Friday Jan 19, 2007

What timezone should a server run in?

Ever since the dawn of time (Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 GMT 1970) UNIX has been tracking time in GMT or possibly UTC for those with no sense of history. It is my contention, one that my server at home supports, that all servers should run with a default timezone of GMT. Yes it makes cron slightly more irritating than it could be for local users but unless all your users actually live in the same timezone how do you choose which one to use?

For any system that can be connected to globally you have to choose a timezone, why pick the one for the geographic location of the server when only a small fraction of the users will be in that location. No. Choose GMT, not GB, or GB-Eire but GMT with no springing forward or autuming back just plain simple GMT. Then run all your services in that timezone. If users want a different time zone they can set TZ for themselves.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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