How to compare two DateTime strings and return difference in hours? (bash shell)

Tag: linux , shell , unix Author: gverhgrtjrjrtj656k Date: 2011-10-28

I can do that in php with the following code:

$dt1 = '2011-11-11 11:11:11';
$t1 = strtotime($dt1);

$dt2 = date('Y-m-d H:00:00');
$t2 = strtotime($dt2);

$tDiff = $t2 - $t1;

$hDiff = round($tDiff/3600);

$hDiff will give me the result in hours.

How do I implement the above in bash shell?

This is pretty hard to do in most shell environments. I'd stick to a php script if that's what you're already comfortable with. Perl and Python are also good at this sort of thing.

Best Answer

You could use date command to achieve this. man date will provide you with more details. A bash script could be something on these lines (seems to work fine on Ubuntu 10.04 bash 4.1.5):


# Date 1
dt1="2011-11-11 11:11:11"
# Compute the seconds since epoch for date 1
t1=`date --date="$dt1" +%s`

# Date 2 : Current date
dt2=`date +%Y-%m-%d\ %H:%M:%S`
# Compute the seconds since epoch for date 2
t2=`date --date="$dt2" +%s`

# Compute the difference in dates in seconds
let "tDiff=$t2-$t1"
# Compute the approximate hour difference
let "hDiff=$tDiff/3600"

echo "Approx hour diff b/w $dt1 & $dt2 = $hDiff"

Hope this helps!


Found this probably about the same time you posted:…