I want to be able to set timezone for Ubuntu hosts, from command line (given in POSIX format). I was searching for options, and found timedatectl from systemd package but since I did not want the entire systemd, but just timedatectl, I downloaded the .deb package and extracted the timedatectl binary, but that expects GLIBC>=2.17, I have GLIBC 2.15 on my Ubuntu 12.04 !

Is there any other utility, which is simple enough to use, that I can install, to set timezone in POSIX format (e.g. EST+10)

  • I'm on 14.04 , and I use timedatectl without systemd. In 14.04 the init system is still upstart so . . . Seems like you can use it without systemd. – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy May 12 '15 at 13:32
  • 2
    @Serg most of the systemd stack can be used without systemd as init, but upgrading glibc is a different game. – muru May 12 '15 at 17:49
  • Is EST+10 = EFT? – A.B. May 12 '15 at 18:10

That would not work:

$ sudo timedatectl set-timezone EST+10
Failed to set time zone: Invalid time zone 'EST+10'

You'd have to use:

$ sudo timedatectl set-timezone EST

In Ubuntu 12.04 you can use this command:

sudo ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/EST /etc/localtime

To get EST from EST+10:

grep -Po "^[A-Z]{3,3}"


EST is GMT-5, EST+10 is GMT+5

Therefore you can use:

sudo ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Etc/GMT+5 /etc/localtime
  • I'd assumed EST+10 meant 10 hours ahead of EST (since EST itself is UTC-5, the 10 couldn't be related to what EST is) – muru May 12 '15 at 17:51
  • @muru, yes that is what I found, from an example. – vyom May 13 '15 at 3:35
  • @A.B, so even with timedatectl I cannot use the timezone strings, which are possible with tzset() ? – vyom May 13 '15 at 3:42
  • Timezone is not Offset. See my answer. – A.B. May 13 '15 at 9:58

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