[arch-projects] [initscripts][RFC] deprecating TIMEZONE from rc.conf

Tom Gundersen teg at jklm.no
Mon May 16 14:28:17 EDT 2011

Hi guys,

I think the TIMEZONE variable in rc.conf is unnecessary and it causes
some problems with other (especially GUI) tools. I'd like to hear what
you think about deprecating it. We will still keep the support for it
in initscripts, but we will suggest (in the standard rc.conf) to not
set it. It will then be up to the maintainer of our installer(s) and
documentation to adopt (or not) this suggestion.

I cc'ed the GNOME/KDE/XFCE maintainers as I would be interested to
hear if their timezone tools work well with rc.conf (I think not, but
I might have missed something). I also cc'ed aif and archboot
maintainers. Please forward if you know of anyone who maintains
relevant packages that I left out.



>From fd5fd34f8a593710483a204d7a7984f89385e3fa Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Tom Gundersen <teg at jklm.no>
Date: Mon, 16 May 2011 13:17:48 +0200
Subject: [PATCH] timezone: deprecate the TIMEZONE variable

Setting the TIMEZONE in rc.conf is a bad idea for several reasons:

 * it requires a reboot before taking effect, for people changing timezone's
   frequently (this is common if you travel a lot, especially annoying if you
   have several stop overs in different timezones and want your laptop's clock
   to be correct)
 * it is non-standard, so advice/guides that apply to other distro's will not
   apply to arch
 * it is non-standard, so gui tools like the ones found in KDE/GNOME will not
   be aware of the setting in rc.conf, and whatever change they do will be
   overwritten on next boot.
 * it is one of the few remaining blockers for ro /etc support in initscripts

For these reasons (and possibly more), we deprecate TIMEZONE from rc.conf,
and advice users and developers to clear it and set /etc/localtime directly.
However, we do not remove the implementation from the scripts, so the timezone
is still set during boot/shutdown if the variable is set.

Signed-off-by: Tom Gundersen <teg at jklm.no>
 rc.conf |    7 ++++---
 1 files changed, 4 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/rc.conf b/rc.conf
index 89ea27e..0fb6472 100644
--- a/rc.conf
+++ b/rc.conf
@@ -8,11 +8,13 @@
 # LOCALE: available languages can be listed with the 'locale -a' command
 # DAEMON_LOCALE: If set to 'yes', use $LOCALE as the locale during daemon
 # startup and during the boot process. If set to 'no', the C locale is used.
 # HARDWARECLOCK: set to "UTC" or "localtime", any other value will result
 #   in the hardware clock being left untouched (useful for virtualization)
 #   Note: Using "localtime" is discouraged.
-# TIMEZONE: timezones are found in /usr/share/zoneinfo
+# TIMEZONE: (DEPRECATED) copy timezone from /usr/share/zoneinfo to
+#   /etc/localtime instead
 # KEYMAP: keymaps are found in /usr/share/kbd/keymaps
 # CONSOLEFONT: found in /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts (only needed for non-US)
 # CONSOLEMAP: found in /usr/share/kbd/consoletrans
@@ -22,7 +24,6 @@

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