Will changing time-zone of the server have side effects?

I just realised my Digital Ocean VPS is using an American time-zone, EEST or something that is quite impractical for me. Will there be side effects if I change the server time-zone to UTC or local?

Not sure, I guess @mpalmer is the best person to ask.

There are a bunch of things that will be affected if you change the timezone. Whether any of them are show-stoppers for you is something only you can decide.

  • The timezone of all timestamps in logs, etc will change, and if you’re doing any work that crosses the boundary you’ll need to account for that.
  • Not everything will pick up the timezone change immediately, so you’ll be best to reboot the machine when you change, to make sure nothing’s running around with an out-of-date timezone definition.
  • Discourse’s database should be fine (we store everything in UTC) however sidekiq and anything else that uses timing might get a bit confused for a little while (see above re: rebooting). Same goes for anywhere that times might get passed around without timezones attached (naughty naughty, but it does happen). Once again, REBOOT.

Probably a bunch of other things will change as well, so after you do it, you can come back here and report. :grinning:


Ok, that sounds scary. Luckily the UX front seems doesn’t seem to have complications, even though the server TZ is somewhere on the East Coast. (This is not a sane default btw, using Digital Ocean’s Frankfurt premises).

Two additional questions:

  • How is daylight saving handled? That is due soon and happens at a different date in the US vs my home country.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 is near, and I’ll likely upgrade next summer. What is the source and target servers are on different zones when I backup and restore?