Setting Timezone in Linux

There are two ways of changing the system timezone in Linux, either you use timedatectl or changing the /etc/localtime symbolic link and pointing it to your chosen timezone at /usr/zoneinfo/

Solution: Using timedatectl

Step 1

Check the available zones first, which in turn will be provided when we set the timezone you’re gonna use for your system.

timedatectl list-timezones

This will show you all available timezone you can set. You can also use /usr/zoneinfo for the list but this one’s a lot easier than checking each folder for approriate zones.

Step 2

Now let’s set your timezone. In my case I’ll use Asia/Manila as my timezone.

timedatectl set-timezone Asia/Manila

Step 3

Once set, you can now verify if your timezone is currently used by your system. You can run either date or timedatectl. Running just timedatectl defaults to timedatectl status, so there’s no need to do it the long way.

Solution 2: Change Symlink of /etc/localtime

If you’ll check were the /etc/localtime is being point to, you’ll see it’s at /usr/share/zoneinfo/[TIME_ZONE]

readlink -f /etc/localtime

Step 1

Root holds owner of the file, and has a 777 permission. So first let’s remove the symlink

sudo rm -rf /etc/localtime

Step 2

Doing the long way to search and confirm for your timezone, and look for it at /usr/share/zoneinfo

You can do a recursive search to make it easier

ls -R /usr/share/zoneinfo

Step 3

Once you know the timezone to set. Now create a symlink:

sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Manila /etc/localtime

Step 4

Verify if your system is now using your selected timezone:



  1. timedatectl Manual
  2. /etc/localtime Manual

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