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Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.


Timezone Setting Won't Stick

December 17, 2008

Yesterday I ran into a Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard computer that would not keep its timezone setting. The usual zap-pram trick didn't help, and a repair permissions didn't help. However, during the repair permissions I noticed an entry for a file/folder named localtime. I don't have the exact entry, but it looked something like this:

permissions on /etc/localtime drwxr-xr-x should be lrwxr-xr-x

The initial d vs. l jumped out at me. After the repair, when the setting still didn't stick, I went into the terminal to have a look. I found a directory in etc named localtime and it had a file named Eastern in it -- not knowing how the data should actually be stored, this seemed reasonable to me. I deleted the file named Eastern, but that didn't fix it. Then I deleted the entire localtime directory. That worked.

I assume that some time in the past Apple stored the timezone in a file in this directory, and whenever this system was updated, the updater failed to remove the directory.

The moral of the story: pay attention to the items that Repair Permissions throws at you.