Corrected Australian Timezone Names for Unix

Timezones were fixed in upstream tzdata in 2014 so this is no longer a problem. The rest remains for historical interest, or machines running with ancient versions of tzdata.

The Australian timezone names on many Unix-like systems are missing the 'A' at the start. It's AEST, not EST. AWST, not WST. The existing timezone data makes no distinction between standard time and daylight saving time, eg. AEST vs. AEDT — it calls them both EST. This needs to be fixed.

There is currently a patch for the tzdata source. This is used in the package below.

Selected links on the topic:


You can download an addon tzdata-au package that replaces the system's Australian zoneinfo files. No other timezones are modified.


There is an Apt repository with the tzdata-au package for Debian & Ubuntu. By adding the Apt repository, your machine can easily be kept up-to-date when new tzdata-au packages are available.

You can track the Apt repository by downloading the Debian or Ubuntu repository file and saving it in /etc/apt/sources.list.d and running apt-get install tzdata-au . The packages are signed using my GPG key which you can import by running wget -O- | sudo apt-key add - .

Keeping up-to-date

The packages only replace the Australian timezone info, that way you can continue to upgrade the system tzdata package to stay up-to-date with worldwide timezone changes — tzdata-au only needs to be updated if there are changes to the Australian timezones.

Problem upgrading tzdata with older tzdata-au packages

There is a bug in dpkg that causes tzdata upgrades to fail when tzdata-au versions older than 2011c-1 are installed. A newer package is available that works around the problem (version 2011c-1). Alternatively a workaround is to uninstall tzdata-au, upgrade tzdata, then reinstall tzdata-au.


The source for these packages can be found on Github.


I've heard that the upstream maintainers (on the elusive mailing list) are not inclined to accept this change because of a combination of misinformation and inertia. I would really like this to be fixed upstream, but for now I don't have the energy to pursue it.

— Ted Percival (contact).