How do you change the Time Zone at the system Level? -SUMMARY

From: Mark Holm (
Date: Fri Apr 09 1993 - 22:32:50 CDT

Sorry for the late summary. It's been a bit hectic around here ...
I originally wrote:

> We have three of the RDI Brightlight Portable Sparcs that I have setup to
> wander from field site to field site and know where there they are based on
> whether on not they can see the central server at each site. The system
> works really well except for one glitch. The time zone rarely matches where
> they really are. I would like some command that can be run during the boot
> up process that can dynamically set the time zone the same way that I set
> the address. I realize that the user can do this in their startup files by
> setting TZ appropriately based on address, but those accounts are owned by
> Marketing ... ('nough said). I would gladly RTFM if somebody could point me
> at which TFM to read.
> Along the same note, during the boot procedure for each of these machines,
> if it discovers that it isn't connected to any network it configures itself
> to use a modem and DPPP to connect back to the home office. It needs to be
> able to ask what the dial sequence is to get an outside phone line. I have
> tried all combinations of redirecting from stdin as well as using the
> command "line" to attempt to get this from the user when the system boots.
> I have been unable to get it to ask for input at any stage during the boot
> up process. All of the above procedures are just ignored and the system
> continues on. Is this possible to do?
> I will summarize if there is sufficient interest.

The overwhelming answer was to use "zic -l". I implemented the following in
my script called from rc.local:

        mv /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo/localtime /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo/-localtime
        zic -l $NEW_TZ

Where NEW_TZ was derived from a table based on the hostname I was able to

I still haven't gotten a response that works for the second question yet.

If anybody is interested in the scripts and setup that I use to make these
boxes travel, let me know. I am working on packaging them up anyway for
easy installation as we get more of these machines in and into the field.
It has turned out to be a non-trivial problem.

Thanks to the following for their quick response:


Mark Holm -or-
Analogy ..sun!nosun!analogy!markh
P.O. Box 1669 Phone (503)626-9700
Beaverton, Oregon 97075-1669 Fax (503)643-3361

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