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 23:39:03 UTC 2009

Derek Broughton wrote:
> David M. Karr 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. 
> I don't believe Java can tell the difference.

If you check the information in this thread I started, you'll see the 
references to how Java does this.


>> When I replaced the 
>> hard file with a link to the correct file, it fixed my problem.
> Which sounds more like you have two _different_ files and what's
> in /etc/localtime is simply wrong.

Before I replaced the hard file with a symlink, I used "cmp", which told 
me the files were identical.

>> Now, what I'd like to find out is how and when /etc/localtime became a
>> hard file.
> A fresh install of Intrepid this week gives me a "hard" file.  But my Hardy
> system has it too.
>> I have no idea whether the original Ubuntu 8.10 installation was in this
>> state or not.  
> Certainly.
>> 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?
> /var/log/dpkg*
> /var/log/aptitude*
> /var/log/apt/*

No luck from any of those.

> and probably others...
> However, dlocate tells me it _isn't_ part of any package (on either system),
> and
> suggests that it is automatically _copied_ from the /usr/share/zoneinfo by
> tzconfig.  One would hope that tzconfig actually removes any symlink it
> finds there before copying, rather than just copying into it, potentially
> making all your timezones look the same...

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