I want to get the date 3 minutes on the future. For example, if "now" is

01-Jan-70 00:00:00 GMT 

I want to get

01-Jan-80 00:03:00 GMT

How should I do it? I'm working with busybox linux.

  • 8
    I like how it's 3 minutes and 10 years... subtle!
    – lornix
    Oct 15, 2011 at 11:41

3 Answers 3


With GNU date you can do it as simple as this:

date --date="3min"

But busybox seems not so smart (yet). The only reliable solution I came up with using bb is:

busybox date -D '%s' -d "$(( `busybox date +%s`+3*60 ))"

(you don't need the busybox parts if there is no other date implementation present)

If you want a formatted output, you could add this

busybox date -D '%s' +"%y%m%d%H%" -d "$(( `busybox date +%s`+3*60 ))"
  • I have not found why yet but this does not seem to be compatible with latest's alpine with busybox: docker run -it alpine ash -c 'busybox date -D "%s" -d "$(( "$(busybox date +%s)"+3*60 ))"' returns date: invalid date '1617211960'
    – hugoShaka
    Mar 31, 2021 at 17:30
  • 1
    The correct syntax seems to be busybox date -d@"$(( `busybox date +%s`+3*60 ))"
    – hugoShaka
    Mar 31, 2021 at 18:34

Working solution on alpine linux

date -d@"$(( `date +%s`+180))"
  • 2
    Please elaborate about your command, as to how it works and such. Also, why does not the original solution work for you. May 9, 2018 at 10:50

I had to set the date for +2 hours on busybox OS on my router my command:

date "$(date +%m%d"$(( `date +%H`+2 ))"%M%Y.%S)"

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