Changing the Time Zone on Amazon Linux

TIP: If you are using a Linux server with, Amazon Linux, RDS database and PHP, you also need to change the timezone settings on them!

Amazon Linux instances are set to the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) time zone by default, but you may wish to change the time on an instance to the local time or to another time zone in your network.

***These procedures are intended for use with Amazon Linux. For more information about other distributions, see their specific documentation.

To change the time zone on an instance:

  1. Identify the time zone to use on the instance. The /usr/share/zoneinfo directory contains a hierarchy of time zone data files. Browse the directory structure at that location to find a file for your time zone.
[ec2-user ~]$ ls /usr/share/zoneinfo
Africa      Chile    GB         Indian       Mideast   posixrules  US
America     CST6CDT  GB-Eire    Iran         MST       PRC         UTC
Antarctica  Cuba     GMT  MST7MDT   PST8PDT     WET
Arctic      EET      GMT0       Israel       Navajo    right       W-SU

Some of the entries at this location are directories (such as America), and these directories contain time zone files for specific cities. Find your city (or a city in your time zone) to use for the instance. In this example, you can use the time zone file for Los Angeles, /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Los_Angeles.

Update the /etc/sysconfig/clock file with the new time zone.

  1. Open the /etc/sysconfig/clock file with your favorite text editor (such as vim or nano). You need to use sudo with your editor command because /etc/sysconfig/clock is owned by root.
  2. Locate the ZONE entry, and change it to the time zone file (omitting the /usr/share/zoneinfo section of the path). For example, to change to the Los Angeles time zone, change the ZONE entry to the following:
  1. Note: Do not change the UTC=true entry to another value. This entry is for the hardware clock, and does not need to be adjusted when you're setting a different time zone on your instance.
  2. Save the file and exit the text editor.

Create a symbolic link between /etc/localtime and your time zone file so that the instance finds the time zone file when it references local time information.

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Los_Angeles /etc/localtime

Reboot the system to pick up the new time zone information in all services and applications.

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo reboot

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