How To Set or Change Timezone on Debian 9


Sometimes using the correct timezone is important for many systems for related tasks and processes.

For example, the cron daemon uses the system’s timezone for executing cron jobs and the timestamps in the log files are based on the same system’s timezone.  You set the timezone during the installation, but it can be easily changed at a later time. So this is how to set or change the timezone on Debian 9.

If you need to change the timezone, you need to be logged in as "root".

Check your current timezone, via a terminal:


Press Enter,


Local time: Tue 2019-03-12 21:28:33 -03
Universal time: Wed 2019-03-13 00:28:33 UTC
RTC time: Wed 2019-03-13 00:28:33
Time zone: America/Sao_Paulo (-03, -0300)
Network time on: yes
NTP synchronized: yes
RTC in local TZ: no


Changing Timezone in Debian:
Before changing the timezone, you’ll need to find out the long name for the timezone you want to use. The timezone naming convention usually uses a “Region/City” format.

To list all available time zones, you can either list the files in the directory:

timedatectl list-timezone

Press Enter,

1 - 23 will be visible.

Once you identify which time zone is accurate to your location.

Run the following command:

sudo timedatectl set-timezone your_time_zone

Press Enter,

To change the system’s timezone:

(Where?), perhaps Europe/Stockholm? It would look like this.

sudo timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Stockholm

Press Enter, done.

Always verify:


Press Enter, if it is correct, great !

NOTE: I only work with Debian 8,9 and soon 10, when it is released as Stable. If you are running an older version of Debian 8 and the timedatectl command is not present on your system you can change the timezone by symlinking. But, you will not find the answer here.

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