time, time and times: Too much time on my hands

One of my earliest mistakes at the console was thinking the time command was going to serve me the current time. Of course, what I got was

kmandla@jk7h5f1: ~$ time

real	0m0.000s
user	0m0.000s
sys	0m0.000s

What a newb. What a gulla-bull. What an im-bess-ill.

What I didn’t know then, and what you probably already know now, is that time isn’t a redirect toward the current time — that’s date.

time is more of a timer, and actually is one of those things I use quite often. Probably because there are quite a few time-consuming tools that don’t, for whatever reason, offer some sort of summary at their conclusion. 👿

time sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

is one. I’m sure you can think of one or two more. 😉

For what it’s worth, there’s a small discrepancy between GNU time, which could be in your system at /usr/bin/time, and the bash function named time. Their output is obviously different but functionally similar; one or the other is undoubtedly available to you.

And as a final note, you might have times in your system, which monitors the user and system times that have accumulated for the shell and every child process since its start. times supposedly reports everything in clock ticks and probably isn’t useful, except for extreme cases.

kmandla@jk7h5f1: ~$ times
0m0.010s 0m0.003s
0m0.037s 0m0.007s

I can’t think of a time when I ever used times, although there were many times when I used time. 🙄 You knew you weren’t getting out of here without a few puns. … 😉

1 thought on “time, time and times: Too much time on my hands

  1. Pingback: Links 1/6/2014: Two Linux Mint Releases, New NSA Leaks From Risen | Techrights

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