Getting the Current Timestamp in Python

Usually providing the time and date of any day, precise to a minor quarter of a second, a timestamp is a series of bits or encrypted data required to determine when a specific event takes place. In UNIX, a timestamp is typically utilized to represent the time and date. This data might be reliable to the millisecond. It relates to the datetime class and is a POSIX epoch.

Epoch time is the total duration of time excluding the leap seconds which already passed since the UNIX epoch. The Unix timestamp, which is an indefinite time of 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970, excludes the leap seconds, but has the identical Unix timestamp as the second preceding them and interprets every day as though it has approximately 86400 seconds. We are selecting 1 January 1970 as the UNIX epoch period as that is when the UNIX was first widely available.

To interact with the timestamp information, Python offers a variety of modules. Numerous date and time notations can be accommodated with the datetime and time template. Additionally, it offers several timestamp and timezone-related features.

Using the Datetime Framework

The methods for changing the dates and times are available in the datetime package. We will obtain the most appropriate timestamp with the help of the datetime() method of this component. A datetime library’s timestamp() function computes the POSIX timestamp associated with the datetime illustration. It provides the timestamp as a floating value, which may be transformed to an integer value with the help of the int() function to obtain the timestamp even without a decimal number.

from datetime import datetime

a =

b = datetime.timestamp(a)

print("The existing time and date :", a)

print("The existing timestamp is:", b)

We integrate the datetime class from the datetime framework. We initialize the variable “a” and set this equal to the now()function of the datetime library. With the support of this method, we acquire the existing date and time of the system. Now, we use the timestamp() function. This method is taken from the datetime library. We provide the value of variable “a” to this function. The value obtained by the use of the timestamp() function is stored in the variable “b”. We obtain the UNIX timestamp with the support of this method.

Lastly, we call the print() function twice. The first method is used to print the existing date and time with the message. Similarly, the print() function of the second line prints the timestamp.

Using the Time() Function

The time() method of the time library returns the present time in the timestamp notation. This module provides a float value representing the duration of time since the period in seconds. Now, let us observe the following instance to understand how it operates:

import time

a = time.time()

print("The real timestamp:", a)

First, we include the time header file. Next, we proclaim a variable “a”. We invoke the time() function of the time module. This function is applied to obtain the existing timestamp. The variable “a” stores the function value. Here, we use the print() function to depict the value of the timestamp. This function contains two parameters which include the “The real timestamp” string and the value obtained by using the time() function.

Using the Calendar Framework

The calendar package in Python includes some methods associated with the calendar. The calendar.timegm() method from this library transforms the exact time to the timestamp representation.

import calendar

import time

current_GMT = time.gmtime()

m = calendar.timegm(current_GMT)

print("The existing timestamp:", m)

We must incorporate the “calendar” and “time” modules. Now, we want to obtain the existing GMT in a tuple style, so we call the gmtime() method. This function is included in the time framework. The value obtained by using the function is stored in a “current_GMT” variable.

Next, we initialize a variable “m”. This variable stores the value of the timegm() method. We use the timegm() function to acquire an existing timestamp. The calendar header file has this methodology. The value of the “current_GMT” variable is passed as an argument of the timegm() function. Furthermore, we utilize the print() statement to display the existing timestamp.

Using the Fromtimestamp() Method

We can transform a timestamp into a date and time notation with the help of the fromtimestamp() function. The timestamp is often expressed as a float value. However, there are some situations in which it is illustrated in the ISO 8601 notation. The T and Z letters of the alphabet are included in the value of this configuration. The T and Z letters stand for Time and the zero timezone, respectively. They denote the difference from the Synchronized Standard Time.

We utilize the template string in this instance, and then get the timestamp data from it. To utilize the fromtimestamp() function from the datetime package, we change the timestamp to a datetime class. It provides the actual time and date that match the POSIX date. The naive datetime class is acquired if the additional parameter “tz” is 0 or not defined.

from datetime import datetime

i = 1655879741.009714

j = datetime.fromtimestamp(i)

print("The real time and date is:", j)

After importing the datetime class from the datetime header file, we define the existing timestamp to the variable “i”.  We initialize the “tz” variable to 0. Now, we convert the timestamp to the datetime, so we apply the fromtimestamp() function. This function belongs to the datetime library. The value of variable “i” is provided as the argument. The print() method prints the converted value on the screen.


We discussed about the timestamps in this section. There are multiple methods to obtain the actual timestamps in Python. Users utilize the different methodologies of frameworks time, datetime, and calendar. We also explained how to change the style of the date and time after accessing the present timestamp. The time component technique is more effective than the other two approaches we’ve shown for acquiring the timestamp. It is necessary to transform the timestamp into a date and time notation to analyze the floating-point number produced.

About the author

Kalsoom Bibi

Hello, I am a freelance writer and usually write for Linux and other technology related content