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OpenBSD Set / Configure Time Zone

Q. How do I configure or change timezone under OpenBSD operating system?

A. All of the time zones OpenBSD supports are in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory tree. You need to create symlink to /etc/localtime file.

=> /usr/share/zoneinfo – time zone information directory
=> /etc/localtime – local time zone file
=> /usr/share/zoneinfo/posixrules – used with POSIX-style TZ’s (generally not required)
=> /usr/share/zoneinfo/GMT – for UTC leap seconds

Here is my current timezone – set to Asia / Calcutta (GMT +5:30):
$ ls -l /etc/localtime
Sample output:

lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  33 Sep 19  2007 /etc/localtime -> /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Calcutta

How do I change time zone?

You’ll see several subdirectories for various countries or continents, each containing either city names or local time zones.
# ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/
Sample output:

Africa     Atlantic   Canada     EST5EDT    Factory    GMT-0      Iceland    Japan      MST7MDT    Navajo     Portugal   UCT        WET        zone.tab
America    Australia  Chile      Egypt      GB         GMT0       Indian     Kwajalein  Mexico     PRC        ROC        US         Zulu
Antarctica Brazil     Cuba       Eire       GB-Eire    Greenwich  Iran       Libya      Mideast    PST8PDT    ROK        UTC        posix
Arctic     CET        EET        Etc        GMT        HST        Israel     MET        NZ         Pacific    Singapore  Universal  posixrules
Asia       CST6CDT    EST        Europe     GMT+0      Hongkong   Jamaica    MST        NZ-CHAT    Poland     Turkey     W-SU       right

Find the file for the time zone you like or for a city whose time zone you share. To set the time zone, just create a new symbolic link to the file from /etc/localtime.
# ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/New_York /etc/localtime

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • hackbsd November 17, 2008, 1:43 am

    Thanks for the info, it useful for me.It is very clean and easy to understand.

  • dan March 23, 2009, 9:45 pm

    this is absolutely wrong.
    man zic, and man localtime

  • The Doctor June 14, 2009, 9:23 am

    @ Dan:
    Really? Someone should contact this site to have this page updated then:

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