In this article we'll discuss how you can change the MySQL time zone on your server so that data stored in your databases will by default use the time zone that you have specified.

A lot of the time your local time zone will be different than the MySQL server's time zone, and this could make working with data inside your databases more difficult for you. Using the following steps you can update your MySQL server's time zone so that it matches your own to make working with this data easier.

This change would require root access to either a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated server hosting plan, or you can contact our support department to have this changed on your server. You might also simply need to know how to convert MySQL time which wouldn't require root access and can be done on a shared server.

  1. Login to your server via SSH as the root user.
  2. You can view MySQL's current time zone settings using the following command from the console:

    mysql -e "SELECT @@global.time_zone;"

    By default you should get back something similar to:

    +--------------------+
    | @@global.time_zone |
    +--------------------+
    | SYSTEM             |
    +--------------------+
    

    This is because by default your MySQL time zone will be set to the server's default SYSTEM time. If you're interested in changing the entire server's time zone this can be accomplished by setting the time zone in WHM.

  3. You can see the server's SYSTEM time stamp using the following command:

    date

    Which will give back:

    Mon Nov 26 12:50:07 EST 2012

  4. You can see the current time stamp reported by the MySQL server using the following command:

    mysql -e "SELECT NOW();"

    This should give back the current time stamp:

    +---------------------+
    | NOW()               |
    +---------------------+
    | 2012-11-26 12:50:15 |
    +---------------------+
    
  5. Now you can edit your MySQL configuration file with your favorite text editor:

    vi /etc/my.cnf

    Then add the following line to change from EST (GMT -5:00) to CST (GMT -6:00):

    default-time-zone = '-06:00'

    Now save the /etc/my.cnf file with your new default.

  6. To make the change active you'll want to restart the MySQL service with the following command:

    service mysql restart

  7. Now if you try to see the global time zone setting again with the command:

    mysql -e "SELECT @@global.time_zone;"

    You should now get back your new default:

    +--------------------+
    | @@global.time_zone |
    +--------------------+
    | -06:00             |
    +--------------------+
    
  8. You should also see now that the NOW() function has updated as well:

    mysql -e "SELECT NOW();"

    This should give back the current time stamp:

    +---------------------+
    | NOW()               |
    +---------------------+
    | 2012-11-26 11:50:15 |
    +---------------------+
    


You should now know how to update the MySQL server's time zone setting, to help make sure the data stored in databases is easy for you to work with. You can also used named time zones instead of the GMT -6:00 format, but this would first require you loading the time zone tables into the mysql database. More information on this can be found on the MySQL site regarding mysql_tzinfo_to_sql and loading the time zone tables.

Did you find this article helpful?

We value your feedback!

Why was this article not helpful? (Check all that apply)
The article is too difficult or too technical to follow.
There is a step or detail missing from the instructions.
The information is incorrect or out-of-date.
It does not resolve the question/problem I have.
How did you find this article?
Please tell us how we can improve this article:
Email Address
Name

new! - Enter your name and email address above and we will post your feedback in the comments on this page!

Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
Ooops! It looks like there are no questions about this page.
Would you like to ask a question about this page? If so, click the button below!
Ask a Question
n/a Points
2014-06-27 4:46 am

$ sudo service mysql starterror: Found option without preceding group in config file: /etc/my.cnf at line: 1Fatal error in defaults handling. Program aborted

Staff
10,345 Points
2014-06-27 7:56 am
Hello SanX,

Thank you for contacting us. I am not sure what you are asking, but we are happy to help.

Can you provide more details, such as a link to the error, or the steps you are taking to see it?

What type of CMS are you using? For example Joomla, Wordpress, Concrete5, etc.

If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Thank you,

-John-Paul

Post a Comment

Name:
Email Address:
Phone Number:
Comment:
Submit

Please note: Your name and comment will be displayed, but we will not show your email address.

2 Questions & Comments

Post a comment

Back to first comment | top

Need more Help?

Search

Ask the Community!

Get help with your questions from our community of like-minded hosting users and InMotion Hosting Staff.

Current Customers

Chat: Click to Chat Now E-mail: support@InMotionHosting.com
Call: 888-321-HOST (4678) Ticket: Submit a Support Ticket

Not a Customer?

Get web hosting from a company that is here to help. Sign up today!