cal(1) — Linux manual page


CAL(1)                        User Commands                       CAL(1)

NAME         top

       cal - display a calendar

SYNOPSIS         top

       cal [options] [[[day] month] year]
       cal [options] [timestamp|monthname]

DESCRIPTION         top

       cal displays a simple calendar.  If no arguments are specified,
       the current month is displayed.

       The month may be specified as a number (1-12), as a month name or
       as an abbreviated month name according to the current locales.

       Two different calendar systems are used, Gregorian and Julian.
       These are nearly identical systems with Gregorian making a small
       adjustment to the frequency of leap years; this facilitates
       improved synchronization with solar events like the equinoxes.
       The Gregorian calendar reform was introduced in 1582, but its
       adoption continued up to 1923.  By default cal uses the adoption
       date of 3 Sept 1752.  From that date forward the Gregorian
       calendar is displayed; previous dates use the Julian calendar
       system.  11 days were removed at the time of adoption to bring
       the calendar in sync with solar events.  So Sept 1752 has a mix
       of Julian and Gregorian dates by which the 2nd is followed by the
       14th (the 3rd through the 13th are absent).

       Optionally, either the proleptic Gregorian calendar or the Julian
       calendar may be used exclusively.  See --reform below.

OPTIONS         top

       -1, --one
              Display single month output.  (This is the default.)

       -3, --three
              Display three months spanning the date.

       -n , --months number
              Display number of months, starting from the month
              containing the date.

       -S, --span
              Display months spanning the date.

       -s, --sunday
              Display Sunday as the first day of the week.

       -m, --monday
              Display Monday as the first day of the week.

       -v, --vertical
              Display using a vertical layout (aka ncal mode).

       --iso  Display the proleptic Gregorian calendar exclusively.
              This option does not affect week numbers and the first day
              of the week.  See --reform below.

       -j, --julian
              Use day-of-year numbering for all calendars.  These are
              also called ordinal days.  Ordinal days range from 1 to
              366.  This option does not switch from the Gregorian to
              the Julian calendar system, that is controlled by the
              --reform option.

              Sometimes Gregorian calendars using ordinal dates are
              referred to as Julian calendars.  This can be confusing
              due to the many date related conventions that use Julian
              in their name: (ordinal) julian date, julian (calendar)
              date, (astronomical) julian date, (modified) julian date,
              and more.  This option is named julian, because ordinal
              days are identified as julian by the POSIX standard.
              However, be aware that cal also uses the Julian calendar
              system.  See DESCRIPTION above.

       --reform val
              This option sets the adoption date of the Gregorian
              calendar reform.  Calendar dates previous to reform use
              the Julian calendar system.  Calendar dates after reform
              use the Gregorian calendar system.  The argument val can

              • 1752 - sets 3 September 1752 as the reform date
                (default).  This is when the Gregorian calendar reform
                was adopted by the British Empire.

              • gregorian - display Gregorian calendars exclusively.
                This special placeholder sets the reform date below the
                smallest year that cal can use; meaning all calendar
                output uses the Gregorian calendar system.  This is
                called the proleptic Gregorian calendar, because dates
                prior to the calendar system's creation use extrapolated

              • iso - alias of gregorian.  The ISO 8601 standard for the
                representation of dates and times in information
                interchange requires using the proleptic Gregorian

              • julian - display Julian calendars exclusively.  This
                special placeholder sets the reform date above the
                largest year that cal can use; meaning all calendar
                output uses the Julian calendar system.

              See DESCRIPTION above.

       -y, --year
              Display a calendar for the whole year.

       -Y, --twelve
              Display a calendar for the next twelve months.

       -w, --week[=number]
              Display week numbers in the calendar (US or ISO-8601).
              See NOTES section for more details.

              Colorize the output.  The optional argument when can be
              auto, never or always.  If the when argument is omitted,
              it defaults to auto.  The colors can be disabled; for the
              current built-in default see the --help output.  See also
              the COLORS section.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

       -h, --help
              Display help text and exit.

PARAMETERS         top

       Single digits-only parameter (e.g., 'cal 2020')
              Specifies the year to be displayed; note the year must be
              fully specified: cal 89 will not display a calendar for

       Single string parameter (e.g., 'cal tomorrow' or 'cal August')
              Specifies timestamp or a month name (or abbreviated name)
              according to the current locales.

              The special placeholders are accepted when parsing
              timestamp, "now" may be used to refer to the current time,
              "today", "yesterday", "tomorrow" refer to of the current
              day, the day before or the next day, respectively.

              The relative date specifications are also accepted, in
              this case "+" is evaluated to the current time plus the
              specified time span. Correspondingly, a time span that is
              prefixed with "-" is evaluated to the current time minus
              the specified time span, for example '+2days'. Instead of
              prefixing the time span with "+" or "-", it may also be
              suffixed with a space and the word "left" or "ago" (for
              example '1 week ago').

       Two parameters (e.g., 'cal 11 2020')
              Denote the month (1 - 12) and year.

       Three parameters (e.g., 'cal 25 11 2020')
              Denote the day (1-31), month and year, and the day will be
              highlighted if the calendar is displayed on a terminal.
              If no parameters are specified, the current month's
              calendar is displayed.

NOTES         top

       A year starts on January 1.  The first day of the week is
       determined by the locale or the --sunday and --monday options.

       The week numbering depends on the choice of the first day of the
       week.  If it is Sunday then the customary North American
       numbering is used, where 1 January is in week number 1.  If it is
       Monday (-m) then the ISO 8601 standard week numbering is used,
       where the first Thursday is in week number 1.

COLORS         top

       Implicit coloring can be disabled as follows:

              touch /etc/terminal-colors.d/cal.disable

       See terminal-colors.d(5) for more details about colorization

HISTORY         top

       A cal command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

BUGS         top

       The default cal output uses 3 September 1752 as the Gregorian
       calendar reform date.  The historical reform  dates for the other
       locales, including its introduction in October 1582, are not

       Alternative calendars, such as the Umm al-Qura, the Solar Hijri,
       the Ge'ez, or the lunisolar Hindu, are not supported.

AVAILABILITY         top

       The cal command is part of the util-linux package and is
       available from

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project.  Information about the project can be found
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util-linux                    January 2018                        CAL(1)