Ubuntu: Change Timezones and Set Up Time Synchronization

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To check your current timezone, run:

date
Fri Aug 25 02:12:14 UTC 2017

Above we can see the timezone is UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

UTC is the default time zone. To avoid timezone confusion and the complexities of adjusting clocks for daylight saving time in accordance with regional custom, it is often recommended that all servers use UTC.

If your site or application requires a different system timezone, start by listing the available options:

timedatectl list-timezones
Africa/Abidjan
Africa/Accra
Africa/Addis_Ababa

We have included this complete list at the end of the article for your convenience.

Press SPACE to page down, b to page up, and once you’ve found your timezone, press q to exit.
To change the timezone to New York, for example:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/New_York

Now check if the timezone has been set correctly.

date
Thu Aug 24 22:18:39 EDT 2017

We can see the timezone has changed to EDT (Eastern Daylight Time), which correct for New York this time of year.

One more example. If we want to change the timezone to London, UK

sudo timedatectl set-timezone Europe/London
date
Fri Aug 25 03:27:18 BST 2017

We can see the timezone has changed to BST (British Summer Time), which correct for London this time of year.

Keeping Time In Sync

Time synchronization is enabled on Ubuntu by default using the timesyncd service.

timedatectl
                           Local time: Sat 2018-05-12 09:35:11 UTC
                  Universal time: Sat 2018-05-12 09:35:11 UTC
                        RTC time: Sat 2018-05-12 09:35:12
                       Time zone: Etc/UTC (UTC, +0000)
       System clock synchronized: yes
systemd-timesyncd.service active: yes
                 RTC in local TZ: no

Ensure that System clock synchronized and systemd-timesyncd.service active are set to yes. If not, run:

sudo timedatectl set-ntp on

Complete Timezone List

Below is a complete list of timezones available in Ubuntu. You can generate this list by running:

