Gaurav Kukade
Gaurav Kukade Hi 👋🏼 I'm Gaurav Kukade, a software developer. I write tutorials for Java programming language and related technologies.

How To Get Current Timestamp In Java?

In this article, we will see how to get the current timestamp in Java.

To get the current timestamp in Java, we can use java.time.Instant from Java 8 and java.sql.Timestamp till Java 7.

We check both java.time.Instant and java.sql.Timestamp one by one.

1. Using java.time.Instant ( for Java 8)

As per the javadoc,

This class models a single instantaneous point on the time-line. This might be used to record event time-stamps in the application.

I have given an example below that shows how to get the current timestamp using java.time.Instant

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import java.sql.Timestamp;
import java.time.Instant;
import java.util.Date;

/**
 * A Java Program to get current timestamp using using the java.time.Instant
 * 
 * @author Gaurav Kukade at coderolls.com
 *
 */
public class InstantExample {
	
	public static void main(String[] args) {
	    
		Instant instant = Instant.now();
	    System.out.println("1. instant: "+ instant);    // 2021-05-13T15:05:18.734Z
	    

	    //convert date object to instant
	    Date date = new Date();
	    Instant instantFromDate = date.toInstant();
	    
	    System.out.println("2. instantFromDate: " +instantFromDate);  // 2021-05-13T15:05:18.873Z
	    
	    
	    //get instnat from the java.sql.Timestamp
	    Timestamp timestamp = new Timestamp(System.currentTimeMillis());
	    Instant instantFromTimestamp = timestamp.toInstant();
	    
	    System.out.println("3. instantFromTimestamp: "+ instantFromTimestamp);  // 2021-05-13T15:05:18.874Z 
	    
	    //get the epoch timestamp in milliseconds 
	    //epoch timestamp is number of milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 GMT
	    Instant instant2 = Instant.now();  
	    long timeStampMillis = instant2.toEpochMilli();
	    
	    System.out.println("4. timeStampMillis: "+ timeStampMillis);   // 1620918318874
	    
	    //get the epoch timestamp in seconds
	    Instant instant3 = Instant.now();
	    long timeStampSeconds = instant3.getEpochSecond();
	    
	    System.out.println("5. timeStampSeconds: "+ timeStampSeconds);   // 1620918318

	}

}

Output:

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1. instant: 2021-05-13T15:24:19.907Z
2. instantFromDate: 2021-05-13T15:24:19.988Z
3. instantFromTimestamp: 2021-05-13T15:24:19.988Z
4. timeStampMillis: 1620919459988
5. timeStampSeconds: 1620919459

See above code as GitHub Gist

Explanation:

  1. In the first case, we have used the .now() method of the Instant class to get the current timestamp.
  2. In the second case, we have created a new date object, and then we have used the .toInstant() on the date object to get the current timestamp.
  3. In the third case, we have created a new timestamp object using the system time in milliseconds. We can get the system time in millisecond using the System.currentTimeMillis(). To get the current timestamp (as instant) we have used the .toInstant() method on the timestamp object.
  4. In the fourth case, we are trying to get the epoch timestamp in milliseconds. We can get it using the .toEpochMilli() method on the instant object.
  5. In the fifth case, we are trying to get the epoch timestamp in seconds. We can get it using the .getEpochSecond() method on the instant object.

2. Using java.sql.Timestamp ( for Java 7 and below)

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import java.sql.Timestamp;
import java.util.Date;

/**
 * A Java program to get the current timestamp using java.sql.Timestamp
 * 
 * @author Gaurav Kukade at coderolls.com
 *
 */
public class TimestampExample {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
		 //using system time in milliseconds
	    Timestamp timestampFromSystemTime = new Timestamp(System.currentTimeMillis());
	    System.out.println("1. timestampFromSystemTime: "+timestampFromSystemTime); // 2021-05-13 20:55:44.179
	     
	    //using java.util.Date
	    Date date = new Date();
	    Timestamp timestampFromDateObject = new Timestamp(date.getTime());	  
	    System.out.println("2. timestampFromDateObject: " +timestampFromDateObject); // 2021-05-13 20:55:44.187

	}

}

Output:

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1. timestampFromSystemTime: 2021-05-13 20:55:44.179
2. timestampFromDateObject: 2021-05-13 20:55:44.187

See above code as GitHub Gist

Explanation:

  1. In the first case, we are got the timestamp using the system time in milliseconds. We can get the system time in millisecond using the System.currentTimeMillis().
  2. In the second case, we have created a new date object, and then we have used the .getTime() on the date object to get the current time in milliseconds. We have passed the time milliseconds to timestamp constructor to get the current timestamp.

