In this tutorial, you will learn how to check and set the timezone in Ubuntu 20.04 using the
There are a variety of ways of checking your timezone, from using the
date command to the
timedatactl command. However, setting your timezone has been greatly simplified and improved with the
timedatectl command allows you to output detailed information about your system’s date in time, from NTP info to comparisons between your date with the UTC date.
While we’ve limited the scope of this tutorial to strictly being about setting your timezone, the
timedatectl has additional functionality that is very useful for configurations around time and date.
Checking Your Current Timezone
The currently configured timezone is set in the
/etc/timezone file. To view your current timezone you can
cat the file’s contents.
Another method is to use the
date command. By giving it the argument
+%Z, you can output your system’s current time zone name.
To get the timezone name and offset, you can use the
data command with the
+"%Z %z" argument. The uppercase
Z prints the timezone name, while the lowercase
z outputs the time offset.
date +"%Z %z"
timedatectl command be used to get more details about your system’s current time and date configurations.
Local time: Sat 2020-09-05 03:09:26 UTC Universal time: Sat 2020-09-05 03:09:26 UTC RTC time: Sat 2020-09-05 03:09:26 Time zone: Etc/UTC (UTC, +0000) System clock synchronized: yes NTP service: active RTC in local TZ: no
Setting Your Timezone
To set your timezone the
timedatectl command will be used. Before you set your new timezone you may want to know what timezones are available. You can list all available timezones using the
timedatectl list-timezones command.
Africa/Abidjan Africa/Accra Africa/Algiers Africa/Bissau Africa/Cairo Africa/Casablanca Africa/Ceuta Africa/El_Aaiun Africa/Johannesburg Africa/Juba Africa/Khartoum Africa/Lagos Africa/Maputo Africa/Monrovia Africa/Nairobi Africa/Ndjamena Africa/Sao_Tome ...
The timezone list is very extensive. To narrow the list down to only your region you can pipe the results to the
grep command. For example, to narrow our results to only the Americas, we would run the following command.
timedatectl list-timezones | grep America
... America/Santiago America/Santo_Domingo America/Sao_Paulo America/Scoresbysund America/Sitka America/St_Johns America/Swift_Current America/Tegucigalpa America/Thule America/Thunder_Bay America/Tijuana America/Toronto America/Vancouver America/Whitehorse America/Winnipeg America/Yakutat America/Yellowknife
Once you know the time zone you want to set your Ubuntu server to, you use the
timedatactl set-timezone command to set it.
sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/Toronto
and then confirm your changes were applied by running the
Local time: Fri 2020-09-04 23:30:58 EDT Universal time: Sat 2020-09-05 03:30:58 UTC RTC time: Sat 2020-09-05 03:30:59 Time zone: America/Toronto (EDT, -0400) System clock synchronized: yes NTP service: active RTC in local TZ: no