How to save yourself $400
By avalon on Feb 18, 2007
NOTE: This is being written with a perspective of NOT being a Sun employee...
With the upcoming change in timezones in America, people are all of a sudden being forced to think about updating their timezone definitions. For Solaris, if you're running anything older than Solaris 8 then it would appear you're running a vintage operating system. The timezone update for these operating systems (if you don't have a support contract) is $400/server.
Of course one answer here is to just upgrade your operating system to Solaris 10, but is there any real need for this?
In Australia where we've had quite a few timezone changes in the last 10 to 15 years, we're much more accustomed to knowing what to do - for Unix.
The first important thing to understand is that nearly all Unix platforms use the same text format for describing time zone data.
The next thing you need to know is that there is a program, called zic (zone information compiler), that you use to generate the timezone text descriptions into the binary data files.
So how do you save yourself $400? By doing this:
at your vintage Solaris shell prompt.
On Solaris, the timezone data files all live in /usr/share/lib/zoneinfo. Both the text rules and binary data files are here. The rules for Australia (for example) are found in a file called "australasia" and the binary data for each zone found in the directory "Australia".