Ubuntu: Why is the +8 timezone called GMT-8 in the filesystem?



Question:

I am in +8 timezone,After my trying, I must "ls -sf /etc/localtime /usr/share/zoneinfo/Etc/GMT-8"(not GMT+8 file), but after this setting, I can see the result of "date -R" is: "Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:07:34 +0800", so I feel that I am correct, but why they use the really confusing name of GMT-8?


Solution:1

The Etc/GMT... zones are there for backwards compatibility only. Their zones are inverse from the usual expectation such that they conform to the POSIX specification, as described in the Wikipedia entry for the TZ database.

The only legitimate uses of these zones (other than backwards compatibility) is for ships at sea. All populated locations on land have named time zones. For example, you may be in the "Asia/Shanghai" time zone.

You can see a list of the time zones and their current offsets here.

See also, "Time Zone != Offset" in the timezone tag wiki on StackOverflow.


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