New Daylight Savings Time on my Linux Server FC2

Today will be a bit different post here – no philosophy, no ranting, no making fun – just technical.

OK, maybe there will be a bit of ranting – if only to mention that Mr. Bush managed once more to make a pest of himself – at least I heard it was him behind the change in the daylight savings start and end dates. But whoever it was – it is annoying.

When most everything is working just fine, there is another wrench hurtled. I had been wondering which of all the clocks in the house would be correct when I got up in the morning. Obviously not the bedroom alarm clock and the grandfather clock in the dining room.

But I was surprised that my cingular cell phone was not updated. The windows xp2 did good, but the Linux server – despite keeping it updated – showed one hour early.

So I had to go to work – and here is what I did, recorded here for all progeny.

First, we have to get the latest time zone data. If you look at you will find the latest version of the data – in my case it was tzdata2007c.tar.gz – to download into a temporary directory. After extracting this archive you end up with plenty of files in that temporary directory.

Now – I am talking from my experience with Fedora Core 2, so your mileage may vary but I’m sure the principle will be the same.

At a command prompt, cd’ed to that temporary directory, you say

zic -d ./zoneinfo northamerica

(obviously only if you are in North America, right?) which will create the directory zoneinfo containing all the files you need – and you need them in /usr/share/zoneinfo – so copy them all there, overwriting the existing files.

You might be already done, just make sure that the file /etc/localtime is a symbolic link to the correct timezone file. In my case that was /usr/share/zoneinfo/PST8PDT.

As a test, you now run

zdump -v EST5EDT | fgrep 2007   (or the appropriate zoneinfo file)

and hopefully, you see something like this:


Start of daylight savings time – March 11, end November 4.

Mission accomplished.

Edit: How long ago did I write this – must have been way before I could have said “Thanks, Obama!” because it was way before his time as prez. So, maybe “Thanks, George!”