Find Your Linux System’s Timezone

This article, telling you how to find your system’s timezone, is more aimed at server users than desktop users. Desktop users probably know this already.

This command is most useful when you’re dealing with servers across the globe. You may want to schedule things (for one small example) to run at local times and knowing the local time will help with that. Knowing the timezone is pretty important, and the timezone itself is important.

The timezone dictates things like when your clocks change to adjust for Daylight Savings Time. While that may not seem like a big deal, having the proper date and time is a big deal. So, this article will tell you a couple of quick and easy ways to find your Linux system’s timezone.

Find Your Linux System’s Timezone:

This is going to need an open terminal. You probably could have guessed that. You can open a terminal with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, you can try one of the following commands (I prefer the first):

The second option is easier to remember, but you don’t get the full name of your timezone. It may require a bit more thinking, just to be sure. Try:

And the timezone will be at the end of that string of characters. If you’re still confused, you can type the abbreviation into your favorite search engine and they’ll get you sorted out.

Thee is a third way, but keeping that way crammed into memory isn’t as easy as the date command. It’s just:

Of course, you can just use ​’timedatectl’ without grep. That’s a viable option, it just spits out more information. So, if you were to remember just one of the commands, the third one is probably the best.

Those are three ways I know of to find the timezone within the Linux terminal. It may show up in the GUI. If you want to add it to your system’s time display, you add %Z to the string (ISO 8601 standardizes this) and it’d look something like this when you changed it and the change took place:

Using the #Z to show the timezone in the system clock.
Tada! That’d be how you’d do that!

So, you can display the timezone in the GUI if you really needed to. But, this article is mainly for those who admin servers across the globe and need to know the timezone the system is in.

Closure:

Woohoo! Another article done and ready to publish. However, I’m going to leave this one unscheduled (scheduled way in the future) so that I have an ’emergency’ article, an article that can be used when Mother Nature has taken out my ‘net or motivation just isn’t there.

Either way, this article covered how to find your timezone in Linux. It’s information you may want, and information you may want to check before rolling out changes. The data is in the system, we just need to pry it out.

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Show Date And Time In The Terminal

Today’s article is a nice and easy one, where I show you how to show the date and time in the terminal. It seems like a nice and easy article to write when I’m not feeling well. I’ll try to not let my ailments hamper the article in any way. 

Normally, I’d have a few articles written ahead of time. This time, I only have one article written ahead of time and it’s my ’emergency’ article. I’m not doing that poorly, so I’ll write this one. I’m pretty dedicated to doing an article every other day.

Anyhow, as I said, this article will show you how to get the date and time from the terminal. You can actually get the time just from running uptime, but there’s more to it. Linux actually has a ‘date’ command, which is what we’ll be using for this exercise. The date command’s man page describes it like:

date – print or set the system date and time

We will only be using the date command to print the time in the terminal. There are easier ways to set and maintain the time. With NTP being common, you really shouldn’t have to worry much about keeping the time accurate enough on your system.

Why would you want to know the date and time? Not everyone uses a desktop environment with a GUI and a clock. You may need to know the system time when you’re working on it remotely. There are all sorts of reasons. In fact, I once wrote an entire article about finding your timezone in Linux.

Show Date And Time In The Terminal:

This article requires an open terminal, just like many other articles on this site. Just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Now, this is nice and obvious… With your terminal open, just type in:

You’ll get an output similar to this one:

Tada! You’re done!

Just kidding! There’s more to it. If you want to show just the time, you can just use this command:

If you want to show the date and have it formatted like we do in the US, you can use this command:

Want to know the date 3 weeks ago? (You can also use days for this command)? Well then, you can try this command:

How about if you want to know how many days into the year you are? Well, you can do that with:

Those are about the most interesting ways to show the date and time in the terminal, at least the most interesting ways that I can think of at this moment in time. If you use the date command for anything else, let us know by leaving a comment!

Closure:

There you have it, yet another article! This one shows you how to show the date and time in the terminal, just in case you want to do that. It’s a nice and easy exercise and, as far as tools go, is one that’s at least easy to remember. It’s probably not the most important tool you can have in your toolbox, but at least it’s in there. (Please be gentle pointing out any errors, part of this article was written with the help of a heating pad.)

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Automatically Logout Of Your Shell

For security reasons, you’ll possibly automatically logout of your user sessions. If you didn’t know, you can actually do that with your shell, in the terminal. There’s already a variable (TMOUT) just for this reason, should you want to add it as a layer of security.

Basically, for today, we’re going to set it up so that it automatically logs inactive users out of their shell session. It doesn’t log you out of your complete user session, it just logs you out of your shell – after a set period of activity. It even closes the open terminal windows when it does so.

So, depending on the interval you use, you can set it up to log you out of your shell instances after just a few minutes of inactivity. If you have nosy neighbors, like people physically near your computer, it can be a nice way to make sure things are all locked before you head off to the bathroom.

It’s useful for that sort of stuff. It’s just an added layer of security. I think that it is a pretty handy feature. I’ll explain how to enable it on a user-by-user basis and how to make it system-wide, giving you a choice. It’s actually pretty easy, so read on!

Automatically Logout Of Your Shell:

Like most good things in the Linux world, you’ll need an open terminal to take advantage of this article. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Both of these ways are pretty simple, in each case you add some text (using nano) to a profile file. The text in either case is the same. If you want to do it for just one user, the user you’re currently using, then run the following:

Add the following:

So, if you wanted it to be 10 minutes of inactivity before being logged out, you’d use TMOUT=600, because 600 seconds is 10 minutes. As you’re using nano, you can press CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER to save the file.

