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there has been a few questions about this topic and i know the answer this could help others and maybe someone could help me out if what i want to do is possible

i want to chainge the timezone of the system clock from the terminal this caan be done with

tzselect "which opens a gui in terminal" or sudo cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime "which will set to gmt"

but is there a way to set time zone with just the offset ie.-1 or +5 etc?

i need to do this as im writing an aplication to adjust timeoffset or report logs and the only info i have is the user ip which i can use a webapp to locates location of ip but then i need to set offset which would be easy IF i could just get offset of location but if i need to find zone and city it would be a rreal pain if anyone knows the answer to how to set system clock with +/-hour would be great its hard to find info with ubuntu forums being down

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Please help us to pick up the accepted answer. I think @Mitch's answer is the best askubuntu.com/a/323163/22308 –  Nam G VU Oct 10 '14 at 5:27

4 Answers 4

To change time zone from terminal, just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Once open, just follow the screens to change the time zone.

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This is the easiest, most painless method. –  Thomas W. Jul 22 '13 at 22:19
this wont work as i need to altr timezone from a program without user input i need a command i can feed into terminal not gui solution thanks for reply –  user2155009 Jul 23 '13 at 11:45

You can use the GMT±x files in /usr/share/zoneinfo/Etc.

sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Etc/GMT$offset /etc/localtime
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thanks allot for reply im getting an error ln: failed to create symbolic link `/etc/localtime': File exists oboiusly im not sure what im doing do you know of good tutorial for this or even some key words i can google thanks am i using command correctly? im using sudo ln /usr/share/zoneinfo/Etc/GMT$+1 /etc/localtime to set clock to +1gmt –  user2155009 Jul 22 '13 at 21:18
minitech forgot the force flag I guess so -> sudo ln -sf .... –  Tele Oct 28 '13 at 17:11

You can also use the new timedatectl for this in 14.04.

sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/New_York
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I realize this thread is a bit dated, but I was looking for a better solution because I needed to automatically set the timezone in a VM after a user downloads it from our website and deploys it. Here's what I ended up with:

echo "Setting TimeZone..."
export tz=`wget -qO - http://geoip.ubuntu.com/lookup | sed -n -e 's/.*<TimeZone>\(.*\)<\/TimeZone>.*/\1/p'` &&  timedatectl set-timezone $tz
export tz=`timedatectl status| grep Timezone | awk '{print $2}'`
echo "TimeZone set to $tz"

This will query geoip.ubuntu.com from the server once it is started on the new network (my script checks for connectivity first course) and then set the server's timezone based on the response.

The "wget -q0 -" tells wget to output only the results to stdout which is then piped to the $tz variable.

Hope it helps someone!

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