How to figure out which, if any, update changed /etc/localtime from a link to a hard file?

David M. Karr davidmichaelkarr at
Fri Apr 17 05:29:21 UTC 2009

Brian McKee wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 5:24 PM, David M. Karr
> <davidmichaelkarr at> wrote:
>> So, I had recently discovered a bug with Java not using the correct date
>> ranges for DST.  What I've determined is that Java requires
>> /etc/localtime to be a symlink, not a hard file.  When I replaced the
>> hard file with a link to the correct file, it fixed my problem.
>> Now, what I'd like to find out is how and when /etc/localtime became a
>> hard file.
>> I have no idea whether the original Ubuntu 8.10 installation was in this
>> state or not.  It could have happened when I installed one of the many
>> updates that come through.
>> is there any way to search through the list of updates that I've
>> installed to see whether any of them would have done this?
> Huh.  I thought java had it's own tzdata stuff and didn't use the
> system.  Perhaps that's changed.
> I'm guessing the packages you are referring to are tzdata and
> tzdata-java,  but I would have thought breaking java's timezone would
> be a big bug lots of people would have noticed by now.  Launchpad show
> anything?
> Brian

Now that I know what to search for, I found the following, which has a 
lot of history on the problem: 

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