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The timezone_iii cookbook has been deprecated

Author provided reason for deprecation:

The timezone_iii cookbook has been deprecated and is no longer being maintained by its authors. Use of the timezone_iii cookbook is no longer recommended.


timezone_iii (13) Versions 1.1.1

Configures the timezone for node

cookbook 'timezone_iii', '= 1.1.1', :supermarket
cookbook 'timezone_iii', '= 1.1.1'
knife supermarket install timezone_iii
knife supermarket download timezone_iii
Quality 71%

Chef cookbook
Code Climate
Issue Count


The Timezone III cookbook contains recipes for installing the latest tzdata (a.k.a. IANA or Olson) timezone database and setting the timezone on your system. It is a fork of the timezone-ii cookbook by Lawrence Gilbert..


Amazon Linux should use chef-client 13. The default recipe picks the correct recipe to run based on node['platform_family']. In chef-client 13 ohai assigns amazon as it's own platform_family instead of rhel in previous chef-clients.

This cookbook is known to work with:

  • Amazon Linux
  • CentOS and RHEL
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Gentoo
  • PLD Linux
  • Ubuntu
  • Windows

It should work with any OS that uses the IANA/Olson timezone database and stores local timezone data in /etc/localtime (the only OS I know of that does not do this is MS Windows). However, some OSs not mentioned above have their own system utility for setting the timezone, and this may overwrite the changes made by this cookbook.


Attribute Default Comment
['timezone_iii']['timezone'] 'value_for_platform_family(debian: 'Etc/UTC', default: 'UTC')' String, timezone to set OS to
['timezone_iii']['clock_utc'] nil String(true,false), UTC setting in /etc/sysconfig/clock (RHEL family only)
['timezone_iii']['tzdata_dir'] '/usr/share/zoneinfo' String, the path to the root of the tzdata files; the default value is for most known distributions of Linux
['timezone_iii']['localtime_path'] '/etc/localtime' String, the path to the file used by the kernel to read the local timezone's settings; the default works for Linux and other *ix variants
['timezone_iii']['use_symlink'] false Boolean, whether to use a symlink into the tzdata tree rather than make a copy of the appropriate timezone data file (amazon and linux_generic recipes only)


Set the ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] attribute to your desired timezone and include the "timezone_iii" recipe in your node's run list:

  "name": "my_node",
  "timezone_iii" {
    "timezone": "Africa/Timbuktu"
  "run_list": [


The default recipe will first install or upgrade the IANA/Olson timezone database package for your OS (timezone-data on Gentoo, tzdata on all other linux platforms). Then it will call one of the recipes below according to your node's platform.


This changes the timezone on Amazon Linux by:

  1. including the "timezone_iii::linux_generic" recipe then;
  2. including the "timezone_iii::rhel" recipe.

Refer to the sections for those recipes for details.


This changes the timezone on Debian-family platforms by:

  1. writing the value of ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] to /etc/timezone then;
  2. calling dpkg-reconfigure -f noninteractive tzdata;
  3. if dpkg-reconfigure amends the timezone value (e.g. by changing "UTC" to "Etc/UTC" or "EET" to "Europe/Helsinki"), it logs a warning.

Only the ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] attribute is used; all others are ignored.


This changes the time on all OSs without a more specific recipe. It assumes that the kernel gets data on the local timezone from /etc/localtime. (This is true for FreeBSD as well as Linux, so "linux_generic" is a bit of a misnomer.)

What this recipe does:

  1. verifies that the value of ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] corresponds with a timezone data file under the directory specified in timezone.tzdata_dir (default:/usr/share/zoneinfo), then;
  2. creates a copy of or symbolic link to that data file in the path specified in timezone.localtime_path (default: /etc/localtime).

The truthiness of timezone.use_symlink (default: false) determines whether a symlink or a copy is made.


This changes the timezone on PLD Linux. It writes the appropriate timezone configuration file, making use of the ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] and ['timezone_iii']['tzdata_dir'] attributes. Other attributes are ignored.


This changes the timezone on RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and RHEL-family platforms such as CentOS. It is intended only for versions prior to 7.0, but should the recipe be called on a system with version 7.0 or newer, it will automatically include the "timezone_iii::rhel7" recipe and do nothing else.

This recipe updates the /etc/sysconfig/clock file with the value of the ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] attribute, then calls tzdata-update (if available) to change the timezone. All node attributes other than ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] are ignored.


This changes the timezone on EL 7 platforms by calling timedatectl set-timezone with the value of ['timezone_iii']['timezone'].

Only the ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] attribute is used; all others are ignored.


This changes the timezone on windows platforms by calling tzutil.exe with the value of ['timezone_iii']['timezone']. To get a list of timezones to use with windows you can run the command tzutil.exe /l | more on the command line and use the standard name under the offset info.

Only the ['timezone_iii']['timezone'] attribute is used; all others are ignored.


  1. Fork the repository on GitHub;
  2. Write your change;
  3. If at all possible, write tests for your change and ensure they all pass;
  4. Submit a pull request using GitHub.


Thanks to:

  • Larry Gilbert, for launching the timezone-ii cookbook
  • James Harton, for launching the timezone cookbook
  • Elan Ruusamäe, for PLD support
  • Mike Conigliaro, for bringing testing up to date
  • "fraD00r4", for RHEL/CentOS support

License and Authors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use
this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the
License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed
under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR
CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the
specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Dependent cookbooks

This cookbook has no specified dependencies.

Contingent cookbooks

There are no cookbooks that are contingent upon this one.

CHANGELOG for timezone_ii

1.1.1 (12/1/2017)

  • [BradBeveridge] - Added Suse Support
  • [patkar] - Fixed Debian script interpolation
  • [limitusus] - Added UTC attribute to rhel template

1.0.4 (6/6/2017)

  • [badsector3] - Temp fix for recent Ubuntu releases with local time file overriding timezone file

1.0.3 (4/20/2017)

  • [Corey Hemminger] - fixed linux include_recipe line that was being skipped

1.0.2 (4/19/2017)

  • [Corey Hemminger] - changed hash rockets to new hash style

1.0.1 (4/18/2017)

  • [Corey Hemminger] - fixed windows idempotency

1.0.0 (4/18/2017)

  • [Corey Hemminger] - Initial commit

Collaborator Number Metric

1.1.1 failed this metric

Failure: Cookbook has 0 collaborators. A cookbook must have at least 2 collaborators to pass this metric.

Contributing File Metric

1.1.1 passed this metric

Foodcritic Metric

1.1.1 failed this metric

FC033: Missing template file: timezone_iii/recipes/suse.rb:23
Run with Foodcritic Version 12.0.1 with tags metadata,correctness ~FC031 ~FC045 and failure tags any

License Metric

1.1.1 passed this metric

No Binaries Metric

1.1.1 passed this metric

Testing File Metric

1.1.1 passed this metric

Version Tag Metric

1.1.1 passed this metric