SUMMARY: changing timezone w/o sys-unconfig in NIS+ env

From: Marc S. Gibian (
Date: Thu Dec 12 1996 - 11:19:48 CST

I had asked what one must do to change the timezone on a machine that has an
NIS+ timezone table entry without using sys-unconfig.

The answer is to enter the name, or path relative to /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo, of
a binary file that represents the desired timezone into the file
/etc/default/init and reboot. The NIS+ entry is used only at install time.

I also asked how one can differentiate valid timezone binary files from text
files in the zoneinfo file tree. The following command sequence, based on input
from Casper Dik, appears to work great:

rm -f /tmp/tzmagic
echo "0 long 0 tzdata" > /tmp/tzmagic
echo "0 byte >0 anything" >> /tmp/tzmagic

cd /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo
find . ! -type d -exec file -m /tmp/tzmagic {} \; | grep tzdata | \
   sed -e 's/^\.\/\(.*\):.*/\1/g' | more
rm -f /tmp/tzmagic

My thanks to:
Casper Dik <casper@holland.Sun.COM>
Ric Anderson <>
Glenn Satchell - Uniq Professional Services <> (Noel Fardy)
Richard Aures <>

Marc S. Gibian
Telos Consulting Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:

attached mail follows:

Here's one that might actually have an answer... I am writting procedures that
people unfamiliar with Unix will use. In this case, I need to handle the case of
changing the timezone on a machine without resorting to using sys-unconfig
(which would require too much input from this individual). The machine involved
is a Solaris 2.5 machine that is either a NIS+ root master or the client of a
NIS+ root master.

I searched sunsolve and my archive of the sun-managers list, which includes the
FAQ, and only found zic, but I don't see how that addresses updating the NIS+
timezone table. A bit more poking around yields the following detailed

1. How does one determine the proper name for the new timezone. My current
timezone is US/Eastern. What is the list of possible values?

2. Do I then have the user cd /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo, zic -l <chosen new tz>?

3. On the root master, do I then have the user run Solstice Adminsuite database
manager to modify the timezone table to specify <chosen new tz> for all local
hosts (there will never be machines in other timezones listed in this table)?


Marc S. Gibian
Telos Consulting Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:

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