In Rasbian, is there a way to update localization settings like timezone from the command line, without using raspi-config?

I don't want to reinvent the wheel, just looking for 1-2 line drop in replacements if they exist. I'm creating instructions for myself to take a vanilla Rasbian install to customized & headless on my LAN. Running a series of commands is easier to document and repeat than a series of GUI navigations (unless of course we're talking e.g. 500 typed characters per 5 GUI operations - in which case the GUI is more efficient to document :)

  • Yes, raspi-config is just a frontend for a series of system calls, but why not use raspi-config? Jan 17, 2017 at 1:34
  • @SteveRobillard perhaps he is working off a headless system.
    – deanresin
    Aug 7, 2019 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


It is possible; in fact you will see lots of questions on this site, usually from people who tried to do it the old manual way and got it wrong.

The rest of us don't bother, for something we will probably never do again - or at least not for years.

If you want to do this anyway see:- /etc/timezone and /etc/locale.gen and read the man pages.

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