TZCONFIG(8) Debian Timezone Configuration TZCONFIG(8)
tzconfig - set the local timezone
This manual page explains how you can use the tzconfig utility to set
the local timezone. This is necessary to let your system know about the
difference between system time and local time (the time in the real
world). It is also necessary to make your system behave nicely when
your location uses Daylight Savings Time.
A valid system time together with the correct local time zone will give
you best performance and highest reliablility. It is especially impor-
tant in a network environment, where even small time differences can
make a mirror refetch a whole ftp site, or where time stamps on exter-
nal file systems are used.
tzconfig is called without any parameters from the shell. First it
presents the current setting and asks for verification to change it.
You may press Ctrl-C to interrupt the script at any time.
After you made your choice, tzconfig will try to change the timezone
for you. See the Internals section below for technical details. You
must have root privilegies to actually change anything. Please use tzs-
elect(1) as a user space command to just look at the timezones. It will
print the local time in any timezone recognized by the system.
A WORD OF WARNING
What timezone is correct for your system? It depends on the geographi-
cal location of the machine. Getting the correct location is impor-
tant, but the system must also know how your hardware clock is set.
Most DOS based PCs set their hardware clock on Local Time, while most
UNIX systems set their hardware clock to UTC.
The Debian GNU/Linux system gains its knowledge of this setting from
the file /etc/default/rcS. This file contains either the line UTC=yes,
which indicates that the hardware clock is set to UTC, or it contains
the line UTC=no, which declares the hardware clock is set to Local
Time. If these setting are correct, and the hardware clock is truely
set as indicated, then configuring the proper timezone for the machine
will cause the proper date and time to be displayed. If these are not
set correctly, the the reported time will be quite incorrect. See
hwclock(8) for more details on this topic.
The work done by tzconfig is actually pretty simple. It just updates
the link /etc/localtime to point to the correct timezone installed in
There is nothing wrong with doing this manually. However, using tzcon-
fig you don't have to remember the path to the timezones.
/etc/timezone /etc/localtime /usr/share/zoneinfo
hwclock(8) tzselect(1) rcS(5)
Copyright 1998 Marcus Brinkmann <brinkmdATdebian.org> Edits Copyright
1998 Dale Scheetz <dwarfATpolaris.net>
Please see nroff source for legal notice.
Debian 12 June 1998 TZCONFIG(8)