Reproducible problem in Kubuntu

Harald Sitter apachelogger at
Tue Jun 4 22:55:30 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 12:34 AM, Steve Riley <steve at> wrote:

> It's probably one of the symptoms of
> But
> it appears to be something upstream instead, see
> On the forum, we first saw this in the middle of March. In experimenting
> with the time zone settings, I managed to make mine malfunction -- UTC and
> America/Los_Angeles became the same. Reconfiguring tzdata fixed it, see

actually it's more complicated and apparently I underestimated the

the datetime kcm as I recently noticed uses a commandline tool called zic
to set the timezone. zic however does not work on debian systems in fact it
renders the timezone setup (i.e. the timezone related files in /etc) broken
which supposedly leads to the clock then always defaulting to the hardware
clock. iff the hardware clock is equal to the actual timezone time (as is
the case on systems that also have windows for example) you'd not notice
except for the fact that you cannot change the timezone in general, if the
clock is UTC however you always get UTC (meh).

whether that is what Aleix highlighted is not clear though. in particular
it seems curious that it would break on upgrade as you'd need to manually
run the kcm and set a different timezone to break the configs. the only
possible explanation is that the configure script of tzdata got confused by
broken configs and then tried to fix it but failed and introduced a
timezone value that resulted in a bogus end result (why yes, that does not
only sound confusing, it really is...). so, I am not really sure that is
the issue here but it can very well be.

making matters worse, reconfiguring tzdata actually forces whatever the
user configures, removing and overwriting whatever was broken.

without a system that has broken timezones after an uprade but did not get
fixed yet it is nigh impossible to find out whether the KCM/zic are at
fault or something else is going terribly wrong.

fixing it automagically would be a bit tricky but probably possible. but
that is not much of a fix until the KCM is also fixed as the user can still
break it.

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