timedatectl list-timezones
Africa/Abidjan
Africa/Accra
Africa/Addis_Ababa
Africa/Algiers
Africa/Asmara
Africa/Bamako
Africa/Bangui
Africa/Banjul
Africa/Bissau
Africa/Blantyre
Africa/Brazzaville
Africa/Bujumbura
Africa/Cairo
Africa/Casablanca
Africa/Ceuta
Africa/Conakry
Africa/Dakar
Africa/Dar_es_Salaam
Africa/Djibouti
Africa/Douala
Africa/El_Aaiun
Africa/Freetown
Africa/Gaborone
Africa/Harare
Africa/Johannesburg
Africa/Juba
Africa/Kampala
Africa/Khartoum
Africa/Kigali
Africa/Kinshasa
Africa/Lagos
Africa/Libreville
Africa/Lome
Africa/Luanda
Africa/Lubumbashi
Africa/Lusaka
Africa/Malabo
Africa/Maputo
Africa/Maseru
Africa/Mbabane
Africa/Mogadishu
Africa/Monrovia
Africa/Nairobi
Africa/Ndjamena
Africa/Niamey
Africa/Nouakchott
Africa/Ouagadougou
Africa/Porto-Novo
Africa/Sao_Tome
Africa/Tripoli
Africa/Tunis
Africa/Windhoek
America/Adak
America/Anchorage
America/Anguilla
America/Antigua
America/Araguaina
America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires
America/Argentina/Catamarca
America/Argentina/Cordoba
America/Argentina/Jujuy
America/Argentina/La_Rioja
America/Argentina/Mendoza
America/Argentina/Rio_Gallegos
America/Argentina/Salta
America/Argentina/San_Juan
America/Argentina/San_Luis
America/Argentina/Tucuman
America/Argentina/Ushuaia
America/Aruba
America/Asuncion
America/Atikokan
America/Bahia
America/Bahia_Banderas
America/Barbados
America/Belem
America/Belize
America/Blanc-Sablon
America/Boa_Vista
America/Bogota
America/Boise
America/Cambridge_Bay
America/Campo_Grande
America/Cancun
America/Caracas
America/Cayenne
America/Cayman
America/Chicago
America/Chihuahua
America/Costa_Rica
America/Creston
America/Cuiaba
America/Curacao
America/Danmarkshavn
America/Dawson
America/Dawson_Creek
America/Denver
America/Detroit
America/Dominica
America/Edmonton
America/Eirunepe
America/El_Salvador
America/Fort_Nelson
America/Fortaleza
America/Glace_Bay
America/Godthab
America/Goose_Bay
America/Grand_Turk
America/Grenada
America/Guadeloupe
America/Guatemala
America/Guayaquil
America/Guyana
America/Halifax
America/Havana
America/Hermosillo
America/Indiana/Indianapolis
America/Indiana/Knox
America/Indiana/Marengo
America/Indiana/Petersburg
America/Indiana/Tell_City
America/Indiana/Vevay
America/Indiana/Vincennes
America/Indiana/Winamac
America/Inuvik
America/Iqaluit
America/Jamaica
America/Juneau
America/Kentucky/Louisville
America/Kentucky/Monticello
America/Kralendijk
America/La_Paz
America/Lima
America/Los_Angeles
America/Lower_Princes
America/Maceio
America/Managua
America/Manaus
America/Marigot
America/Martinique
America/Matamoros
America/Mazatlan
America/Menominee
America/Merida
America/Metlakatla
America/Mexico_City
America/Miquelon
America/Moncton
America/Monterrey
America/Montevideo
America/Montserrat
America/Nassau
America/New_York
America/Nipigon
America/Nome
America/Noronha
America/North_Dakota/Beulah
America/North_Dakota/Center
America/North_Dakota/New_Salem
America/Ojinaga
America/Panama
America/Pangnirtung
America/Paramaribo
America/Phoenix
America/Port-au-Prince
America/Port_of_Spain
America/Porto_Velho
America/Puerto_Rico
America/Rainy_River
America/Rankin_Inlet
America/Recife
America/Regina
America/Resolute
America/Rio_Branco
America/Santarem
America/Santiago
America/Santo_Domingo
America/Sao_Paulo
America/Scoresbysund
America/Sitka
America/St_Barthelemy
America/St_Johns
America/St_Kitts
America/St_Lucia
America/St_Thomas
America/St_Vincent
America/Swift_Current
America/Tegucigalpa
America/Thule
America/Thunder_Bay
America/Tijuana
America/Toronto
America/Tortola
America/Vancouver
America/Whitehorse
America/Winnipeg
America/Yakutat
America/Yellowknife
Antarctica/Casey
Antarctica/Davis
Antarctica/DumontDUrville
Antarctica/Macquarie
Antarctica/Mawson
Antarctica/McMurdo
Antarctica/Palmer
Antarctica/Rothera
Antarctica/Syowa
Antarctica/Troll
Antarctica/Vostok
Arctic/Longyearbyen
Asia/Aden
Asia/Almaty
Asia/Amman
Asia/Anadyr
Asia/Aqtau
Asia/Aqtobe
Asia/Ashgabat
Asia/Atyrau
Asia/Baghdad
Asia/Bahrain
Asia/Baku
Asia/Bangkok
Asia/Barnaul
Asia/Beirut
Asia/Bishkek
Asia/Brunei
Asia/Chita
Asia/Choibalsan
Asia/Colombo
Asia/Damascus
Asia/Dhaka
Asia/Dili
Asia/Dubai
Asia/Dushanbe
Asia/Famagusta
Asia/Gaza
Asia/Hebron
Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh
Asia/Hong_Kong
Asia/Hovd
Asia/Irkutsk
Asia/Jakarta
Asia/Jayapura
Asia/Jerusalem
