# Customized date and time display

A simple reworking of the Bash date command to my own personal liking. Possibly a rather trivial task; I just wanted the date and time to be in the form of:

Fri Sep 2 2016
11:37 P.M.


I think this accomplishes that:

#!/bin/bash

today() {
now="$(date | awk '{ OFS=" "; print$1,$2,$3,$6 }')" h="$(date "+%H")"
m="$(date "+%M")" if [$h -gt 12 ]; then
echo -e "$now\n$(( $h - 12 )):$m P.M."
elif [ $h = 12 ]; then echo -e "$now\n$h:$m P.M."
elif [ $h = 00 ]; then h=12; echo -e "$now\n$h:$m A.M."
elif [ $h -le 11 ]; then if [$h -lt 10 ]; then
h="$(echo$h | cut -c2)"
fi
echo -e "$now\n$h:$m A.M." fi } today  Is there anything I could do to improve this? ## 1 Answer Parsing formatted output — as you have done with $(date | awk '{ OFS=" "; print $1,$2,$3,$6 }') — is a dangerous game: it's hard to say exactly what awk should expect as input. For example, on GNU/Linux, I get:

$LC_TIME=en_CA.UTF-8 date Fri Sep 2 23:54:56 PDT 2016$ LC_TIME=C date
Fri Sep  2 23:54:56 PDT 2016


However, on macOS, I get:

$LC_TIME=en_CA.UTF-8 date Fri 2 Sep 2016 23:54:56 PDT$ LC_TIME=C date
Fri Sep  2 23:54:56 PDT 2016


Note the difference in the output in the en_CA.UTF-8 locale. More "exotic" locales could produce even wilder output. I don't recommend parsing the output of date, but if you do, be sure to explicitly state the locale using LC_TIME=C date.

What would be a better approach, then? The date command's format specifiers are meant for just this kind of thing, and you can get quite close to your desired output. On GNU/Linux:

$date +'%a %b %e %Y%n%I:%M %p' Fri Sep 2 2016 23:54 PM  On macOS: $ date +'%a %b %e %Y%n%I:%M %p'
Fri Sep  2 2016
23:54 pm


Although the format specifiers are only loosely standardized, I would still consider this to be a more idiomatic and reliable solution than yours. If you insist on getting exactly the format that you specified in your example, then a bit of post-processing might be needed.

$date +'%a %b %e %Y%n%I:%M %p' | sed -e 's/ //' -e 's/[Aa][Mm]$/A.M./' -e 's/[Pp][Mm]\$/P.M./'