A time zone is identified based on the geographic region with the same standard time and date. Typically, the date, time, and time zone are set during the installation of an operational system. Users need to change the time zone for performing a few tasks in Linux platforms. Some jobs in Linux use time zone like cron jobs use it for execution or in logs timestamps. In this tutorial, we will go through different ways of changing the date, time, and time zone in Linux Mint 20  and Ubuntu 20.04.

To have the correct date and time in any operating system is very important since many operations depend on the date and time feature. To set a date, time in Linux Mint, open up the terminal either using the Ctrl+Shift+T shortcut or access it via ApplicationsTerminal.

Change date in Linux from the command line

In Linux platforms, the server and the clock of the system need to be exactly on time. You need to have sudo rights privilege to make such changes in your computer system. To proceed, type the following command in the terminal window:

$ date +%Y%m%d -s "YYYYMMDD"

Set Date in Ubuntu

The output will appear as shown in the figure below and the date will be set based on the input value.

Date changed in Linux Mint

Check the updated date and time from command line

To check the updated time from the command line, simply type

$ date

Check the current date on the command line

The output will display the updated time field.

Date on Linux cmd

timedatectl is a utility of Linux that allows users to view the system’s time and date through the terminal. To view the current time, date and time zone, use:

$ timedatectl

timedatectl command

Change time in Linux from the command line

Users can also change the time from the command line by using

$ date +%T -s "hh:mm:ss"

Set new date and time in Ubuntu

Here we have set the time to 15:14:00 and once we press <enter> the output will appear as shown below. The time will be updated accordingly.

Time changed successfully

Change date and time with one command on Ubuntu

Linux allows users to update date and time through one single command as well. To update date and time through the one common command, type the following:

$ date -s "DD MM YYYY hh:mm:ss"

Use a single command to change date and time

Where,

11: Hour (hh)
14: Minute (mm)
00: Second (ss)

As soon as you hit the <enter> key, the output will appear indicating that the date and time are updated accordingly.

Date and time changed

Set hardware clock in Linux

A hardware clock runs within the hardware of your computer system even if there is no power supply still it continues to function. To check out the hardware clock use the following command:

$ hwclock --show

Show hardware clock time

The output will appear as shown in the figure below, displaying the time of the hardware clock.

Date and time as stored in hardware clock of the system

Now let’s check out the method that is used to set the hardware clock to the local time in a Linux system. For that, you will need to type:

$ hwclock --set --date="YYYY-MM-DD 16:45:05" --localtime

Set date and time in hardware clock

The hardware clock will be adjusted according to the local time.

Change the time zone through the command line

In order to change the time zone. First, let’s view the time zone of the system using timedatectl.

$ timedatectl

timedatectl command

The system time zone in a Linux Mint system is configured by symlinking which is a /etc/localtime file. It is further configured to the binary time zone identifier that exists in the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory.

Another way by which, users can check the available time zone by using:

$ ls -l /etc/localtime

Get time zone

The output will look like this:

Zone info

List of available time zones

To change the time zone, at first you need to find out and know the name of that time zone which you plan to use. Typically, the time zone in any system follows the “Region/City” format. Let’s view all available options.long name of the time zone you want to use:

$ timedatectl list-timezones

List time zones

The output will show a list similar to the one displayed below:

List of timezones

Now, you can use any of the option from the list to update the time zone. Use the following command:

$ sudo timedatectl set-timezone <your_time_zone>

Set time zone in Ubuntu

Here, in the example the time zone used by us is America/New_York. You can adjust the time zone as per your requirements following the same method.

Change the date, time, and time zone through GUI

To change the date, time and time zone through the UI method in Linux Mint 20, simply access the date and time shortcut on the bottom right of the screen and click on it. A calendar menu will open up, click on the Date and Time Settings option available at the bottom of the calendar.

Date and Time settings

You will see the Manually set date and Time option. Click on the date option against the Manually set date and time field.

A Select a Date modal will appear, you need to select a date then press the OK button to confirm the selection.

Select a date

To change the time, select the Time option against the Manually set date and time in the Date & Time menu.

Set time zone using GUI

A modal will appear as shown in the figure below, update the time then select OK to reflect changes.

Set time using GUI

To update the time zone, click on Region in date and time modal.

Choose Region

You will see a list of Regions available, select the region first. It will show possible cities for that selected region. You need to select a city to proceed, once done select OK to make changes.

Conclusion

The methods discussed in this tutorial, tell the ways to change the date, time, and time zone in Linux Mint 20. Users can change them either through the command line or through the UI based on their preference. Both methods are easy to implement and explained in detail in this tutorial with examples.

How to Change Date, Time, and Time Zone in Linux Mint 20
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Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn