TZ - Time zone environment variable
The TZ environment variable tells functions such as the ctime(3) family
and programs like date what the time zone and daylight saving rule is.
The value of TZ has the POSIX standardized form shown in the synopsis.
This form specifies the zone names, offsets from GMT, and daylight saving
changeover times for at least the current year.
zone A three or more letter name for the time zone in normal (winter)
A signed time telling the offset of the time zone westwards from
Greenwich. The time has the form hh[:mm[:ss]] with a one or two
digit hour, and optional two digit minutes and seconds.
dst The name of the time zone when daylight saving is in effect. It may
be followed by an offset telling how big the clock correction is
other than the default of 1 hour.
Specifies the start and end of the daylight saving period. The
start and end fields indicate on what day the changeover occurs.
They must be in one of the following formats:
Jn The Julian day n (1 <= n <= 365) ignoring leap days, i.e. there
is no February 29.
n The zero-based Julian day (0 <= n <= 365). Leap days are not
This indicates month m, the n-th occurrence of day d (1 <= m <=
12, 1 <= n <= 5, 0 <= d <= 6, 0=Sunday). The 5-th occurrence
means the last occurrence of that day in a month. So M4.1.0 is
the first Sunday in April, M9.5.0 is the last Sunday in
The time field indicates the time the changeover occurs on the given
Greenwich Mean Time:
Central European Time, 1 hour east from Greenwich, daylight saving starts
on the last Sunday in March at 2 AM and ends on the last Sunday in
October at 3 AM:
British time, daylight saving starts and ends at the same moment as CET,
but in an earlier time zone:
The eastern european time zones also have the changeovers at the same
absolute time as British time and CET.
U.S. Eastern Standard Time, 5 hours west from Greenwich, daylight saving
starts on the second Sunday in March at 2 AM and ends on the first Sunday
in November at 2 AM:
It shouldn't surprise you that daylight saving in New Zealand is observed
in the months opposite from the previous examples. It starts on the
first Sunday in October at 2 AM and ends on the third Sunday in March at
You may have noticed that many fields are optional. Do not omit them,
because the defaults are bogus. If you need daylight saving then fully
specify the changeovers.
West is negative, east is positive, ask any sailor.
Next year's time zone and daylight saving time are determined by
Kees J. Bot (email@example.com)