How to set up time zone on CentOS 7

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centos_logoIn this tutorial we are going to show you how to set up the time zone on a Linux VPS running CentOS 7 as an operating system.

To set up the time and date on CentOS 7 we are going to use the timedatectl command. It is an utility which is distributed as part of the systemd system and service manager. The timedatectl command has the following features:

– Review the current date and time
– Change the date and time
– Set up the system time zone
– Enable an automatic synchronization of the system clock with a remote server
– …

First of all, connect to your CentOS VPS via SSH. It is always a good practice to update all your system software to the latest version available. You can do that using the following command:

# yum update

Once the update is completed, review the configuration of the system clock by using the timedatectl command:

# timedatectl
      Local time: Fri 2016-06-02 04:21:01 EDT
  Universal time: Fri 2016-06-02 08:21:01 UTC
        RTC time: n/a
       Time zone: America/New_York (EDT, -0400)
     NTP enabled: n/a
NTP synchronized: no
 RTC in local TZ: no
      DST active: yes
 Last DST change: DST began at
                  Sun 2016-03-13 01:59:59 EST
                  Sun 2016-03-13 03:00:00 EDT
 Next DST change: DST ends (the clock jumps one hour backwards) at
                  Sun 2016-11-06 01:59:59 EDT
                  Sun 2016-11-06 01:00:00 EST

The output of the command should be similar to the one above. As you can see, many information are provided in the output of the timedatectl command like local time, universal time, current time zone, whether NTP is enabled or not, last DST change, next DST change etc.

The next thing you might like to do is to set up the time zone. To list the time zones available you can use the following command:

# timedatectl list-timezones

The output is large and you can use grep to filter the results. For example, if you like to list the American time zones, you can use the command below:

# timedatectl list-timezones | grep America
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
...

To set up the time zone use the following command:

# timedatectl set-timezone America/Chicago

Here, you can replace America/Chicago with the name of the time zone you like to set. Use the timedatectl command again to review the changes.

To set a specific time and date you can use the following syntax:

# timedatectl set-time 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS'

For example, to set up the current date to May-06-2016 and the current time to 21:55:00, use the command below:

# timedatectl set-time '2016-06-02 21:55:00'

More information on how to use the timedatectl command you can find by using the –help flag:

# timedatectl --help
timedatectl [OPTIONS...] COMMAND ...

Query or change system time and date settings.

  -h --help                Show this help message
     --version             Show package version
     --no-pager            Do not pipe output into a pager
     --no-ask-password     Do not prompt for password
  -H --host=[USER@]HOST    Operate on remote host
  -M --machine=CONTAINER   Operate on local container
     --adjust-system-clock Adjust system clock when changing local RTC mode

Commands:
  status                   Show current time settings
  set-time TIME            Set system time
  set-timezone ZONE        Set system time zone
  list-timezones           Show known time zones
  set-local-rtc BOOL       Control whether RTC is in local time
  set-ntp BOOL             Control whether NTP is enabled

Of course you don’t have to do any of this if you use one of our Linux VPS hosting services, in which case you can simply ask our expert Linux admins to set up the time zone on your system for you. They are available 24×7 and will take care of your request immediately.

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