TZ database content

Alan Perry esprit at
Fri Feb 9 19:58:29 UTC 2001

I used to be the guy who did the zoneinfo updates for Solaris.  We used
the TZ database, but, for some reason never explained to me, we had our
own version of the TZ code in libc.  I ported the command line
utilities, but didn't really get it right.  I left Sun in mid '97 and I
was still getting queries about the code from my former coworkers almost
three years later.

One of the pains in updating the database was that the TZ naming
conventions would change and had to apply changes to ensure backwards
compatibility with older releases of Solaris.

Also, we were not including all compiled timezone entries.  This was a
Solaris packaging issue.  The TZ database were included in the core
Solaris package and at one time there was a requirement that the core
package fit on a single Sun 207 Meg HDs.  When I first updated the TZ
database (which had not been updated in a while), the size of the
compiled TZ entries tripled to over half a Meg, so I had some explaining
to do.

What is the file?  I don't remember that.


> Srinivas Nagaraj wrote:
> The TZ (zoneinfo) database comes installed with several operating
> systems like Linux, Solaris, etc.
> I have noticed the content of the TZ database varies between different
> versions of the same operating system and also between operating
> systems.  This could have been because of when a snapshot of the
> TZ database was taken.
> Ofcourse, one significant difference is the actual name of the time
> zone.
> Depending on the content of the TZ database, the time zone name look
> different.  Is it because the TZ database has evolved?
> I also noticed that the file is not distributed on a number
> of
> installations.  Was that operating system installation decision?
> Now my main question, is it an appropriate application specific common
> practice to use an application specific TZ database?  That way the
> time zone names can be consistent, irrespective of where the
> application
> is installed?
> Thank you.
> Srini

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