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

Ionut Biru ibiru at archlinux.org
Mon May 16 15:21:01 EDT 2011

On 05/16/2011 09:28 PM, Tom Gundersen wrote:
> Hi guys,

i'm forwarding this on our arch-dev-public  ml for higher audience

> 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 found that deprecating this option will make the set up a bit more 
complicated and i don't really want to copy/symlink or run tzselect 

> 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.

gnome is perfectly capable to do this, with or without asking an 
administrator password. For the later we need some adjustment to polkit 

we shouldn't focus only on gnome/kde/xfce since they are fully featured 
  desktop environments and have tools for setting the date/time/.

What about minimal setups, they don't have any tools like that and they 
need to do it manually and is an additional step that is not needed in 
my opinion.

>  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 @@
>   LOCALE="en_US.UTF-8"
> -TIMEZONE="Canada/Pacific"
>   KEYMAP="us"


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