10.6 MySQL Server Time Zone Support

10.6.1 Staying Current with Time Zone Changes
10.6.2 Time Zone Leap Second Support

The MySQL server maintains several time zone settings:

The current session time zone setting affects display and storage of time values that are zone-sensitive. This includes the values displayed by functions such as NOW() or CURTIME(), and values stored in and retrieved from TIMESTAMP columns. Values for TIMESTAMP columns are converted from the current time zone to UTC for storage, and from UTC to the current time zone for retrieval.

The current time zone setting does not affect values displayed by functions such as UTC_TIMESTAMP() or values in DATE, TIME, or DATETIME columns. Nor are values in those data types stored in UTC; the time zone applies for them only when converting from TIMESTAMP values. If you want locale-specific arithmetic for DATE, TIME, or DATETIME values, convert them to UTC, perform the arithmetic, and then convert back.

The current values of the global and client-specific time zones can be retrieved like this:

mysql> SELECT @@global.time_zone, @@session.time_zone;

timezone values can be given in several formats, none of which are case sensitive:

The MySQL installation procedure creates the time zone tables in the mysql database, but does not load them. You must do so manually using the following instructions. (If you are upgrading to MySQL 4.1.3 or later from an earlier version, you can create the tables by upgrading your mysql database. Use the instructions in Section 4.4.9, “mysql_upgrade — Check Tables for MySQL Upgrade”. After creating the tables, you can load them.)


Loading the time zone information is not necessarily a one-time operation because the information changes occasionally. For example, the rules for Daylight Saving Time in the United States, Mexico, and parts of Canada changed in 2007. When such changes occur, applications that use the old rules become out of date and you may find it necessary to reload the time zone tables to keep the information used by your MySQL server current. See the notes at the end of this section.

If your system has its own zoneinfo database (the set of files describing time zones), you should use the mysql_tzinfo_to_sql program for filling the time zone tables. Examples of such systems are Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, and Mac OS X. One likely location for these files is the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory. If your system does not have a zoneinfo database, you can use the downloadable package described later in this section.

The mysql_tzinfo_to_sql program is used to load the time zone tables. On the command line, pass the zoneinfo directory path name to mysql_tzinfo_to_sql and send the output into the mysql program. For example:

shell> mysql_tzinfo_to_sql /usr/share/zoneinfo | mysql -u root mysql

mysql_tzinfo_to_sql reads your system's time zone files and generates SQL statements from them. mysql processes those statements to load the time zone tables.

mysql_tzinfo_to_sql also can be used to load a single time zone file or to generate leap second information:

If your system is one that has no zoneinfo database (for example, Windows or HP-UX), you can use the package of pre-built time zone tables that is available for download at the MySQL Developer Zone:


This time zone package contains .frm, .MYD, and .MYI files for the MyISAM time zone tables. These tables should be part of the mysql database, so you should place the files in the mysql subdirectory of your MySQL server's data directory. Stop the server before doing this and restart it afterward.


Do not use the downloadable package if your system has a zoneinfo database. Use the mysql_tzinfo_to_sql utility instead. Otherwise, you may cause a difference in datetime handling between MySQL and other applications on your system.

For information about time zone settings in replication setup, please see Section 16.4.1, “Replication Features and Issues”.