Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Change the Timezone in Linux

4/08/2008 09:19:00 AM |

Most modern Linux distributions have user-friendly programs to set the timezone, often accesible through the program menus or right-clicking the clock in a desktop environment such as KDE or GNOME. Failing that it's possible to manually change the system timezone in Linux in a few short steps.
[edit] Steps

1. Logged in as root, check which timezone your machine is currently using by executing `date`. You'll see something like Mon 17 Jan 2005 12:15:08 PM PST, PST in this case is the current timezone.
2. Change to the directory /usr/share/zoneinfo here you will find a list of time zone regions. Choose the most appropriate region, if you live in Canada or the US this directory is the "America" directory.
3. If you wish, backup the previous timezone configuration by copying it to a different location. Such as

mv /etc/localtime /etc/localtime-old

4. Create a symbolic link from the appropiate timezone to /etc/localtime. Example:

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Amsterdam /etc/localtime

5. If you have the utility rdate, update the current system time by executing

/usr/bin/rdate -s time.nist.gov

6. Set the ZONE entry in the file /etc/sysconfig/clock file (e.g. "America/Los_Angeles")
7. Set the hardware clock by executing:

/sbin/hwclock --systohc


* On some versions of RedHat Linux, Slackware, Gentoo, SuSE, Debian, Ubuntu, and anything else that is "normal", the command to display and change the time is 'date', not 'clock'
* On RedHat Linux there is a utility called "Setup" that allows one to select the timezone from a list, but you must have installed the 'redhat-config-date' package.


* Some applications (such as PHP) have separate timezone settings from the system timezone.
* On some systems, there is a system utility provided that will prompt for the correct timezone and make the proper changes to the system configuration. For example, Debian provides the "tzsetup" or "tzconfig" utility.

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