How to set time zone of mysql?

in the file “my.cnf” in the [mysqld] section


@@global.time_zone variable

To see what value they are set to

SELECT @@global.time_zone;

To set a value for it use either one:

SET GLOBAL time_zone = '+8:00';
SET GLOBAL time_zone = 'Europe/Helsinki';
SET @@global.time_zone='+00:00';

@@session.time_zone variable

SELECT @@session.time_zone;

To set it use either one:

SET time_zone = 'Europe/Helsinki';
SET time_zone = "+00:00";
SET @@session.time_zone = "+00:00";

both might return SYSTEM which means that they use the timezone set in my.cnf. For timezone names to work you must setup your timezone information tables need to be populated:

To get the current timezone


It will return 02:00:00 if your timezone is +2:00.

To get the current UNIX timestamp:


To get the timestamp column as a UNIX timestamp

SELECT UNIX_TIMESTAMP(`timestamp`) FROM `table_name`

To get a UTC datetime column as a UNIX timestamp

SELECT UNIX_TIMESTAMP(CONVERT_TZ(`utc_datetime`, '+00:00', @@session.time_zone)) FROM `table_name`

Note: Changing the timezone will not change the stored datetime or timestamp, but it will show select a different datetime from timestamp columns

I made a cheatsheet here: Should MySQL have its timezone set to UTC?

Leave a Reply