I'm looking for a C++ library that has equivalent functionality to Python's dateutil. Specifically, I want:

dateutil.parser.parse: Given a string that represents a date, convert it to some kind of date object from which I can get seconds since the epoch. dateutil can handle diverse strings like "January 1st, 2017", " "2017-01-01 18:00" and "Jan 1 17 7am" - if there's a C++ library that can automatically handle a variety of strings as well, that would be ideal.

dateutil.rrule - Generate a list of dates and times from a rule. For instance, in Python I can get 7am every Saturday and Sunday between two dates by writing:

            byweekday=(dateutil.rrule.SA, dateutil.rrule.SU),
            dtstart=datetime.datetime.combine(start_date_day, datetime.time(7, 00)),
            until=datetime.datetime.combine(end_date_day, datetime.time(23, 59)))

I'm looking for the same ability to generate dates/times between dates with rules like the one above.

  • 1. Parsing is one thing, and "date rules" are another. I'm not even sure you need a library for the the sequence of dates/date-times if you use something like std::iota and std::transform. 2. Can you explain what about the standard library's parsing capabilities is insufficient for you? I recall (although I'm not sure) that it does do some parsing.
    – einpoklum
    Jan 10, 2017 at 16:01
  • I don't really see how std::iota helps. How would you write the rrule above with iota? It would involve checking the days of week, the the start times, end times, etc., which is what I was hoping an existing library would handle for me Jan 10, 2017 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


Beginning with the C++11 standard, the standard library includes date and time facilities, accessible with via the <chrono> header file; these should satisfy your parsing needs:

std::tm tm;
std::stringstream ss("Jan 9 2014 12:35:34");
ss >> std::get_time(&tm, "%b %d %Y %H:%M:%S");
auto tp = std::chrono::system_clock::from_time_t(std::mktime(&tm));

this answer is based on this other answer (on StackOverflow.com).

  • 1
    Yeah, so the nice thing about Python dateutil is that I don't have to specify the format string. Parsing with a format string is obviously trivial Jan 10, 2017 at 16:19

Take a look at boost date time library which is very comprehensive, open source, mature and is well documented.

It has a very comprehensive Date time parsing and good Date Calculation support. I am sure you can get it to do your calculation.

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