This guide explains how to set or change the timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 system. Correct system timezone is the very important because it’s not just displaying time but it do a lot more. If the time zone is not set correctly, it can have an impact on server logs, reporting, email, and file timestamps.
Timezone is very important to run all the reminders and cron jobs properly at expected time. Therefore, it’s a very essential step to set a right time zone on your Ubuntu system. We can change timezone via both GUI and command line.
Check Current Timezone
timedatectl command-line utility is used to get and set system’s timezone easily. Execute the following command in order to view the current time zone information:
It should display output as below:
Local time: Fri 2020-05-02 10:00:19 UTC Universal time: Fri 2020-05-02 10:00:19 UTC RTC time: Fri 2020-05-02 10:00:19 Time zone: UTC (UTC, +0000) System clock synchronized: yes NTP service: active RTC in local TZ: no
/etc/localtime is a link to the original timezone file. You can check the symbolic link using the following command:
ls -l /etc/localtime
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 01 May 21 20:21 /etc/localtime -> /usr/share/zoneinfo/UTC
Timezone Config Files of Ubuntu
- /usr/share/zoneinfo/ – Timezone name wise files are stored in this directory. For example, the file
/usr/share/zoneinfo/America/New_Yorkrepresents time zone for New York.
- /etc/localtime – This is a symlink to the file localtime located in
Change Timezone in Ubuntu
At first, you should know long name for timezone for which you want to set. To get the list of all available timezones run below command:
It will show output like below:
Africa/Abidjan Africa/Accra Africa/Addis_Ababa Africa/Algiers Africa/Asmara Africa/Bamako Africa/Bangui ... ... America/Caracas America/Cayenne America/Cayman America/Chicago America/Chihuahua America/Costa_Rica ... ... Pacific/Saipan Pacific/Tahiti Pacific/Tarawa Pacific/Tongatapu Pacific/Wake Pacific/Wallis UTC
Take the long name of timezone for your location, run the following command as root or user with sudo privileges.
The syntax for command is:
sudo timedatectl set-timezone NEW_TIME_ZONE
For example, to change timezone to
America/New_York run command as below:
sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/New_York
Now, verify timezone again using
It should changed with new timezone
Local time: Fri 2020-05-02 06:10:49 UTC Universal time: Fri 2020-05-02 10:10:49 UTC RTC time: Fri 2020-05-02 10:10:49 Time zone: America/New_York (EDT, -0400) System clock synchronized: yes NTP service: active RTC in local TZ: no
Change Timezone By Symlink
Alternate way to change timezone is by creating a symlink. This method is useful when your server is running older version of Ubuntu or not have timedatectl command is available. We are going to change the timezone by creating symlink
/etc/localtime to the timezone in the
Determine timezone, which you want to set and create a symlink, type:
sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/New_York /etc/localtime
To verify changes, list the
/etc/localtime file or run the date command:
Tue May 02 06:37:22 EDT 2020
It should show new changed date and time with new timezone.
You have learned how to view and change the timezone on the Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa system.
Feel free to leave comment if you have any questions.