Create Your Own Time Zone in Linux

I don’t know why do you need to create your own time zone in Linux? But I had to customized TZ file and create my own time zone because of what does our application needs? . First lets see that what is TZ and TZ Database.

Time Zone Database (TZ Database)

The Time Zone Database (often called tz or zoneinfo) contains code and data that represent the history of local time for many representative locations around the globe. It is updated periodically to reflect changes made by political bodies to time zone boundaries, UTC offsets, and daylight-saving rules. Its management procedure is documented in BCP 175: Procedures for Maintaining the Time Zone Database.

https://www.iana.org/time-zones

You can download the latest time zone database from this link: https://www.iana.org/time-zones

Zone File, UTC Offset, Rule

The files are text files and contains the below information about a time zone:

  • Definition of a time zone
  • Daylight saving time (DST) rules
  • Names of time zones

Example

# Rule  NAME    FROM    TO      TYPE    IN      ON      AT      SAVE    LETTER/S
Rule    US      1918    1919    -       Mar     lastSun 2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      1918    1919    -       Oct     lastSun 2:00    0       S
Rule    US      1942    only    -       Feb     9       2:00    1:00    W # War
Rule    US      1945    only    -       Aug     14      23:00u  1:00    P # Peace
Rule    US      1945    only    -       Sep     30      2:00    0       S
Rule    US      1967    2006    -       Oct     lastSun 2:00    0       S
Rule    US      1967    1973    -       Apr     lastSun 2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      1974    only    -       Jan     6       2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      1975    only    -       Feb     23      2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      1976    1986    -       Apr     lastSun 2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      1987    2006    -       Apr     Sun>=1  2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      2007    max     -       Mar     Sun>=8  2:00    1:00    D
Rule    US      2007    max     -       Nov     Sun>=1  2:00    0       S
....
# Rule  NAME    FROM    TO      TYPE    IN      ON      AT      SAVE    LETTER
Rule    NYC     1920    only    -       Mar     lastSun 2:00    1:00    D
Rule    NYC     1920    only    -       Oct     lastSun 2:00    0       S
Rule    NYC     1921    1966    -       Apr     lastSun 2:00    1:00    D
Rule    NYC     1921    1954    -       Sep     lastSun 2:00    0       S
Rule    NYC     1955    1966    -       Oct     lastSun 2:00    0       S
# Zone  NAME            GMTOFF  RULES   FORMAT  [UNTIL]
Zone America/New_York   -4:56:02 -      LMT     1883 November 18, 12:03:58
                        -5:00   US      E%sT    1920
                        -5:00   NYC     E%sT    1942
                        -5:00   US      E%sT    1946
                        -5:00   NYC     E%sT    1967
                        -5:00   US      E%sT

Make The Time Zone

Prepare the zone file and make any change that you want, then compile it with the below command:

zic {The zone file path}

If there is no problem, then you’ll have your own time zone. The file will be created according to the zone file name but time zone name will be same as “Zone Name”.

Possible Error

The below error may be occurred during compiling time zone file:

“TZ”, line 62: warning: time zone abbreviation differs from POSIX standard (+800) (rule from “TZ”, line 1)

This is related to rules, ZIC version and TZ Database version. You must use newer ZIC version to resolve that.

References

https://www.iana.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tz_database

Davoud Teimouri

Davoud Teimouri is as a professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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