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time is a Terminal command used to measure the execution time of a given command. It prints results to standard out, broken down by real time, user time and system time.


To measure the time of a search command:

  time find ~ -name someFile

To measure the compile time of an application

 time make all

To measure the search time of Spotlight:

 time mdfind "Some Text"

Man Page Excerpt

The time utility executes and times utility. After the utility finishes, time writes the total time elapsed, the time consumed by system overhead, and the time used to execute utility to the standard error stream. Times are reported in seconds.