Class
Several functions in the time module such as gmtime(), asctime() etc. either take time.struct_time object as the argument or return it.
Here’s an example of time.struct_time object.
time.struct_time(tm_year=2019, tm_mon=11, tm_mday=29, tm_hour=6, tm_min=35, tm_sec=17, tm_wday=3, tm_yday=361, tm_isdst=0)
|0||tm_year||0000, …., 2018, …, 9999|
|1||tm_mon||1, 2, …, 12|
|2||tm_mday||1, 2, …, 31|
|3||tm_hour||0, 1, …, 23|
|4||tm_min||0, 1, …, 59|
|5||tm_sec||0, 1, …, 61|
|6||tm_wday||0, 1, …, 6; Monday is 0|
|7||tm_yday||1, 2, …, 366|
|8||tm_isdst||0, 1 or -1|
The values (elements) of the time.struct_time object is accessible using both indices and attributes.
Finally, Python Time Module Example is over.