Measure time in Python

There are a few ways how to measure time in python.

First, there are two useful functions for time measurement time.time and time.clock. time.time returns the time in seconds since the epoch (January 1, 1970 for Unix and January 1, 1601 for Windows).

While time.time behaves the same on Unix and on Windows, time.clock has different meanings. On Unix, time.clock returns the current processor time expressed in seconds, i.e., the CPU time it takes to execute the current thread so far. While on Windows, it returns the total time to execute a program in a computer expressed in seconds elapsed since the first call to this function,

import time
start_time = time.time()

# do your work here

end_time = time.time()
print(end_time - start_time)

Instead of dealing with the different behaviors of time.time() and time.clock() on different platforms, which is often error-prone, Python's timeit module provides a simple way for timing.

import timeit

def foo():
    return map(lambda x: x^2, range(10))



import timeit

a = 5

def foo(x):
    return x + 1


Second, for long running tasks

from datetime import datetime
start_time =

# do your work here

end_time =
print('Duration: {0}'.format(end_time - start_time))

Third, from terminal in Linux

time python
comments powered by Disqus