When using ESP8266 - getting seconds from epoch is done using

NTP.begin(NTPserver, 2, true);
time_t t = now();

while t stores amount of seconds from 1-1-1970.

When trying to do the same, using ESP32 - I cant get that numeric representation.

code below is from ESP32 example- updating time using NTP server ( process is done correct ). BUT when using now() yields 1970, as if NTP update has never occured.

How can I get time from Epoch ?

#include <WiFi.h>
#include "time.h"
#include <TimeLib.h>    <------- Added to original Code

const char* ssid       = "YOUR_SSID";
const char* password   = "YOUR_PASS";

const char* ntpServer = "pool.ntp.org";
const long  gmtOffset_sec = 3600;
const int   daylightOffset_sec = 3600;

void printLocalTime()
  struct tm timeinfo;
    Serial.println("Failed to obtain time");
  Serial.println(&timeinfo, "%A, %B %d %Y %H:%M:%S");

void setup()

  //connect to WiFi
  Serial.printf("Connecting to %s ", ssid);
  WiFi.begin(ssid, password);
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) {
  Serial.println(" CONNECTED");

  //init and get the time
  configTime(gmtOffset_sec, daylightOffset_sec, ntpServer);

  //disconnect WiFi as it's no longer needed

void loop()
  Serial.println(now());   <-------- Added to original code
  • where is now() defined or even used in the code you posted? Jan 4, 2020 at 1:32
  • Does your code output "Failed to obtain time"? Jan 4, 2020 at 1:48
  • try time(nullptr) instead of now() - since now() is not even a valid function in the code you posted Jan 4, 2020 at 1:55
  • you can use the NTP library on ESP32 and you can use the SDK time functions on esp8266 too
    – Juraj
    Jan 4, 2020 at 7:03
  • 1
    @Guy.D - just because you added now() to the code you've shown, doesn't make it valid (if I try to use now() in ESP32 code, it doesn't even compile :p Jan 4, 2020 at 18:14

1 Answer 1


to return 'epoch' seconds there is a function time in time.h

time_t now;

time_t is defined as long

this time is retrieved by the ESP32 SDK from NTP servers configured with ESP32 Arduino function configTime

EDIT: it is the standard C time() function

  • 2
    since time also returns a time_t you can use it like now() ... i.e. time(nullptr); Jan 4, 2020 at 16:24

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