Get the Current Time in Python

  1. datetime Module to Get the Current Time in Python
  2. time Module to Get the Current Time in Python

We could use two modules to get the current time in Python, that are datetime and time.

datetime Module to Get the Current Time in Python

>>> from datetime import datetime
>>> datetime.now()
datetime.datetime(2018, 7, 17, 22, 48, 16, 222169)

It returns the datetime object that includes the date time information including year, month, day and time.

If you prefer a string format, then you could use a strftime method to convert the datetime object instance to a string format as defined in the argument.

>>> datetime.now().strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
'2018-07-17 22:54:25'

Below is the snippet of directives in the strftime format string.

Directive Meaning
%d Day of the month as a decimal number [01,31].
%H Hour (24-hour clock) as a decimal number [00,23].
%m Month as a decimal number [01,12].
%M Minute as a decimal number [00,59].
%S Second as a decimal number [00,61].
%Y Year with century as a decimal number.

Only Current Time Without Date

>>> from datetime import datetime
>>> datetime.now().time()
datetime.time(23, 4, 0, 13713)

time Module to Get the Current Time in Python

time.strftime to Get the Current Time in Python

import time
time.strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S', time.localtime())
'2018-07-17 21:06:40'
Attention

As its name indicates, time.localtime() returns the local time in your time zone. If UTC time is preferred, then time.gmtime() is the right choice.

time.ctime to Get the Current Time in Python

import time
time.ctime()
'Tue Oct 29 11:21:51 2019'

The result is that ctime is more display-friendly to display in the GUI or print in the console. It could aslo be splitted to get the weekday, month, day, time and year.

>>> import time
>>> A = time.ctime()
>>> A = A.split()
>>> A
['Tue', 'Oct', '29', '12:38:44', '2019']
Attention

Be aware that time.ctime() is operation system dependent, or in other words, it could change if the OS is different. Don’t expect it to be standard among different operation systems. This method is not good for record-keeping.

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Related Article - Python DateTime

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