How to Change the Timezone on your Ubuntu System

If you have set up your Ubuntu system to fetch Automatic Time Zone, it will sync your system through the internet so that it will have the time zone of your closest location. If you want to change the time zone according to your own preference, Ubuntu provides you with two ways to do so; through the command line and the graphical user interface.

In this article, we will explain how to change the current time zone of a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

How to Check the Current Time Zone

Through the Command Line

Open your Terminal application through Ubuntu Dash or through the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Enter the following command in order to view information about your system’s time and time zone:

$ timedatectl

Get Current Time Zone on the Ubuntu Shell

You can also view this information by using the following command:

$ ls -l /etc/localtime

Get link target of /etc/localtime symlink

Through the UI

In order to view information about the current time zone through the UI, you need to access the Date & Time settings in the Settings utility. You can do so through the system Dash as follows:

Search for date and time

Click on the Date & Time search result to open the following Settings view:

Ubuntu Date & Time Application

How to Change the Time Zone

Through the Command Line

Open the Terminal and enter the following command in order to list all the timezones of the specified zone:


$ timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i [zone]


We will use this command to list all the time zones of Europe:

$ timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i europe

Get a list of available time zones

In this example, we will be setting the time zone to Europe/Istanbul. First, let us unlink the system time with local time through the following command:

$ sudo unlink /etc/localtime

The next step is to use the following command to set a new time zone:


sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/[Zone/TimeZone] /etc/localtime


sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Istanbul /etc/localtime

You can then verify the changed settings through one of the following commands:

Verify timezone change

$ timedatectl


$ ls -l /etc/localtime

Through the UI

In the Date & Time settings in the Ubuntu Settings utility, switch off the Automatic Time zone button if it is turned on:

Date & Time settings in the Ubuntu Settings utility

Then click the Date & Time option in order to change the time zone.

Date & Time option

Through this view, you can either search for a time zone through the search bar or manually move to your time zone through the mouse. As soon as you do that, the time zone of your system will be changed.

As you have seen, it is very simple to change the Time Zone of your Ubuntu system both through the UI and the command line. You just need to follow a simple procedure and use a few commands in order to perform this task.