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alevt-date − display/set time received via Teletext


alevt-date [options]


alevt-date displays the time received from a Teletext source. It can be used to set the system time. The date is not interpreted (not even transmitted on most channels). So it allows only adjustment of +/-12 hours. The default allowed adjustment is limited to +/-2 hours (use -delta to change). Without the -set option it just displays the date in the format of the date(1) command.


A summary of options is included below.


Set system time from time received via Teletext.

−delta seconds

Maximum allowed adjustment made to the system time. The default is 7200 seconds (2 hours) and the maximum that may be given is 12 hours.

−format string

Format string to used to print the time. Look at strftime(3) for possible control sequences.

−vbi device

Use the given device name. Default: /dev/vbi, /dev/vbi0, /dev/video0, tried in this order.

−timeout seconds

If the time can’t be detected in seconds, the program is terminated with a SIGALRM.


Show summary of options.


Show version of program.

Before starting this program, you have to set the TV channel with another program like xawtv of set-tv.

Note: This program does not set the battery backed up clock of your computer. clock -w will do this.




alevt(1x), alevt-cap(1), strftime(3), date(1), clock(8).


This program is just a toy. The time transmitted by the TV stations is more than inaccurate. Some are within a few seconds of your local time reference but others are more then 15 minutes off. You’ve been warned. (And don’t assume the pkt8/30 time is better. It’s even worse.)

No bug reports to <froese AT gmx DOT de> *g*.