This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.
The functionality described on this reference page is aligned with the ISO C standard. Any conflict between the requirements described here and the ISO C standard is unintentional. This volume of POSIX.1‐2008 defers to the ISO C standard.
The clock() function shall return the implementation's best approximation to the processor time used by the process since the beginning of an implementation-defined era related only to the process invocation.
To determine the time in seconds, the value returned by clock() should be divided by the value of the macro CLOCKS_PER_SEC. CLOCKS_PER_SEC is defined to be one million in <time.h>. If the processor time used is not available or its value cannot be represented, the function shall return the value (clock_t)−1.
In order to measure the time spent in a program, clock() should be called at the start of the program and its return value subtracted from the value returned by subsequent calls. The value returned by clock() is defined for compatibility across systems that have clocks with different resolutions. The resolution on any particular system need not be to microsecond accuracy.
The value returned by clock() may wrap around on some implementations. For example, on a machine with 32-bit values for clock_t, it wraps after 2147 seconds or 36 minutes.
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at http://www.unix.org/online.html .
Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source files to man page format. To report such errors, see https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/reporting_bugs.html .