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WARNING: This module is deprecated and is being replaced by module Proc::More.

This module uses the GNU time command (usually installed as '/usr/bin/time') to time user commands.


use Linux::Proc::Time :time-command;
my $cmd = "some-user-prog arg1 arg2";
my $user-time = time-command $cmd;
say $user-time; # output: 42.70 # seconds

Getting the time command

On Debian hosts the time command may not installed by default but it is available in package 'time'. It can also be built from source available at the Free Software Foundation's git site. Clone the source repository:

$ git clone

The build and install instructions are in the repository along with the source code.

Unfortunately, there is no equivalent command available for Windows unless you install Cygwin or an equivalent system.

The time command

The details for running time are described in time's man page which can be viewed by running 'man 1 time' at the command line.

This module will look for time in the following locations and order:

  • the location defined by the LINUX_PROC_TIME environment variable
  • /usr/local/bin/time
  • /usr/bin/time

If the time command is not found, an exception will be thrown. Likewise, if the time command returns an exit code other than zero, an exception will be thrown.

The Linux::Proc::Time module

The routines are described in detail in ALL-SUBS which shows a short description of each exported routine along along with its complete signature.

The :$typ and :$fmt named parameters

The two named parameters control the type and format of the output from the time-command. (Note there is a fourth format which is used if the :$fmt variable is not used or defined. In that case only the raw time in seconds is shown without any other formatting.) The allowed values and a short description are described in the source code and are repeated here:

my token typ { ^ :i             # the desired time(s) to return:
                    a|all|      # show all three times:
                                #   "Real: [time in desired format]; User: [ditto]; Sys: [ditto]"
                    r|real|     # show only the real (wall clock) time
                    u|user|     # show only the user time (default)
                    s|sys       # show only the system time
             $ }
my token fmt { ^ :i             # the desired format for the returned time(s)
                    s|seconds|  # time in seconds with an appended 's': "30.42s"
                    h|hms|      # time in hms format: "0h00m30.42s"
                    ':'|'h:m:s' # time in h:m:s format: "0:00:30.42"
             $ }


This version is 0.*.* which is considered usable but may not be ready for production. The APIs are subject to change in which case the version major number will be updated. Note that newly added subroutines or application programs are not considered a change in API.


For debugging, use one of the following methods:

  • set the module's $DEBUG variable:
$Linux::Proc::Time::DEBUG = True;
  • set the environment variable:


Interested users are encouraged to contribute improvements and corrections to this module, and pull requests, bug reports, and suggestions are always welcome.


Artistic 2.0. See LICENSE.

Copyright (C) 2017 Thomas M. Browder, Jr. <>