Converting string with UTC offset to a datetime object


Given this string: "Fri, 09 Apr 2010 14:10:50 +0000" how does one convert it to a datetime object?

After doing some reading I feel like this should work, but it doesn’t…

>>> from datetime import datetime
>>> str = 'Fri, 09 Apr 2010 14:10:50 +0000'
>>> fmt = '%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %z'
>>> datetime.strptime(str, fmt)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib64/python2.6/", line 317, in _strptime
    (bad_directive, format))
ValueError: 'z' is a bad directive in format '%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S %z'

It should be noted that this works without a problem:

>>> from datetime import datetime
>>> str = 'Fri, 09 Apr 2010 14:10:50'
>>> fmt = '%a, %d %b %Y %H:%M:%S'
>>> datetime.strptime(str, fmt)
datetime.datetime(2010, 4, 9, 14, 10, 50)

But I’m stuck with "Fri, 09 Apr 2010 14:10:50 +0000". I would prefer to convert exactly that without changing (or slicing) it in any way.

Asked By: Gussi



It looks as if strptime doesn’t always support %z. Python appears to just call the C function, and strptime doesn’t support %z on your platform.

Note: from Python 3.2 onwards it will always work.

Answered By: clahey
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