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How do I change the system time or timezone in a container?

Article ID: 686, created on Oct 6, 2008, last review on May 23, 2014

  • Parallels Cloud Server
  • Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Linux
  • Parallels Server


How do I change the system time or timezone in a container?


You cannot change the system time in a container because all VEs on the Hardware Node have the same system time. However, it is possible to change the default system timezone inside a VE, for example, by replacing /etc/localtime with the file from /usr/share/zoneinfo, which contains the description of your timezone.

If it is required to have different time on the node and inside the containers, it will be required to tweak the OS template.

E.g. using centos-6-x86_64 OS template:

  1. Find the occurrence of "/etc/localtime" in any of the scripts of the OS template:

    [root@pcs ~]# grep localtime /vz/template/centos/6/x86_64/config/os/default/*
    /vz/template/centos/6/x86_64/config/os/default/post-cache:[ -f /etc/localtime ] && cp -fp /etc/localtime etc/localtime
  2. Comment such lines, if found:

    [root@pcs ~]# vi /vz/template/centos/6/x86_64/config/os/default/post-cache
    [root@pcs ~]# grep localtime /vz/template/centos/6/x86_64/config/os/default/post-cache
    #[ -f /etc/localtime ] && cp -fp /etc/localtime etc/localtime
  3. Add the following lines to the post-install script:

    [root@pcs ~]# vi /vz/template/centos/6/x86_64/config/os/default/post-install
    [root@pcs ~]# tail /vz/template/centos/6/x86_64/config/os/default/post-install
    # Force regeneration of mime-database, due to shared-mime-info
    # post-install script failure
    /usr/bin/update-mime-database /usr/share/mime > /dev/null 2>&1
    ## Move to a new time zone     <---------added
    rm -f /etc/localtime     <---------added
    ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/posix/Asia/Tokyo /etc/localtime     <---------added
    popd > /dev/null
  4. Recreate the OS template cache:

    [root@pcs ~]# vzpkg remove cache centos-6-x86_64 ; vzpkg create cache centos-6-x86_64

Once this is done, any new container, created on this OS template, will get the configured timezone. For existing containers, it's necessary to run the commands manually:

  # rm -f /etc/localtime
  # ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/posix/Asia/Tokyo /etc/localtime

Search words:

VPS timezone


date: cannot set date: Operation not permitted

change time

change timezone

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