I am trying to benchmark a single request agains a webserver, and am having a problem doing so, specifically, I am having an issue redirecting the output of the time command.

If i simply run

time curl "http://www.google.com"

my result is the full body response, followed by the printout from the time command.

If i run it with redirection

time curl "http://www.google.com" 1> out.log 2> err.log

In out.log I still see the body of the response, and in err.log I see the output from the curl command

The problem however is that the output from the time command is still printing to the terminal

[501] ~ > time curl "http://www.google.com" 1> out.log 2> err.log

real    0m0.092s
user    0m0.004s
sys     0m0.004s

[502] ~ > cat err.log
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 19093    0 19093    0     0   225k      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--  227k

To what buffer does time output, and how canI get this into a file? From my understanding, it should have been piped into err.log.

  • 1
    Here is a great way to achieve what you want without the use of time: stackoverflow.com/questions/18215389/…
    – arana
    Apr 14, 2016 at 15:26
  • ooohhhh, I like that :) and will definitely switch to that as it gives me a lot of the information that i actually need. Still doesn't answer the question though :)
    – Matt Clark
    Apr 14, 2016 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


You can try with { time curl -s https://www.google.com ; } > body.txt 2> time.txt


If you don't use the bash-internal version but the GNU tool (e.g. /usr/bin/time), you have the -o option as explained by man time:

/usr/bin/time -po outfile.txt curl "http://www.google.com"

will write the time to outfile.txt.

GNU time has many options to format the output, see the man page for details.

  • sure, I can do this, but why will the redirects not work, even &> still results in output to the shell.
    – Matt Clark
    Apr 14, 2016 at 15:20
  • Nope, it does not. I just edited my question, showing the output of err.log.
    – Matt Clark
    Apr 14, 2016 at 15:24
  • Correct, I misinterpreted some fragments in the file. Anyway, my guess is that this is due to the fact that this bash-internal isn't really affected by stream redirections, as no process is executed. See Kelzier's variant to avoid this.
    – Sven
    Apr 14, 2016 at 15:38

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