About reporting and settings for date and time exists available the date and timedatectl commands - it according with the most common results available through the web. Practically both do the same.

So when for an explicit scenario(s) one would be mandatory over the other?

3 Answers 3


There is one important difference:

When you set a time with the date command then only system time is changed. But if you set a time with the timedatectl then both system time and default rtc time is affected.

If you want update rtc time after the date change then you need to use hwclock.


date is an old UNIX tool, timedatectl is a new tool by systemd creators, so it's only available in distros with systemd.

Use whatever you like whenever it's available.


date is a part of GNU coreutils, it is available on all Linux systems, it is frequently used in scripting.

timedatectl is a part of systemd.

The two tools are used to set/display time and date.

see : info date, man timedatectl

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