Checking the Current Timezone
In CentOS and other modern Linux distros, you can use the timedatectl command to display and set the current system’s time and timezone.
The output below shows that the system’s timezone is set to UTC:
Local time: Wed 2019-02-06 22:43:42 UTC Universal time: Wed 2019-02-06 22:43:42 UTC RTC time: Wed 2019-02-06 22:43:42 Time zone: Etc/UTC (UTC, +0000) NTP enabled: no NTP synchronized: yes RTC in local TZ: no DST active: n/a
The system timezone is configured by symlinking /etc/localtime to a binary timezone identifier in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory. So, another option to check the timezone is to show the path the symlink points to using the ls command:
ls -l /etc/localtime
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 29 Dec 11 09:25 /etc/localtime -> ../usr/share/zoneinfo/Etc/UTC
Changing Timezone in CentOS
Before changing the timezone, you’ll need to find out the long name for the timezone you want to use. The timezone naming convention usually uses a “Region/City” format.
To list all available time zones, you can either list the files in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory or use the timedatectl command.
timedatectl list-timezones ... America/Tijuana America/Toronto America/Tortola America/Vancouver America/Whitehorse America/Winnipeg ...
Once you identify which time zone is accurate to your location, run the following command as sudo user:
sudo timedatectl set-timezone your_time_zone
For example, to change the system’s timezone to America/Toronto:
sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/Toronto
Run the timedatectl command to verify the changes:
timedatectl Local time: Wed 2019-02-06 17:47:10 EST Universal time: Wed 2019-02-06 22:47:10 UTC RTC time: Wed 2019-02-06 22:47:10 Time zone: America/Toronto (EST, -0500) NTP enabled: no NTP synchronized: yes RTC in local TZ: no DST active: no Last DST change: DST ended at Sun 2018-11-04 01:59:59 EDT Sun 2018-11-04 01:00:00 EST Next DST change: DST begins (the clock jumps one hour forward) at Sun 2019-03-10 01:59:59 EST Sun 2019-03-10 03:00:00 EDT
Changing the Timezone by Creating a Symlink
If you are running an older version of CentOS and the timedatectl command is not present on your system, you can change the timezone by symlinking /etc/localtime to the timezone file in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory.
Delete the current /etc/localtime file or symlink:
sudo rm -rf /etc/localtime
Identify the timezone you want to configure and create a symlink:
sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Toronto /etc/localtime
You can verify it either by listing the /etc/localtime file or issuing the date command:
date Wed Feb 6 17:52:58 EST 2019