You’ll then force the profile to load, the command taking effect immediately, with this:

If you want to do it with the full system, the online guides will tell you to edit /etc/profile and that it’ll work if you do. My experiences are different and this is tested across multiple systems. You’ll be editing /etc/bash.bashrc, just like you did above but with sudo. (Using /etc/profile has not worked for me.)

Again, you add ‘TMOUT=600″ or however many seconds you want to wait. Personally? I scrolled to the bottom of the file, made a new line, and added the text that way. You could be all professional and add a comment indicating when and why you were there. I did nothing of the sort.

Unlike the first command, you’ll not be able to reload the second method (system-wide configuration) with ‘source ~/…’. As near as I can tell, you’ll have to restart the system for the changes to take place. If someone has a way to load it without rebooting, I’ll update the article. Please leave a comment if you do know of a way!

Closure:

There you have it, another article! This one tells you how to automatically logout from your shell. I’m not sure if it works for all shells, so feel free to test and see what sort of results you get. I’m pretty sure the 2nd option could be reloaded without rebooting, but I can’t think of which command. Which service would need restarting? I dunno?

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Time A Command To See How Long It Takes To Run

Have you ever wanted to time a command? Well, you can! Linux includes the ability to time a command, so that you can know how long it took for a command to be processed. 

Today, we’ll be using the ‘time‘ command. Time is simply (and accurately) described in the man page as:

time – run programs and summarize system resource usage

The time command is a pretty nifty tool and the output will tell you the real time that it took, as well as the system time, to run the command you’re timing. There’s really not a whole lot more to say about the time command. It does what it says on the tin. It times stuff!

This is going to just be a quick article and should be easy to follow. There’s not a whole lot to explain and it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re looking to get your feet wet playing in the terminal, this is probably a good article to start with.

Time A Command:

Just like oh so many of these articles, you’ll need an open terminal. So, let’s crack open your default terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T on your keyboard.

Now, let’s take the simple command to list everything in a directory:

To find out how long it took to list all the files and folders in a directory, you could use:

The output of that command tells you how long it took to list all the items in a directory beneath the results. It should not have taken long. If you want to try something bigger, something that lasts longer, you can take a look at this command:

That should take a just a little more time to run in your terminal, but how much longer? Well, you can can actually see how long it really took by adding ‘time’ in front of it. Obviously, it’d look something like this:

The output at the end is something like this:

real 0m0.566s
user 0m0.423s
sys 0m0.143s

The ‘real‘ is how much time it really took. The ‘user‘ is how much time it took for the user. The ‘sys‘ is how much time it took for the system – the amount of time that the kernel actually devoted to running that command.

You can time all sorts of stuff. Like, here’s an example output from me updating my system with time sudo apt update (not all of us have big, fat pipes from the ISP):

When I purged Krita (from a previous article), the output from time sudo apt purge krita looks like:

Have fun with it, if you want. Find out how long those tasks actually are, so that you can get a reasonable estimate of where you’re spending your time in the terminal. You can even use it like time nano <file_name> and see how long it took you to edit a file in the terminal!

Like I said, have fun with it. You might find some of those tasks that seem to go slow really don’t take all that much time. Maybe you’ll find out that the reverse is true? One thing is pretty certain, however. If you didn’t have it before, you now have ‘time’ as a new tool in your Linux toolbox.

Closure:

Well, there’s another article. This one has taught you how to time a command in the Linux terminal. It’s a little tool, probably not all that useful, but it’s one that’s there. If you happen to use the time command on a regular basis, please leave a comment letting us know why. I’m sure there’s some real-world uses, but other than looking for bottlenecks or real-time optimizations I can’t really think of any.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Find Your Timezone In The Terminal

This article is about your system time, specifically how to find your timezone in the terminal. It shouldn’t be a very long article and it should be relatively easy and suitable for new Linux users.

Why would you want to find your timezone in the terminal? Well, for starters you may not have the proper time set and need to verify it. You may also be working with servers scattered across the globe and knowing the timezone may be important.

As you may need things synchronized, knowing the timezone could be important. Seeing as you’re not always able to access a GUI desktop, you might want to find your timezone in the terminal. So, to those end, this article will share a few ways to do so.

Find Your Timezone In The Terminal:

Obviously, this article requires an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. If you’re operating remotely, you probably already have a terminal open.

Anyhow, there are multiple ways to do this. For starters, you can just use the date command. It looks like this:

The output will have your timezone in it. For example, the output of that command on one of my boxes looks like:

As you can see, the timezone is at the end. In my case, it’s “EDT” and that’s probably the easiest way to get the timezone information.

You can also use ‘timedatectl’ which looks like this:

That’ll give you the timezone and even tell you the adjustment from GMT. If you want, you can use grep with it.

That will, of course, just output the line containing your timezone. Also, I have no idea why it’s two words. I know it as one word, but here we are and I suppose it’s just not that important.

I have one more way to find your timezone in the terminal and it’ll output your timezone in text. It’s just:

The output from that would look a little like this:

So, there are a few ways. There are surely other ways, so feel free to leave a comment sharing them.

Closure:

And there you have it, another article. This one shares how to find your timezone in the terminal. It’s a relatively easy article to follow and not really a tool I expect most users to need. Still, it’s there if you need it and this article stands as a reference to it.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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