Linux: Make time with faketime

So you, like me, have hit a situation where you’ve got a time-sensitive application that won’t run? Maybe you’ve downloaded one of those apps (like a demo) that won’t run after a certain date and time because it’s “expired”. Or else, maybe some other arbitrary time constraint is keeping you from running a Linux (or even Windows) program. On Linux (Ubuntu for me), there’s faketime to the rescue - a very handy tool that does what it says on the box, changes the system time for given command.

After installing faketime by something like:

sudo apt-get install faketime

you can run your program like this, and see the results:

faketime 'last Friday 5 pm' /bin/date
faketime '2008-12-24 08:15:42' /bin/date

Sweet as. Now, if you’re running a Windows app in Wine (or any other app with arguments), you can do that too. In my specific use-case, I was trying to use shp2kml. Ignoring the fact their website fails at actually letting me download the file (I had to get my version elsewhere; copied here for posterity:, their program fails at running due to it being “expired”. Noting other posts about people turning back their clocks to 2006, I did the same thing with faketime, so as not to stuff around with my system clock.

faketime '2006-09-20' wine Shp2kml.exe

and voila, it works. Seems like the change affects Wine’s start-up a little when first starting with the new date, but it does work just fine. Yay for Linux!

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