How to Set or Change Timezone in Ubuntu Linux [Beginner's Tip]

Curious on how to change timezone on Ubuntu? Let us tell you the two easiest methods here.
Warp Terminal

When you install Ubuntu, it asks you to set a timezone. If you chose a wrong timezone or if you have moved to some other part of the world, you can easily change it later.

So, how can you change the timezone on Ubuntu?

Here's How to change Timezone on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

There are two ways to change the timezone on Ubuntu. You can use the graphical settings or use the timedatectl command in the terminal.

You may also change the /etc/timezone file directly, but I won’t advise that, unless you want to experiment (and know what you are doing).

I’ll show you both graphical and terminal methods in this tutorial:

  • Change timezone on Ubuntu via GUI (suitable for desktop users)
  • Change timezone on Ubuntu via command line (works for both desktop and servers)

Change Ubuntu timezone via GUI

Press the super key (Windows key) and in the Activities Overview, search for Settings:

Select Settings from Ubuntu Activities Overview
Open Settings

Scroll down a little and look for “Date and Time” in the left sidebar. Here, you should turn off the Automatic Time Zone option (if it is enabled) and then click on the Time Zone:

On the “Date and Time” tab on Ubuntu Settings, turn off the “Automatic Timezone” button. Now, click on the Timezone tab
Turn Off Automatic Time Zone

When you click the Time Zone, it will open an interactive map, and you can click on the geographical location of your choice or type the city name. Once you have selected the correct timezone, close the window.

Select a timezone by clicking on the interactive map.
Select Timezone from Map
Occasionally, your timezone gets messed up with a dual-boot system. You need to toggle off/on the automatic time zone, and that should fix the time.

You don’t have to do anything apart from closing this map after selecting the new timezone. No need to logout or shutdown Ubuntu.

The timezone is changed to the newly set zone.
New Timezone Set

Change Ubuntu timezone via terminal

Ubuntu or any other distributions using systemd can use the timedatectl command to set timezone in Linux terminal.

You can check the current date and timezone setting using timedatectl command:

Run the “timedatectl” command without any option to display your timezone details.
Run “timedatectl”

As you can see, in the output above, my system uses Asia/Kolkata. It also tells me that it is 5:30 hours ahead of GMT.

To set a timezone on Linux, you need to know the exact timezone. You must use the correct format of the timezone (which is Continent/City).

To get the timezone list, use the list-timezones option of timedatectl command:

timedatectl list-timezones

It will show you a list of the available time zones.

Run “timedatectl” command with “list-timezones” option to get a list of timezones available.
List Timezones in terminal

You can use the up and down arrow or PgUp and PgDown keys to move between the pages.

You may also use the grep command to search for your timezone. For example, if you are looking for time zones in Europe, you may use:

timedatectl list-timezones | grep -i europe
Get Timezones of a particular area by using the grep command along with timedatectl.
Filter Timezones using Grep Command

Let’s say you want to set the timezone to Paris. The timezone value to be used here is Europe/Paris:

timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Paris

It won’t show any success message, but the timezone is changed instantly. You don’t need to restart or log out.

You don’t need to become a root user and use sudo with the command, your account still needs to have admin rights to change the timezone.

You can verify the changed time and timezone by using the date command:

Run the “date” command to check the time and timezone.
Running Date Command

Wrapping Up

I hope this quick tutorial helped you to change timezone on Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

Oh, wait! Do you want to add multiple time zones on Ubuntu? You might want to check our article on that:

How to Add Multiple Time Zones in Ubuntu
This quick tutorial shows the steps for adding additional clocks for multiple time zones in Ubuntu and other distributions using GNOME desktop environment. If you have family members or colleagues in another country or if you live in a country with multiple time zones, keeping a track of the time

You can also explore similar Ubuntu tips on our site:

Ubuntu Tips, Tweaks and Tutorials Collection
Love Ubuntu? We do, too. And we cover it extensively. Here, you’ll find lots of tips, tweaks and tutorials on Ubuntu, the most popular distro out there.

💬 Do you have any suggestions on what other types of Ubuntu tips would you like us to cover?

About the author
Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash

Created It's FOSS 11 years ago to share my Linux adventures. Have a Master's degree in Engineering and years of IT industry experience. Huge fan of Agatha Christie detective mysteries 🕵️‍♂️


Making You a Better Linux User


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.