When working in the terminal it's inconvenient navigating up to the systray to display the current calendar. Is there a command that will display a calendar from the terminal?

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    apropos and man are your friends. When in doubt run apropos calendar and see – phuclv Mar 3 '17 at 16:50
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    Huh, never knew about apropos until now, +1 – kalenpw Mar 11 '17 at 0:16

cal calendar command for terminal

You can use the cal command to display a calendar in Julian or Gregorian format. The format depends on your locale settings but can be toggled with parameters.

As the screen below shows the default calendar is the current month. You can use the parameter -A 2 to display the next two months or 2018 to display all months in that year:


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    You can also display a specific month with, e.g. cal 6 2017. – Michael Hampton Mar 3 '17 at 18:50
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    Beware that cal is somewhat simple-minded about interpreting its arguments. cal 6 17 will display the calendar for June of the year 17 (i.e., 2000 years ago), and cal 6 will display the calendar for the year 6. – G-Man Mar 4 '17 at 20:16
  • @G-Man cal is super-sophisticated. For example when in Canada, America or UK type cal 9 1752 and you will see September 1752 is missing the ten days Pope Gregory XIII annulled for the Western Catholic world in October 1582. People in Italy and possibly Germany and Sweden using cal 10 1582 will see that calendar is missing the ten days. cal works up to the year 9,999 and I've tested February 2100 isn't a leap month and February 2400 is a leap month so it seems as future proof as it is historically accurate. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Mar 4 '17 at 20:35
  • Looks like -A is depreciated? In cal from util-linux 2.32 that option isn't listed in the manual. You can instead use cal -3 to display three months (one before, current, one after). – Mike Pierce May 25 '18 at 17:06
  • @MikePierce I tested in Ubuntu 18.04. cal -3 does display one month before, current and one month after. However you can still use cal -A3 -B2 to display 2 months before, current month and 3 months after. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Jun 3 '18 at 7:09

An alternative is ncal - this displays the calendar in a vertical format, i.e.:

    March 2017
Su     5 12 19 26
Mo     6 13 20 27
Tu     7 14 21 28
We  1  8 15 22 29
Th  2  9 16 23 30
Fr  3 10 17 24 31
Sa  4 11 18 25

This is slightly harder to read, but supposedly has the advantage that the full year's calendar, by putting four months in each row, fits in a standard sized terminal. In fact, it does not, you have to remove blank lines from the output for it to fit in 24 lines: ncal 2017 | grep -v '^$'. The original version of ncal did not have these blank lines. In any case, it takes less vertical space than the traditional calendar output - 26×76, vs 35×66 for cal.


Another alternative to the standard cal is an enhanced cal by Alex Matulich. It offers user-configurable colors and the ability to display reminders and appointments next to the calendar.

Enhanced cal page on Unicorn Research site


Programmable Calendars

Although these are GUI calendars you can still call them from the terminal. They allow you to navigate through the months and years. They are designed to be called from your Bash scripts but like all Bash commands you can call them from the terminal too.

YAD (Yet Another Dialog) super-charged fork of Zenity

calendar yad

Zenity GUI fork of text-based dialog

calendar zenity

Do not be concerned by the Gtk warning message. You see that a lot when running GUI programs from the terminal. eg. gedit and nautilus display similar warnings.

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