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This is really basic stuff but if you aren’t running a GUI then it isn’t as easy as opening up a Time & Date Settings control panel so this is the way to do it.
This page first appeared on the original Debian Wiki which was created over a decade ago.
- Originally Published: 6 March 2007
Setting the timezone
You first want to check what the current date and time is on your machine. Do this by running the following in a Linux shell:
This should return something like this:
Tue Mar 6 20:47:59 SAST 2007
You can also check the timezone you’re currently using by running:
$ cat /etc/timezone
Which would return something like this:
Now if none of this is correct you want to setup your timezone by running this command:
On Debian Lenny (5.0) you need to run this command:
$ dpkg-reconfigure tzdata
Select your continent and type in your city and hit enter. This should return the following:
Your default time zone is set to 'Africa/Johannesburg'. Local time is now: Tue Mar 6 20:50:15 SAST 2007. Universal Time is now: Tue Mar 6 18:50:15 UTC 2007.
Synchronise your clock with a NTP server
NTP, the Network Time Protocol, is used to keep computer clocks accurate over the Internet.
ntpdate is a simple NTP client which allows a system’s clock to be set to match the time obtained by communicating with one or more servers.
Install the ntp client
$ apt-get update $ apt-get install ntpdate
ntpdate will automatically run when booting your system.