Quick Tip: Rails 2.1 Time Zones

Posted by Curtis Miller Curtis Miller

My last quick tip involved setting your time zone in Ubuntu Hardy, so now, how do you set your time zone in a Ruby on Rails application? Rails 2.1 makes it much easier to manage time zone settings than it was previously.

Add the following to your environment configuration file:


config.time_zone = 'Arizona'

Replace Arizona with your own time zone. You can find a list of valid values by running any of the following rake tasks:

rake time:zones:all
rake time:zones:local
rake time:zones:us

Your data will still be stored in UTC time, but it will be converted into the specified time zone when it is type cast on retrieval.

Update: If you set both your server's time zone and your applications time zone then you may see some incorrect times. I believe this is because you'll be storing local times and the Rails app will be trying to convert them to local – a double conversion. So be careful.


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