Asia/Kabul
Asia/Kamchatka
Asia/Karachi
Asia/Kathmandu
Asia/Khandyga
Asia/Kolkata
Asia/Krasnoyarsk
Asia/Kuala_Lumpur
Asia/Kuching
Asia/Kuwait
Asia/Macau
Asia/Magadan
Asia/Makassar
Asia/Manila
Asia/Muscat
Asia/Nicosia
Asia/Novokuznetsk
Asia/Novosibirsk
Asia/Omsk
Asia/Oral
Asia/Phnom_Penh
Asia/Pontianak
Asia/Pyongyang
Asia/Qatar
Asia/Qyzylorda
Asia/Riyadh
Asia/Sakhalin
Asia/Samarkand
Asia/Seoul
Asia/Shanghai
Asia/Singapore
Asia/Srednekolymsk
Asia/Taipei
Asia/Tashkent
Asia/Tbilisi
Asia/Tehran
Asia/Thimphu
Asia/Tokyo
Asia/Tomsk
Asia/Ulaanbaatar
Asia/Urumqi
Asia/Ust-Nera
Asia/Vientiane
Asia/Vladivostok
Asia/Yakutsk
Asia/Yangon
Asia/Yekaterinburg
Asia/Yerevan
Atlantic/Azores
Atlantic/Bermuda
Atlantic/Canary
Atlantic/Cape_Verde
Atlantic/Faroe
Atlantic/Madeira
Atlantic/Reykjavik
Atlantic/South_Georgia
Atlantic/St_Helena
Atlantic/Stanley
Australia/Adelaide
Australia/Brisbane
Australia/Broken_Hill
Australia/Currie
Australia/Darwin
Australia/Eucla
Australia/Hobart
Australia/Lindeman
Australia/Lord_Howe
Australia/Melbourne
Australia/Perth
Australia/Sydney
Europe/Amsterdam
Europe/Andorra
Europe/Astrakhan
Europe/Athens
Europe/Belgrade
Europe/Berlin
Europe/Bratislava
Europe/Brussels
Europe/Bucharest
Europe/Budapest
Europe/Busingen
Europe/Chisinau
Europe/Copenhagen
Europe/Dublin
Europe/Gibraltar
Europe/Guernsey
Europe/Helsinki
Europe/Isle_of_Man
Europe/Istanbul
Europe/Jersey
Europe/Kaliningrad
Europe/Kiev
Europe/Kirov
Europe/Lisbon
Europe/Ljubljana
Europe/London
Europe/Luxembourg
Europe/Madrid
Europe/Malta
Europe/Mariehamn
Europe/Minsk
Europe/Monaco
Europe/Moscow
Europe/Oslo
Europe/Paris
Europe/Podgorica
Europe/Prague
Europe/Riga
Europe/Rome
Europe/Samara
Europe/San_Marino
Europe/Sarajevo
Europe/Saratov
Europe/Simferopol
Europe/Skopje
Europe/Sofia
Europe/Stockholm
Europe/Tallinn
Europe/Tirane
Europe/Ulyanovsk
Europe/Uzhgorod
Europe/Vaduz
Europe/Vatican
Europe/Vienna
Europe/Vilnius
Europe/Volgograd
Europe/Warsaw
Europe/Zagreb
Europe/Zaporozhye
Europe/Zurich
Indian/Antananarivo
Indian/Chagos
Indian/Christmas
Indian/Cocos
Indian/Comoro
Indian/Kerguelen
Indian/Mahe
Indian/Maldives
Indian/Mauritius
Indian/Mayotte
Indian/Reunion
Pacific/Apia
Pacific/Auckland
Pacific/Bougainville
Pacific/Chatham
Pacific/Chuuk
Pacific/Easter
Pacific/Efate
Pacific/Enderbury
Pacific/Fakaofo
Pacific/Fiji
Pacific/Funafuti
Pacific/Galapagos
Pacific/Gambier
Pacific/Guadalcanal
Pacific/Guam
Pacific/Honolulu
Pacific/Johnston
Europe/Jersey
Europe/Kaliningrad
Europe/Kiev
Europe/Kirov
Europe/Lisbon
Europe/Ljubljana
Europe/London
Europe/Luxembourg
Europe/Madrid
Europe/Malta
Europe/Mariehamn
Europe/Minsk
Europe/Monaco
Europe/Moscow
Europe/Oslo
Europe/Paris
Europe/Podgorica
Europe/Prague
Europe/Riga
Europe/Rome
Europe/Samara
Europe/San_Marino
Europe/Sarajevo
Europe/Saratov
Europe/Simferopol
Europe/Skopje
Europe/Sofia
Europe/Stockholm
Europe/Tallinn
Europe/Tirane
Europe/Ulyanovsk
Europe/Uzhgorod
Europe/Vaduz
Europe/Vatican
Europe/Vienna
Europe/Vilnius
Europe/Volgograd
Europe/Warsaw
Europe/Zagreb
Europe/Zaporozhye
Europe/Zurich
Indian/Antananarivo
Indian/Chagos
Indian/Christmas
Indian/Cocos
Indian/Comoro
Indian/Kerguelen
Indian/Mahe
Indian/Maldives
Indian/Mauritius
Indian/Mayotte
Indian/Reunion
Pacific/Apia
Pacific/Auckland
Pacific/Bougainville
Pacific/Chatham
Pacific/Chuuk
Pacific/Easter
Pacific/Efate
Pacific/Enderbury
Pacific/Fakaofo
Pacific/Fiji
Pacific/Funafuti
Pacific/Galapagos
Pacific/Gambier
Pacific/Guadalcanal
Pacific/Guam
Pacific/Honolulu
Pacific/Johnston
Pacific/Kiritimati
Pacific/Kosrae
Pacific/Kwajalein
Pacific/Majuro
Pacific/Marquesas
Pacific/Midway
Pacific/Nauru
Pacific/Niue
Pacific/Norfolk
Pacific/Noumea
Pacific/Pago_Pago
Pacific/Palau
Pacific/Pitcairn
Pacific/Pohnpei
Pacific/Port_Moresby
Pacific/Rarotonga
Pacific/Saipan
Pacific/Tahiti
Pacific/Tarawa
Pacific/Tongatapu
Pacific/Wake
Pacific/Wallis
UTC

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5 replies

When I executed the command: timedatectl list-timezones
On my Ubuntu 18.04 server, I only get 1 option:

[email protected]:~$ timedatectl list-timezones
UTC
[email protected]:~$

So I can only have UTC? How can I install the Europe/Oslo (CET/CEST) to my timezone options?

Found the solution. If you are missing timezone options, install the ntp: sudo apt-get install ntp
Then continue to set the timezone according to this tutorial.