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Date and Time Functions


These functions allow you to get the date and time from the server where your PHP scripts are running. You can use these functions to format the date and time in many different ways.


Please keep in mind that these functions are dependent on the locale settings of your server. Make sure to take daylight saving time (use e.g. $date = strtotime('+7 days', $date) and not $date += 7*24*60*60) and leap years into consideration when working with these functions.


The timezones referenced in this section can be found in the Appendix J, List of Supported Timezones.


No external libraries are needed to build this extension.


There is no installation needed to use these functions; they are part of the PHP core.


The latest version of the timezone database can be installed via PECL's » timezonedb. For Windows users, a pre-compiled DLL can be downloaded from the PECL4Win site: » php_timezonedb.dll.

Runtime Configuration

The behaviour of these functions is affected by settings in php.ini.

Table 39. Date/Time Configuration Options

date.default_latitude"31.7667"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 5.0.0.
date.default_longitude"35.2333"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 5.0.0.
date.sunrise_zenith"90.583333"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 5.0.0.
date.sunset_zenith"90.583333"PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 5.0.0.
date.timezone""PHP_INI_ALLAvailable since PHP 5.1.0.

For further details and definitions of the PHP_INI_* constants, see the Appendix I, php.ini directives.

Here's a short explanation of the configuration directives.

date.default_latitude float

The default latitude.

date.default_longitude float

The default longitude.

date.sunrise_zenith float

The default sunrise zenith.

date.sunset_zenith float

The default sunset zenith.

date.timezone string

The default timezone used by all date/time functions if the TZ environment variable isn't set. The precedence order is described in the date_default_timezone_get() page. See Appendix J, List of Supported Timezones for a list of supported timezones.


The first four configuration options are currently only used by date_sunrise() and date_sunset().

Resource Types

This extension has no resource types defined.

Predefined Constants

The following constants are defined since PHP 5.1.1 and they offer standard date representations, which can be used along with the date format functions (like date()).

DATE_ATOM (string)
Atom (example: 2005-08-15T15:52:01+00:00)
DATE_COOKIE (string)
HTTP Cookies (example: Monday, 15-Aug-05 15:52:01 UTC)
DATE_ISO8601 (string)
ISO-8601 (example: 2005-08-15T15:52:01+0000)
DATE_RFC822 (string)
RFC 822 (example: Mon, 15 Aug 05 15:52:01 +0000)
DATE_RFC850 (string)
RFC 850 (example: Monday, 15-Aug-05 15:52:01 UTC)
DATE_RFC1036 (string)
RFC 1036 (example: Mon, 15 Aug 05 15:52:01 +0000)
DATE_RFC1123 (string)
RFC 1123 (example: Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:52:01 +0000)
DATE_RFC2822 (string)
RFC 2822 (Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:52:01 +0000)
DATE_RFC3339 (string)
Same as DATE_ATOM (since PHP 5.1.3)
DATE_RSS (string)
RSS (Mon, 15 Aug 2005 15:52:01 +0000)
DATE_W3C (string)
World Wide Web Consortium (example: 2005-08-15T15:52:01+00:00)

Following constants exists since PHP 5.1.2 and specify a format returned by functions date_sunrise() and date_sunset().

Hours:minutes (example: 08:02)
Hours as floating point number (example 8.75)

Table of Contents

checkdate — Validate a Gregorian date
date_create — Returns new DateTime object
date_date_set — Sets the date
date_default_timezone_get — Gets the default timezone used by all date/time functions in a script
date_default_timezone_set — Sets the default timezone used by all date/time functions in a script
date_format — Returns date formatted according to given format
date_isodate_set — Sets the ISO date
date_modify — Alters the timestamp
date_offset_get — Returns the daylight saving time offset
date_parse — Returns associative array with detailed info about given date
date_sun_info — Returns an array with information about sunset/sunrise and twilight begin/end
date_sunrise — Returns time of sunrise for a given day and location
date_sunset — Returns time of sunset for a given day and location
date_time_set — Sets the time
date_timezone_get — Return time zone relative to given DateTime
date_timezone_set — Sets the time zone for the DateTime object
date — Format a local time/date
getdate — Get date/time information
gettimeofday — Get current time
gmdate — Format a GMT/UTC date/time
gmmktime — Get Unix timestamp for a GMT date
gmstrftime — Format a GMT/UTC time/date according to locale settings
idate — Format a local time/date as integer
localtime — Get the local time
microtime — Return current Unix timestamp with microseconds
mktime — Get Unix timestamp for a date
strftime — Format a local time/date according to locale settings
strptime — Parse a time/date generated with strftime()
strtotime — Parse about any English textual datetime description into a Unix timestamp
time — Return current Unix timestamp
timezone_abbreviations_list — Returns associative array containing dst, offset and the timezone name
timezone_identifiers_list — Returns numerically index array with all timezone identifiers
timezone_name_from_abbr — Returns the timezone name from abbrevation
timezone_name_get — Returns the name of the timezone
timezone_offset_get — Returns the timezone offset from GMT
timezone_open — Returns new DateTimeZone object
timezone_transitions_get — Returns all transitions for the timezone