Get the current time of a clock


#include <time.h>

int clock_gettime( clockid_t clock_id,
                   struct timespec * tp );


The ID of the clock whose time you want to get; one of the following:
  • CLOCK_REALTIME — the standard POSIX-defined clock. Timers based on this clock wake up the processor if it's in a power-saving mode.
  • CLOCK_MONOTONIC — this clock always increases at a constant rate and can't be adjusted.
  • CLOCK_PROCESS_CPUTIME_ID, CLOCK_THREAD_CPUTIME_ID, or a clock ID returned by clock_getcpuclockid(), pthread_getcpuclockid(), or ClockId(), representing the amount of time the process or thread has spent running. CLOCK_PROCESS_CPUTIME_ID and CLOCK_THREAD_CPUTIME_ID are special clock IDs that refer to the CPU time of the calling process and thread, respectively. See Monitoring execution times in the “Understanding the Microkernel's Concept of Time” chapter of the QNX Neutrino Programmer's Guide.

For more information about the different clocks, see Other clock sources in the “Clocks, Timers, and Getting a Kick Every So Often” chapter of Getting Started with QNX Neutrino.

A pointer to a timespec structure where clock_gettime() can store the time. For CPU-time clocks, this time is the number of seconds and nanoseconds of execution time; for other clocks, this function sets the members as follows:
  • tv_sec — the number of seconds since 1970.
  • tv_nsec — the number of nanoseconds expired in the current second. This value increases by some multiple of nanoseconds, based on the system clock's resolution.



Use the -l c option to qcc to link against this library. This library is usually included automatically.


The clock_gettime() function gets the current time of the clock specified by clock_id, and puts it into the buffer pointed to by tp.

Note: In order to get the time for a CPU-time clock associated with another process, your process must have the PROCMGR_AID_XPROCESS_QUERY ability enabled. For more information, see procmgr_ability().


An error occurred (errno is set).


A fault occurred trying to access the buffers provided.
Invalid clock_id.
The calling process doesn't have the required permission; see procmgr_ability().
The process associated with this request doesn't exist.


 * This program calculates the time required to
 * execute the program specified as its first argument.
 * The time is printed in seconds, on standard out.
#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <time.h>

#define BILLION  1000000000L;

int main( int argc, char** argv )
    struct timespec start, stop;
    double accum;

    if( clock_gettime( CLOCK_REALTIME, &start) == -1 ) {
      perror( "clock gettime" );
      return EXIT_FAILURE;

    system( argv[1] );

    if( clock_gettime( CLOCK_REALTIME, &stop) == -1 ) {
      perror( "clock gettime" );
      return EXIT_FAILURE;

    accum = ( stop.tv_sec - start.tv_sec )
             + (double)( stop.tv_nsec - start.tv_nsec )
               / (double)BILLION;
    printf( "%lf\n", accum );
    return EXIT_SUCCESS;


POSIX 1003.1

Cancellation point No
Interrupt handler No
Signal handler Yes
Thread Yes