Measure command line program execution time on Windows

Published 2018-08-20, 10:05

Linux has the `time` command, which can be used to measure execution time of CLI commands:

$ help time

time: time [-p] PIPELINE
    Execute PIPELINE and print a summary of the real time, user CPU time,
    and system CPU time spent executing PIPELINE when it terminates.
    The return status is the return status of PIPELINE.  The `-p' option
    prints the timing summary in a slightly different format.  This uses
    the value of the TIMEFORMAT variable as the output format.

Example:

$ time sleep 2
real    0m2.009s
user    0m0.000s
sys     0m0.004s

Unfortunately this command doesn’t exist on Windows. But there are alternatives:

ptime.exe

ptime is a simple executable that you use to run your normal command, afterwards it will out output the execution time it measured:

Execution time: 7.844 s

Download it, put it in a place with a simple path and just prefix your command with the `ptime.exe`.

gnomon

A command line utility to prepend timestamp information to the standard output of another command. Useful for long-running processes where you’d like a historical record of what’s taking so long.

gnomon does a little bit more, as it times each line of the output of your command. But at the end it also outputs a total that can be used to measure the total execution time of your command, at the benefit of also knowing which lines took most of that time:

Total   6.5076s

You install it with npm running `npm install -g gnomon` and then just pipe your command to gnomon:

command | gnomon
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