tzdata question

bobgerman at bobgerman at
Wed Apr 14 17:25:43 UTC 2010


I hope this is the right place for this question.  A coworker  
suggested filing a bug report, but I'm not confident enough in what  
I'm seeing to do so.

I recently updated two servers from CentOS 5.2 to 5.4.  In the  
process, of course, the tzdata package was updated.  Shortly after  
updating, my boss began barking about a server with the wrong timezone  
showing up in our logging.  He's very uptight about that sort of  
thing.  We log everything with UTC religiously because we have servers  
all over the planet.

Further investigation revealed that on these two particular servers,  
which had been updated with CentOS 5.4 (and the tzdata package), we  
could NOT change the time by the usual means (rm /etc/localtime; ln -s  
/usr/share/zoneinfo/UTC /etc/localtime).  This works everywhere else  
in our datacenters, so we were confused.  Upon looking closer, it  
appears the UTC file installed by the latest tzdata package is not a  
UTC file.  Running strings on it reveals EST5EDT.

I don't know if this is a problem at the source, or a packaging  
problem somewhere along the stream.  I'm sending it to this email  
address because this is what I found in the README for the tzdata  
package.  Please feel free to correct me in any way that will help me  
stop my boss from barking, as this is every information technologist's  
duty in life.

Thank you for your brain cycles.

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