Checking and changing system time in Ubuntu

Most of the time a freshly installed server will automatically set its timezone to be locally orientated, this can be easily changed for user preference.

Finding your Ubuntu systems time can be done with


This will return formated data like

Local time: Fri 2020-01-31 23:41:09 AEDT
Universal time: Fri 2020-01-31 12:41:09 UTC
RTC time: Fri 2020-01-31 12:41:09
Time zone: Australia/Melbourne (AEDT, +1100)
System clock synchronized: yes
systemd-timesyncd.service active: yes
RTC in local TZ: no

You can see the time and date, the time zone and UTC time and date.

Changing this time require you to know the timezone for the new setting, you can find all the timezones by using:

timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i [zone]

Or to be more specific you can specify the parent zone:

timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i America

Changing the timezone is done by unlinking the local time setting

sudo unlink /etc/localtime

Then adding your zone where the X is:

sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/X /etc/localtime


sudo ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Chicago

Run timedatectl again to confirm the timezone and time has changed.