How to Change Timezone on Ubuntu 20.04

ubuntu

Wondering how to change Timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS?

If you’ve been working on Linux for a while, you may realize the importance of syncing up your system clock with the world clock as it is necessary for system apps to be installed and updated properly. Making sure that your time is correct will allow you to avoid many kinds of server-specific errors. 

One of the easiest ways to make sure your time is correct is by selecting the correct timezone. During your installation of Ubuntu, your system will automatically select the timezone based on your current location. However, if you are someone who travels a lot, or if the timezone isn’t set properly because of some error, then don’t worry as there are ways to manually reset it.

If you are looking for solutions on how to change the timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, this guide is meant for you. We will cover two different methods for changing the timezone. One will involve the use of the CLI, whereas the other will make use of the GUI.

Now that all the pieces are in place let’s start!

1. Changing Timezone Using the Terminal.

Changing the timezone is a simple process that can be achieved with the help of the Terminal. All you need to do is run a few commands in the Terminal. As long as you follow the steps in this guide, changing the timezone using the Terminal will be a breeze.

The first step is to view the current time along with the timezone. This can easily be done with the help of the Terminal as well.

To view the time and timezone, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Type in the following command:
$ timedatectl
Change Timezone on Ubuntu

This will display the current date and time along with details about the timezone.

If you wish to view the timezone through the /etc/localtime file, type the following:

$ ls -l /etc/localtime
Change Timezone on Ubuntu

Now that we’ve learned to view the timezone, we can focus on learning how to change the timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. 


To change the timezone with the help of the Terminal, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Type in the following command:
$ timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i <zone>

By zone, we’re referring to regions based on continents. For example, type the following to view all the timezones specific to the Asia region:

$ timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i asia

This will show you a list of timezones specific to the region, as shown in the image below.

Change Timezone on Ubuntu
  1. Now, type the following command in the Terminal:
$ sudo unlink /etc/localtime
unlink localtime

As the name suggests, this will unlink the /etc/localtime file.

  1. Next, set up a different timezone by typing the following command in the Terminal:
$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/<TimeZone> /etc/localtime

For example:

$ sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Calcutta /etc/localtime

This will set your timezone to that of Calcutta(India)

  1. Check your timezone again by typing the following command in the Terminal:
$ timedatectl 
local time

If you’ve followed the steps correctly, then congratulations! You have successfully changed your timezone. Nevertheless changing the timezone with the help of the Terminal may not be for everyone. For those of you who’d wish to go for a more hands-on approach, the GUI method is for you.

2. Changing the Timezone Using the GUI.

The CLI approach may not be the best for everyone which is why we are providing you with a GUI method. If you wish to learn how to change timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with the help of the GUI then keep on reading.

This method involves more steps, however, it’s much easier to understand as all changes that you’ll make will be visible on the fly. Like the previous method, we are going to view the current date and time first. 

To see the current timezone, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the Show Applications icon on your Ubuntu desktop.
Ubuntu desktop
  1. Next, click on the Settings icon or type ‘Settings in the search bar.
Change Timezone on Ubuntu
  1. Next, search for the Date & Time tab in the Settings window.

Alternatively, you can directly go to the date and time option by searching for ‘Date & Time’ in the search bar in step 2.

In the Date & Time section, you should see your current timezone provided that you followed the steps correctly. 

Change Timezone on Ubuntu

Now that we’ve learned to check our current timezone, we can move on to learning how to change the timezone using the GUI.


To change the timezone using the GUI follow these steps.

  1. Click on the Show Applications icon on your Ubuntu desktop.
Ubuntu desktop
  1. Click on the Settings icon or type ‘Settings in the search bar.
Change Timezone on Ubuntu
  1. Next, search for the Date & Time tab in the Settings window.

Or you can go to the date and time option by searching for ‘Date & Time‘ in the search bar in step 2.

  1. Once you are in the Date & Time section of your Settings window, disable the Automatic Date & Time option.
Change Timezone on Ubuntu
  1. Click on Time Zone. This will open a new window that will display the world map.
Change Timezone on Ubuntu
  1. Click on the regions to view their timezone and select the one most appropriate for you.

Alternatively, you can write the name of your region in the search bar to change it as well.

automatic date & time screen
  1. Select the timezone and close the window.

If you followed these steps correctly, then you should now have changed the timezone on your system.

Change Timezone on Ubuntu

As we mentioned earlier, changing the timezone to your current location is necessary if you wish to receive all necessary system updates and ensure that you don’t encounter server-specific errors in the near future.

Therefore, it is advised that you don’t tweak your date and time settings unless they are out of sync.

An error that you can encounter because of a difference in system time and world time is the “Repository is not valid yet” error. To learn more about this error and how to fix it, you can check out this article here.

We hope this guide helped you learn how to change timezone on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and wish you all the best on your journey to learn Linux.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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