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Time::Local - Efficiently compute time from local and GMT time


version 1.35


use Time::Local qw( timelocal_posix timegm_posix );

my $time = timelocal_posix( $sec, $min, $hour, $mday, $mon, $year );
my $time = timegm_posix( $sec, $min, $hour, $mday, $mon, $year );


This module provides functions that are the inverse of built-in perl functions localtime() and gmtime(). They accept a date as a six-element array, and return the corresponding time(2) value in seconds since the system epoch (Midnight, January 1, 1970 GMT on Unix, for example). This value can be positive or negative, though POSIX only requires support for positive values, so dates before the system's epoch may not work on all operating systems.

It is worth drawing particular attention to the expected ranges for the values provided. The value for the day of the month is the actual day (i.e. 1..31), while the month is the number of months since January (0..11). This is consistent with the values returned from localtime() and gmtime().


timelocal_posix() and timegm_posix()

Since version 1.30.

These functions are the exact inverse of Perl's built-in localtime and gmtime functions. That means that calling timelocal_posix( localtime($value) ) will always give you the same $value you started with. The same applies to timegm_posix( gmtime($value) ).

The one exception is when the value returned from localtime() represents an ambiguous local time because of a DST change. See the documentation below for more details.

These functions expect the year value to be the number of years since 1900, which is what the localtime() and gmtime() built-ins returns.

They perform range checking by default on the input $sec, $min, $hour, $mday, and $mon values and will croak (using Carp::croak()) if given a value outside the allowed ranges.

While it would be nice to make this the default behavior, that would almost certainly break a lot of code, so you must explicitly import these functions and use them instead of the default timelocal() and timegm().

You are strongly encouraged to use these functions in any new code which uses this module. It will almost certainly make your code's behavior less surprising.

timelocal_modern() and timegm_modern()

Since version 1.27.

When Time::Local was first written, it was a common practice to represent years as a two-digit value like 99 for 1999 or 1 for 2001. This caused all sorts of problems (google "Y2K problem" if you're very young) and developers eventually realized that this was a terrible idea.

The default exports of timelocal() and timegm() do a complicated calculation when given a year value less than 1000. This leads to surprising results in many cases. See "Year Value Interpretation" for details.

The time*_modern() functions do not do this year munging and simply take the year value as provided.

They perform range checking by default on the input $sec, $min, $hour, $mday, and $mon values and will croak (using Carp::croak()) if given a value outside the allowed ranges.

timelocal() and timegm()

This module exports two functions by default, timelocal() and timegm().

They perform range checking by default on the input $sec, $min, $hour, $mday, and $mon values and will croak (using Carp::croak()) if given a value outside the allowed ranges.

Warning: The year value interpretation that these functions and their nocheck variants use will almost certainly lead to bugs in your code, if not now, then in the future. You are strongly discouraged from using these in new code, and you should convert old code to using either the *_posix or *_modern functions if possible.

timelocal_nocheck() and timegm_nocheck()

If you are working with data you know to be valid, you can use the "nocheck" variants, timelocal_nocheck() and timegm_nocheck(). These variants must be explicitly imported.

If you supply data which is not valid (month 27, second 1,000) the results will be unpredictable (so don't do that).

Note that my benchmarks show that this is just a 3% speed increase over the checked versions, so unless calling Time::Local is the hottest spot in your application, using these nocheck variants is unlikely to have much impact on your application.

Year Value Interpretation

This does not apply to the *_posix or *_modern functions. Use those exports if you want to ensure consistent behavior as your code ages.

Strictly speaking, the year should be specified in a form consistent with localtime(), i.e. the offset from 1900. In order to make the interpretation of the year easier for humans, however, who are more accustomed to seeing years as two-digit or four-digit values, the following conventions are followed:

The scheme above allows interpretation of a wide range of dates, particularly if 4-digit years are used. But it also means that the behavior of your code changes as time passes, because the rolling "current century" changes each year.

Limits of time_t

On perl versions older than 5.12.0, the range of dates that can be actually be handled depends on the size of time_t (usually a signed integer) on the given platform. Currently, this is 32 bits for most systems, yielding an approximate range from Dec 1901 to Jan 2038.

Both timelocal() and timegm() croak if given dates outside the supported range.

As of version 5.12.0, perl has stopped using the time implementation of the operating system it's running on. Instead, it has its own implementation of those routines with a safe range of at least +/- 2**52 (about 142 million years)

Ambiguous Local Times (DST)

Because of DST changes, there are many time zones where the same local time occurs for two different GMT times on the same day. For example, in the "Europe/Paris" time zone, the local time of 2001-10-28 02:30:00 can represent either 2001-10-28 00:30:00 GMT, or 2001-10-28 01:30:00 GMT.

When given an ambiguous local time, the timelocal() function will always return the epoch for the earlier of the two possible GMT times.

Non-Existent Local Times (DST)

When a DST change causes a locale clock to skip one hour forward, there will be an hour's worth of local times that don't exist. Again, for the "Europe/Paris" time zone, the local clock jumped from 2001-03-25 01:59:59 to 2001-03-25 03:00:00.

If the timelocal() function is given a non-existent local time, it will simply return an epoch value for the time one hour later.

Negative Epoch Values

On perl version 5.12.0 and newer, negative epoch values are fully supported.

On older versions of perl, negative epoch (time_t) values, which are not officially supported by the POSIX standards, are known not to work on some systems. These include MacOS (pre-OSX) and Win32.

On systems which do support negative epoch values, this module should be able to cope with dates before the start of the epoch, down the minimum value of time_t for the system.


These routines are quite efficient and yet are always guaranteed to agree with localtime() and gmtime(). We manage this by caching the start times of any months we've seen before. If we know the start time of the month, we can always calculate any time within the month. The start times are calculated using a mathematical formula. Unlike other algorithms that do multiple calls to gmtime().

The timelocal() function is implemented using the same cache. We just assume that we're translating a GMT time, and then fudge it when we're done for the timezone and daylight savings arguments. Note that the timezone is evaluated for each date because countries occasionally change their official timezones. Assuming that localtime() corrects for these changes, this routine will also be correct.


This module is based on a Perl 4 library,, that was included with Perl 4.036, and was most likely written by Tom Christiansen.

The current version was written by Graham Barr.


The whole scheme for interpreting two-digit years can be considered a bug.

Bugs may be submitted at

There is a mailing list available for users of this distribution,


The source code repository for Time-Local can be found at


Dave Rolsky <>



This software is copyright (c) 1997 - 2023 by Graham Barr & Dave Rolsky.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this distribution.