Convert a python UTC datetime to a local datetime using only python standard library?


Question

I have a python datetime instance that was created using datetime.utcnow() and persisted in database.

For display, I would like to convert the datetime instance retrieved from the database to local datetime using the default local timezone (i.e., as if the datetime was created using datetime.now()).

How can I convert the UTC datetime to a local datetime using only python standard library (e.g., no pytz dependency)?

It seems one solution would be to use datetime.astimezone( tz ), but how would you get the default local timezone?

1
135
12/22/2016 5:26:41 PM

Accepted Answer

I think I figured it out: computes number of seconds since epoch, then converts to a local timzeone using time.localtime, and then converts the time struct back into a datetime...

EPOCH_DATETIME = datetime.datetime(1970,1,1)
SECONDS_PER_DAY = 24*60*60

def utc_to_local_datetime( utc_datetime ):
    delta = utc_datetime - EPOCH_DATETIME
    utc_epoch = SECONDS_PER_DAY * delta.days + delta.seconds
    time_struct = time.localtime( utc_epoch )
    dt_args = time_struct[:6] + (delta.microseconds,)
    return datetime.datetime( *dt_args )

It applies the summer/winter DST correctly:

>>> utc_to_local_datetime( datetime.datetime(2010, 6, 6, 17, 29, 7, 730000) )
datetime.datetime(2010, 6, 6, 19, 29, 7, 730000)
>>> utc_to_local_datetime( datetime.datetime(2010, 12, 6, 17, 29, 7, 730000) )
datetime.datetime(2010, 12, 6, 18, 29, 7, 730000)
7
12/30/2010 3:02:47 PM

In Python 3.3+:

from datetime import datetime, timezone

def utc_to_local(utc_dt):
    return utc_dt.replace(tzinfo=timezone.utc).astimezone(tz=None)

In Python 2/3:

import calendar
from datetime import datetime, timedelta

def utc_to_local(utc_dt):
    # get integer timestamp to avoid precision lost
    timestamp = calendar.timegm(utc_dt.timetuple())
    local_dt = datetime.fromtimestamp(timestamp)
    assert utc_dt.resolution >= timedelta(microseconds=1)
    return local_dt.replace(microsecond=utc_dt.microsecond)

Using pytz (both Python 2/3):

import pytz

local_tz = pytz.timezone('Europe/Moscow') # use your local timezone name here
# NOTE: pytz.reference.LocalTimezone() would produce wrong result here

## You could use `tzlocal` module to get local timezone on Unix and Win32
# from tzlocal import get_localzone # $ pip install tzlocal

# # get local timezone    
# local_tz = get_localzone()

def utc_to_local(utc_dt):
    local_dt = utc_dt.replace(tzinfo=pytz.utc).astimezone(local_tz)
    return local_tz.normalize(local_dt) # .normalize might be unnecessary

Example

def aslocaltimestr(utc_dt):
    return utc_to_local(utc_dt).strftime('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S.%f %Z%z')

print(aslocaltimestr(datetime(2010,  6, 6, 17, 29, 7, 730000)))
print(aslocaltimestr(datetime(2010, 12, 6, 17, 29, 7, 730000)))
print(aslocaltimestr(datetime.utcnow()))

Output

Python 3.3
2010-06-06 21:29:07.730000 MSD+0400
2010-12-06 20:29:07.730000 MSK+0300
2012-11-08 14:19:50.093745 MSK+0400
Python 2
2010-06-06 21:29:07.730000 
2010-12-06 20:29:07.730000 
2012-11-08 14:19:50.093911 
pytz
2010-06-06 21:29:07.730000 MSD+0400
2010-12-06 20:29:07.730000 MSK+0300
2012-11-08 14:19:50.146917 MSK+0400

Note: it takes into account DST and the recent change of utc offset for MSK timezone.

I don't know whether non-pytz solutions work on Windows.


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