cal Man page

CAL(1) BSD General Commands Manual CAL(1)


cal, ncal — displays a calendar and the date of Easter


cal [-3hjy] [-A number] [-B number] [[month] year] cal [-3hj] [-A number] [-B number] -m month [year] ncal [-3bhjJpwySM] [-A number] [-B number] [-s country_code] [[month] year] ncal [-3bhJeoSM] [-A number] [-B number] [year] ncal [-CN] [-H yyyy-mm-dd] [-d yyyy-mm]


The cal utility displays a simple calendar in traditional format and ncal
offers an alternative layout, more options and the date of Easter. The
new format is a little cramped but it makes a year fit on a 25×80 termi‐
nal. If arguments are not specified, the current month is displayed.

The options are as follows:

-h Turns off highlighting of today.

-J Display Julian Calendar, if combined with the -o option, display
date of Orthodox Easter according to the Julian Calendar.

-e Display date of Easter (for western churches).

-j Display Julian days (days one-based, numbered from January 1).

-m month
Display the specified month. If month is specified as a decimal
number, appending ‘f’ or ‘p’ displays the same month of the fol‐
lowing or previous year respectively.

-o Display date of Orthodox Easter (Greek and Russian Orthodox

-p Print the country codes and switching days from Julian to Grego‐
rian Calendar as they are assumed by ncal. The country code as
determined from the local environment is marked with an asterisk.

-s country_code
Assume the switch from Julian to Gregorian Calendar at the date
associated with the country_code. If not specified, ncal tries
to guess the switch date from the local environment or falls back
to September 2, 1752. This was when Great Britain and her
colonies switched to the Gregorian Calendar.

-w Print the number of the week below each week column.

-y Display a calendar for the specified year. This option is implied
when a year but no month are specified on the command line.

-3 Display the previous, current and next month surrounding today.

-1 Display only the current month. This is the default.

-A number
Months to add after. The specified number of months is added to
the end of the display. This is in addition to any date range
selected by the -y, -3, or -1 options. For example, “cal -y -B2
-A2” shows everything from November of the previous year to Feb‐
ruary of the following year. Negative numbers are allowed, in
which case the specified number of months is subtracted. For
example, “cal -y -B-6” shows July to December. And “cal -A11”
simply shows the next 12 months.

-B number
Months to add before. The specified number of months is added to
the beginning of the display. See -A for examples.

-C Switch to cal mode.

-N Switch to ncal mode.

-d yyyy-mm
Use yyyy-mm as the current date (for debugging of date selec‐

-H yyyy-mm-dd
Use yyyy-mm-dd as the current date (for debugging of highlight‐

-M Weeks start on Monday.

-S Weeks start on Sunday.

-b Use oldstyle format for ncal output.

A single parameter specifies the year (1–9999) to be displayed; note the
year must be fully specified: “cal 89” will not display a calendar for
1989. Two parameters denote the month and year; the month is either a
number between 1 and 12, or a full or abbreviated name as specified by
the current locale. Month and year default to those of the current sys‐
tem clock and time zone (so “cal -m 8” will display a calendar for the
month of August in the current year).

Not all options can be used together. For example, the options -y, -3,
and -1 are mutually exclusive. If inconsistent options are given, the
later ones take precedence over the earlier ones.

A year starts on January 1.


calendar, strftime

A cal command appeared in Version 5 AT&T UNIX. The ncal command appeared
in FreeBSD 2.2.6. The output of the cal command is supposed to be bit
for bit compatible to the original Unix cal command, because its output
is processed by other programs like CGI scripts, that should not be bro‐
ken. Therefore it will always output 8 lines, even if only 7 contain
data. This extra blank line also appears with the original cal command,
at least on Solaris 8

The ncal command and manual were written by Wolfgang Helbig


The assignment of Julian–Gregorian switching dates to country codes is
historically naive for many countries.

Not all options are compatible and using them in different orders will
give varying results.

BSD March 14, 2009 BSD