How can I display the current time configuration, like the time zone, in Ubuntu?

  • What does the CentOS output for cat /etc/sysconfig/clock look like ? – belacqua Feb 22 '11 at 17:25
  • like this [root@SUPA9611 ~]# cat /etc/sysconfig/clock ZONE="Europe/Amsterdam" UTC=true ARC=false – usef_ksa Feb 22 '11 at 18:24

I don't know of a single file, but this may give you the info needed:

cat /etc/timezone
grep UTC /etc/default/rcS
# hardware clock
sudo hwclock --show
  • I didn't spot the hwclock bit at first - but that was actually what I was looking for – icc97 Jan 7 '16 at 20:06

Best example (IMHO) using timedatectl (in command-line/terminal):

$ timedatectl
      Local time: Thu 2014-07-24 19:51:23 IST
  Universal time: Thu 2014-07-24 14:21:23 UTC
        Timezone: Asia/Kolkata (IST, +0530)
     NTP enabled: no
NTP synchronized: no
 RTC in local TZ: no
      DST active: n/a

Visit the manpage for more settings and further information.


For me, date works fine:

Fri 22 Nov 2019 04:31:50 PM UTC


Check out info date, and for example date +'%z'

  • did not work! the output is like man date – usef_ksa Feb 22 '11 at 18:25

For the time zone, you can use geolocation:

$ curl https://ipapi.co/timezone


$ curl http://ip-api.com/line?fields=timezone



If you need a formatted area and time zone, you can use:

$ grep `date +%Z` /etc/timezone 
  • This doesn't produce any output on my system. date +%Z returns CET, and file /etc/timezone contains Europe/Berlin. – Peter Mortensen Dec 28 '19 at 23:04

If you have PowerShell installed:

PS> Get-TimeZone

Id                         : Europe/Vilnius
DisplayName                : (UTC+02:00) Eastern European Standard Time
StandardName               : Eastern European Standard Time
DaylightName               : Eastern European Summer Time
BaseUtcOffset              : 02:00:00
SupportsDaylightSavingTime : True

I suspect this won't be popular answer in a Linux community, but I really like the verb-noun convention. It makes it easier for me to remember commands, and it will also work on all distributions with PowerShell installed :)

Documentation for the Get-TimeZone cmdlet

  • 1
    Does PowerShell run on Linux? If so, at least add a reference on how to install it on Ubuntu. sudo snap install powershell is suggested, but references should be added as this is not a small commitment. Starting it results in (my emphasis): "error: This revision of snap "powershell" was published using classic confinement and thus may perform arbitrary system changes outside of the security sandbox that snaps are usually confined to, which may put your system at risk. If you understand and want to proceed repeat the command including --classic." – Peter Mortensen Dec 28 '19 at 23:16

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