position - print or set the system position


position [-v] [-x prec] [-z prec]

position [-v] longitude latitude [height]

position [-V]


Display the current position of the system CPU or set the CPU position.

When called without arguments, position prints the current position of the system as a triplet of longitude, latitude and height. Longitude and latitude are in degrees, height is in meters. Negative numbers are not used; instead the letters N, E, S, W, A, B indicate North, East, South, West, Above Sea Level and Below Sea Level (see EXAMPLES below).

When called with arguments, position transports the system to the point set by the longitude, latitude and optional height. Only superuser can set the system position. The format of the coordinates is the same as above, but the letters N, E, A can be omitted, and the letters S, W, B can be substituted by minus signs. In this case the argument -- must be used to indicate the end of options. If the height is omitted, the ground level is assumed.



Be verbose and output debugging information


Print version information and exit

-x prec

Set precision of the horizontal coordinates in degrees (by default 0.01)

-z prec

Set precision of the horizontal coordinates in meters (by default 0.01)


  1. Successful exit

  2. Only a superuser can set system position

  3. Cannot open /usr/share/position/geography.dat

  4. Location out of range

  5. Wrong arguments


/usr/share/position/geography.dat information about Earth shape


   position -x .001 -z .1
   position 25N 32W 
   position 25N 32.43W 5A
   position -- 25 -32 -1




No check is performed whether the new location has electric power or network connection. Therefore a badly chosen position can cause a system crash.

The coordinates reported by position are in fact the coordinates of the CPU. On multi-CPU systems the reported position may vary from invocation to invocation if high precision is set.

Due to Heisenberg uncertainty principle the command time position longitude latitude might lead to unexpected results.