SUMMARY : Changing Timezones

From: Jim Murff (
Date: Tue Apr 06 1993 - 13:49:01 CDT

        Well once again we have an answer. Changing the timezone is easier than
it appears from all the documents I saw. I got an amazing 48!!! responses and
one phone call. Amazing.

I have what I thought would be an easy problem to solve. It seems when we
set up many suns we set them up here in California with PST (we didn't know
where they were going per say). No they are in the feild running and it seems
people don't like to see PST as the timezone. I thought (there I go thinking
again) it would be easy to tell them or dial in and fix this "minor" annoyance.
I have spent hours looking for a way to do it! <sigh> It seems the only
official way I can find is in anwerbook and involves
/usr/etc/install/sys-unconfigure which is now a bad idea (due in part to
the knowledge level of the users)
So the question remains :: Is there another way and why is it so hard to do?
It seems like such a minor thing but I can find nothing except the above
metioned. Any ideas? Thanks


The answers fell into a few major groups. It was pointed out that the answer is
in the FAQ. I did a search of the FAQ before I posted *BUT* I searched for
"timezone" not "time zone". This whole topic has been a comedy of similar
errors. Any way here goes (in order of most suggests to least)::

1.) One way to go is -
> cd /usr/lib/zoneinfo
> (rm,mv) localtime
> ln <timezone of choice> localtime
> REBOOT (important to see everyone gets the change.)

        This was the most prevelant suggestion. There were many variations
on this theme. Copying the timezone instead of creating a link was suggested
many times. Copying is a problem if you don't remove the link first as it will
overwrite the timezone currently used.

2.) The way SUN and FAQ say to do this are::

>zic -l <timezone of choice>

        I got chastized for not FIGURING this one out from the man pages.
I read about "zic" before I posted my question and found it useless. At the
bottem of the man pages was the blurb
> -l timezone Use the time zone timezone as local time.
> zic will act as if the file contained a link
> line of the form

This tells me nothing about anything. Is it permanent or even what is it doing?
No one said wether a reboot was neccessary or desirable after you run this. My
guess is reboot.

3.) Other suggestions ran the gambit of use TZ environment variables, tzsetup,
        and use easy_install. (Some one even suggested use "date"?)

        I have saved all answers and many example sent to me in a file that
I will be happy to send to whoever wants it. Thanks to all that answered.

THANKS TO :: (sorry if I missed anyone!)
receda@chj401.SINet.SLB.COM (Wilson Receda, Schlumberger-Geoquest Systems
                                Support, Beijing) (Kevin Heagney)
Casper Dik <>
Larry Chin <>
Jeffrey Marans <>
"Jim Davis" <> (Mark J. Scheller)
Calum Mackay <> (Johnson Lew) (Brian Farrell 4-6531 MRCE) (Tim F O'Donoghue) (Marcello Dalpasso) (Martin Kelly)
darols@darols.Auto-trol.COM (Daria Olson)
sjk@KaPRE.COM (Scott Kamin) (Jay Peng) (Dana Macelis-Roberts Lab) (Steve Lee)
David Allison <> (Denis Faas)
etnibsd!vsh@uunet.UU.NET (Rebecca Fierro) (Scott Babb) (Ed Arnold) (Phil Male) (Doris Harrington)
Ray Schnitzler <> (Thomas J Davis)
Stefan Mochnacki <>
fireball! (Tom Poage) (Michael Hwa)
Hugo.Tafel@West.Sun.COM (Hugo Tafel - South Bay SE)
ldavis!woden!gunn@snowbird.Central.Sun.COM (David Gunn)
ups!kalli!kevin@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Kevin Sheehan {Consulting Poster Child})
hkatz@nucmed.NYU.EDU (Henry Katz)
mks! (Andy Toy) (Mark Wiederspahn)
ups!upstage!glenn@fourx.Aus.Sun.COM (Glenn Satchell -
                                        Uniq Professional Services) (Chris Rust)
Peter Samuel <> ( Andy J. Stefancik 206-234-3049 )

Thanks again!

-Jim Murff

Jim Murff ( Voice # (619)622-8878
IRT Corp, San Diego, CA. (619)450-4343
System Software/System Admin. Fax # (619)622-8888

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