Sometimes we may need to convert the java.time.Instant to java.sql.Timestamp or vice versa. So let’s see both conversions below.

How to convert Instant to Timestamp In Java?

I have given an example below that converts the java.time.Instant to java.sql.Timestamp class.

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import java.sql.Timestamp;
import java.time.Instant;

/**
 * A Java Program to convert java.time.Instant to java.sql.Timestamp
 * 
 * @author Gaurav Kukade at coderolls.com
 *
 */
public class InstantToTimestamp {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
		// get Timestamp from Instant 
		Instant instant = Instant.now();
	    Timestamp timestamp = Timestamp.from(instant);
	    System.out.println("Instant To Timestamp: " +timestamp); // 2021-05-13 21:07:44.381


	}

}

Output:

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Instant To Timestamp: 2021-05-13 21:07:44.381

See above code as GitHub Gist

Explanation:

In the above example, we have used .from() of the Timestamp class to get the current timestamp from the instant object.

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Timestamp timestamp = Timestamp.from(instant);

How to convert Timestamp to Instant In Java?

I have given an example below that converts the java.sql.Timestamp to java.time.Instant class.

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import java.sql.Timestamp;
import java.time.Instant;

/**
 * A Java Program to convert java.sql.Timestamp to java.time.Instant
 * 
 * @author Gaurav Kukade at coderolls.com
 *
 */
public class TimestampToInstant {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		
	    //get instnat from the java.sql.Timestamp
	    Timestamp timestamp = new Timestamp(System.currentTimeMillis());
	    Instant instant = timestamp.toInstant();
	    System.out.println("Timestamp To Instant: " +instant); // 2021-05-13T15:39:08.046Z
	    
	}

}

Output:

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Timestamp To Instant: 2021-05-13T15:39:08.046Z

See above code as GitHub Gist

Explanation:

In the above example, we have used the .toInstant() method on the timestamp object to get the current timestamp (as Instant ).

Conclusion

We can get the current timestamp in java using the Instant and Timestamp.

From Java 8, it is recommended to use the timestamp of the Instant class. We can get the current timestamp from Instantas is given below,

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Instant instant = Instant.now();

//convert date object to instant
Date date = new Date();
Instant instantFromDate = date.toInstant();	    

//get instnat from the java.sql.Timestamp
Timestamp timestamp = new Timestamp(System.currentTimeMillis());
Instant instantFromTimestamp = timestamp.toInstant();


//get the epoch timestamp in milliseconds 
//epoch timestamp is number of milliseconds since January 1, 1970, 00:00:00 GMT
Instant instant2 = Instant.now();  
long timeStampMillis = instant2.toEpochMilli();


//get the epoch timestamp in seconds
Instant instant3 = Instant.now();
long timeStampSeconds = instant3.getEpochSecond();

In Java 7 or below, we can use the Timestamp class to get the current timestamp.

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 //using system time in milliseconds
Timestamp timestampFromSystemTime = new Timestamp(System.currentTimeMillis());

//using java.util.Date
Date date = new Date();
System.out.println(date.getTime());
Timestamp timestampFromDateObject = new Timestamp(date.getTime());	  

Also we can convert the java.time.Instant to java.sql.Timestamp or vice versa.

Instant To Timestamp

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Instant instant = Instant.now();
Timestamp timestamp = Timestamp.from(instant);

Timestamp to Instant

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Timestamp timestamp = new Timestamp(System.currentTimeMillis());
	    Instant instant = timestamp.toInstant();

That’s it for now.

If you have any queries about the above article, please comment below. Thanks.

We will see how to get the current date-time in java. Also, we will see how we can format them using the SimpleDateFormat.

You can check my YouTube channel here

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