Does Python's time.time() return the local or UTC timestamp?

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Does time.time() in the Python time module return the system's time or the time in UTC?

Nov 14, 2018 in Python by ariaholic
• 7,340 points
58 views

1 answer to this question.

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The time.time() function returns the number of seconds since the epoch, as seconds. Note that the "epoch" is defined as the start of January 1st, 1970 in UTC. So the epoch is defined in terms of UTC and establishes a global moment in time. No matter where you are "seconds past epoch" (time.time()) returns the same value at the same moment.

Here is some sample output I ran on my computer, converting it to a string as well.

Python 2.7.3 (default, Apr 24 2012, 00:00:54) 
[GCC 4.7.0 20120414 (prerelease)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import time
>>> ts = time.time()
>>> print ts
1355563265.81
>>> import datetime
>>> st = datetime.datetime.fromtimestamp(ts).strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
>>> print st
2012-12-15 01:21:05
>>>

The ts variable is the time returned in seconds. I then converted it to a string using the datetimelibrary making it a string that is human readable.

answered Nov 14, 2018 by charlie_brown
• 7,720 points

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