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Re: Debian Standard Time ?



on Sun, Dec 23, 2001 at 02:24:04PM +0530, shyamk@eth.net (shyamk@eth.net) wrote:

> How do you change system date for debian .  Debian shows me 7:06 PM ,
> when it actually is 2:25 PM . I think they start off from GMT , but ,
> why this absurdity ?  Win98 shows it right (well at least he is more
> bothered with what the BIOS says).  Could someone please help me set
> the Local time right on Debian ?

GNU/Linux systems, as did Unix before it, use GMT.  Considering a
GNU/Linux box might be accessed by users worldwid, or might tour the
planet (depending if you're nearer the mainframe or wristwatch ends of
the scale), and there are time-sensitive processes running on the system
(cron, at, mail, version control systems, etc.), it makes sense to chose
both an arbitrary standard (GMT) and to not go capriciously changing the
system clock.  Particularly if you consider things such as daylight
savings time, which varies in onset, offset, and sign by location and
custom.  Specifying GMT adheres to the KISS principle.

A "standard" system time can be set with tzconfig, to set the system's
preferred timezone.  This generally handles daylight savings time
changes well.  Users can set the $TZ environment variable to specify
their own preferred timezone.  Timezones are referenced under
/usr/share/zoneinfo.

That said, changing system date is more obscure than it could be.  In
particular, the syntax for actually *changing* the date isn't addressed
in the manpage.

That syntax would be:

    $ date --set 'hh:mm:ss [MMM D, YYYY]'

E.g.:

    $ date --set '14:51:15'

...or if you want to specify month, day, and year:

    $ date --set '14:51:15 Dec 24, 2001'

Peace.

-- 
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