Fedora 9 and UTC time problem

Fedora 9 was released I installed it on my laptop next to the pre-installed Fedora 8 and Windows XP. There are some issues with the release, like nVidia drivers, but I was expecting such things. However, there was one small problem that didn’t make since at first which is the time settings.

Whenever I change from Fedora 8 or Windows XP to the new Fedora 9 or vice verse the time of my machine will change, it will go backward or forward with a fixed offset, and I knew it is a problem with timezone. So before I explain the problem I would like to mention that each machine has a clock that works even if the machine is turned off, using a battery that is connected to the motherboard, and when the operating system boots it will read the time from that clock.

For Windows OS, the time that is shown to you in the task-bar is the same time of the hardware clock, and when you change your time in Windows, it will update the hardware clock to reflect the same change. So let say that you are in a city with timezone “ -6 “ and Windows is set to that zone, then the hardware clock will have the time of that zone also. However, Unix, and Unix compatible OS like Linux, assumes the hardware clock to be set to the UTC “coordinated universal time” (which is also called GMT) and it will calculate the local time based on the selected timezone (by adding the offset to the time).

If you have a system with dual boot Windows and Linux you will have this problem, but lucky we are that Linux has the option to assume the hardware clock to be the local-time instead of UTC and it will ack like Windows and that will solve the problem.

So after remembering all of that I tried to locate this option under my Fedora 9 which tells it to treat the machine clock as a local-time instead of UTC, but I could not find it any where, and after some digging I discovered that since I installed KDE4 only with my new installation, the tool that allows this is based on Gnome desktop and it is called “system-config-time”. But I am still wondering why KDE4 does not have a GUI for that!! even in the older version!!

The time/date control under KDE 4 and it has no option to tell it if the machine clock is set to local-time or UTC

So I installed this tool and I found that the option for UTC time is checked and I have to uncheck it to resolve the problem.

Date/Time control under Gnome and it has the option to say the hardware (System) clock is using UTC or local-time

Unfortunately it did not work and it gave me an error message after I clicked the OK button and it did not change the settings:

File "/usr/lib/python2.5/shutil.py", line 41, in copyfile raise Error, "`%s` and `%s` are the same file" % (src, dst) shutil.Error: `/usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Chicago` and `/etc/localtime` are the same file

Finally after more google search I found this command line program “timeconfig” (which is text version of the system-config-date) which I used to successfully change the way Linux uses the time stored in my machine.

A command line application that allowed me to set the right time configuration

From my understanding, both tools the GUI “system-config-date” and the text based “timeconfig” are developed by Redhat, and since they use Gnome as their default desktop management they tend to build their tools based on that. However, I like KDE more since it provides me with things that Gnome can’t. So do I have to suffer for that?

Is this Redhat problem or KDE should develop all of these things?

Any way, I am happy now that my problem is fixed, but I hope the option will be available in KDE 4.1.