Time zone update for older systems: SOLVED

Temlakos temlakos at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 23:21:53 UTC 2007


Herewith a procedure I just used to update time zone data directly on a 
machine still running Fedora Core 1. (Why the machine is in that state 
is beyond scope here; it has to wait until I get a madwifi-compatible 
PCI wireless card to replace the Linksys WMP-54G v3 that it has in it now.)

Step one: acquire time zone data. I went right to the source:


Look for a file titled "tzdata2007c.tar.gz" or anything later. The "c" 
version dates from 26 February 2007.

Step two: extract this archive into a temporary folder:

$ mkdir tztemp
$ tar -zxvf tzdata2007c.tar.gz

Step three: compile the time zone data. North America should hold all 
the changes you need.

$mkdir zoneinfo
#zic -d zoneinfo northamerica

Step four: Copy /everything/ in your new zoneinfo directory into 
/usr/share/zoneinfo. Use recursive copying, or dive into the various 
directories, whatever--but copy /everything/ into /usr/share/zoneinfo. 
(You never know when you might move from one time zone to another in the 

Step five: Quit the terminal, and then use the "Adjust Date and Time" 
routine for a special maneuver. You must /change your time zone/ to some 
other, arbitrary time zone, /quit/ the time-adjustment program, 
/restart/ that program, and then change your time zone /back/. That will 
copy the necessary file from /usr/share/zoneinfo into /etc/localtime.

The test: when you execute

$ /usr/sbin/zdump -v /etc/localtime | grep 2007

you should see four lines, proposing a change to DST on March 11, 2007 
and a change back to ST on November 4.

The above should solve the immediate problem--or at least, I'll know 
when I wake up on March 11 and start that machine again, and see whether 
it agrees with all the clocks that I have rolled forward the night before.

Credit goes to users "Brydon" and "jacqespi" at LinusQuestions.org, the 
first for suggesting most of the steps, and the second for providing the 
URL for the time zone files published by the US National Institute of 
Standards and Technology. Changing the time zone setting back and forth 
comes from an insight into exactly how the file /etc/localtime is set. I 
suppose I could have established a forced symbolic link, but that seemed 
"dirty," and I like things "clean."


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