ftime — return date and time


        #include <sys/timeb.h>
int ftime( struct timeb *tp);


This function returns the current time as seconds and milliseconds since the Epoch, 1970-01-01 00:00:00 +0000 (UTC). The time is returned in tp, which is declared as follows:

struct timeb {
  time_t   time;  
  unsigned short   millitm;  
  short   timezone;  
  short   dstflag;  

Here time is the number of seconds since the Epoch, and millitm is the number of milliseconds since time seconds since the Epoch. The timezone field is the local timezone measured in minutes of time west of Greenwich (with a negative value indicating minutes east of Greenwich). The dstflag field is a flag that, if nonzero, indicates that Daylight Saving time applies locally during the appropriate part of the year.

POSIX.1-2001 says that the contents of the timezone and dstflag fields are unspecified; avoid relying on them.


This function always returns 0. (POSIX.1-2001 specifies, and some systems document, a −1 error return.)


For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface Attribute Value
ftime() Thread safety MT-Safe


4.2BSD, POSIX.1-2001. POSIX.1-2008 removes the specification of ftime().

This function is obsolete. Don't use it. If the time in seconds suffices, time(2) can be used; gettimeofday(2) gives microseconds; clock_gettime(2) gives nanoseconds but is not as widely available.


Early glibc2 is buggy and returns 0 in the millitm field; glibc 2.1.1 is correct again.


gettimeofday(2), time(2)


This page is part of release 4.07 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be found at−pages/.

  Copyright (c) 1993 Michael Haardt
Fri Apr  2 11:32:09 MET DST 1993

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Modified Sat Jul 24 14:23:14 1993 by Rik Faith (
Modified Sun Oct 18 17:31:43 1998 by Andries Brouwer (
2008-06-23, mtk, minor rewrites, added some details