How to Set or Change Time Zone on Rocky Linux 8.4

Using the correct time zone is essential for many system-related tasks and processes. For example, the cron daemon uses the system timezone to execute cron jobs and timestamps in the log file are based on the same system timezone.

On the Rocky Linux 8.4 and CentOS 8 operating system, the system timezone is set during installation, but can be easily changed at a later time.

This tutorial explains how to set or change the time zone on Rocky Linux 8.4 and CentOS 8 systems.

Precondition

You must be logged in as a user with sudo privileges to change the system timezone.

Check Timezone in Ubuntu

On Rocky Linux 8 and other modern Linux distros, you can use the command timedatectlto display and set the current system time and timezone.

timedatectl 

As the output below shows, the system timezone is set to UTC:

               Local time: Sat 2020-03-21 21:30:22 UTC
           Universal time: Sat 2020-03-21 21:30:22 UTC
                 RTC time: Sat 2020-03-21 21:30:22
                Time zone: UTC (UTC, +0000)
System clock synchronized: yes
              NTP service: active
          RTC in local TZ: no 

If you get a warning that says, ” The system is configured to read the RTC time in the local time zone .”, Run the following command to use the RTC in UTC:

timedatectl 

The system time zone is configured by connecting /etc/localtimeto the binary timezone identifier in the directory /usr/share/zoneinfo.

So, another option to check the timezone is to check the path symlink by using the ls command :

ls -l /etc/localtime 
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 23 Feb 21 23:30 /etc/localtime -> /usr/share/zoneinfo/UTC
 

Changing Time Zone on Rocky Linux 8.4 and CentOS 8

Before changing the time zone, you must find out the long name for the time zone you want to use. Time zone naming conventions usually use the “Region/City” format.

To list all available time zones, you can list files in the directory /usr/share/zoneinfoor use commands timedatectl.

timedatectl list-timezones 
...
 Asia/Hong_Kong
 Asia/Hovd
 Asia/Irkutsk
 Asia/Jakarta
 Asia/Jayapura
 Asia/Jerusalem
 Asia/Kabul
 Asia/Kamchatka
 Asia/Karachi
 Asia/Kathmandu
 Asia/Kolkata
 ...
 

Once you’ve identified which timezone is accurate for your location, run the following command as the sudo user:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone your_timezone 

For example, to change the system timezone to Kolkata local time:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone Asia/Kolkata

Run command timedatectlto verify changes:

timedatectl 
               Local time: Sat 2020-04-21 07:43:39 WIB
           Universal time: Sat 2020-04-21 00:43:39 UTC
                 RTC time: Sat 2020-04-21 00:43:40
                Time zone: Asia/Kolkata (WIB, +0700)
System clock synchronized: yes
              NTP service: active
          RTC in local TZ: no
 

Changing the Time Zone by Creating a Symlink

If you are running an version of Rocky Linux or CentOS older , and command timedatectlis not in the system, you can change the time zone by connecting /etc/localtimeto the timezone in the directory /usr/share/zoneinfo.

Delete the file or symlink from /etc/localtimewith the command rm :

sudo rm -rf /etc/localtime 

Identify the timezone you want to configure and create a symlink:

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

You can verify it by listing the file /etc/localtimeor use the date command :

date 
Wed Feb 4 09:22:58 WIB 2020 

Conclusion

In this guide, we have shown you changing the timezone of your Rocky Linux 8.4 and CentOS 8 system.

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