Every time I was running apt-get update I’d be asked to select the Area and Town/Zone my timezone was in, as part of the dpkg-reconfigure tzdata step.
If you run the command debconf-set-selections you can configure debconf’s internal database to store the defaults for the future.
The <<EOF allows you to keep adding information until EOF is entered by itself on a line. This’ll set a few things - make sure you know which area and zone you want to use (you’ll have seen it when you get asked by tzdata).
There’s a list of tzdata zones on wikipedia or you can find a pairing in /usr/share/zoneinfo/* on Ubuntu.
Below is an example of me setting my location to Australia/Brisbane.
#~/$ sudo debconf-set-selections <<EOF > tzdata tzdata/Areas select Australia > tzdata tzdata/Areas seen true > tzdata tzdata/Zones/Australia select Brisbane > tzdata tzdata/Zones/Australia seen true > EOF #~/$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure -fnoninteractive tzdata Current default time zone: 'Australia/Brisbane' Local time is now: Tue Nov 5 20:22:43 EST 2013. Universal Time is now: Tue Nov 5 10:22:43 UTC 2013.