This system environment variable determines which time zone is used when formatting a time. As such, it controls the conversion from an internal time base to the appropriate local time. The syntax is TZ=NNNshh:mmDDD, where:

  • NNN is the time zone name.

  • s is an optional sign.

  • hh and mm are the offset in hours and minutes from GMT. Positive offsets represent time zones behind GMT, negative offsets represent those ahead of GMT.

  • DDD is the corresponding name of Daylight Savings time when it is in effect.

    For example, in the eastern United States, TZ is set to EST5EDT - eastern standard time/eastern daylight time, where EST is five hours behind GMT.

    All UNIX systems use a system initialization file to set this variable.