How do I get the ls command to show its dates and times in UTC, instead of localtime?

I don't want to permanently change the local time for my system to do this.

2 Answers 2


One can set the time zone environment variable for each invocation of ls like so:

TZ=utc ls -l

or set it once with:

export TZ=utc

in a shell to have it always on, for the remaining duration of the shell session.

  • 11
    Worth noting that ls -l --full-time will display the full time in ISO format with the offset from UTC.
    – oranja
    May 30, 2017 at 8:40

To force UTC, set $TZ to UTC:

TZ="UTC" ls <options>

This will set $TZ to UTC just for the duration of this command.

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