Time Zones Time zones, and time-zone conventions, are influenced by political decisions, not just earth geometry.
Time zones around the world became somewhat standardized during the s, but continue to be prone to arbitrary changes, particularly with respect to daylight-savings rules. For times in the future, the assumption is that the latest known rules for a given time zone will continue to be observed indefinitely far into the future.
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However, the SQL dating options united zone inside has an odd mix of date and time types and capabilities. Two obvious problems are: Although the date type cannot have an associated time zone, the time type can. Time zones in the real world have little meaning unless associated with a date as well as a time, since the offset can vary through the year with daylight-saving time boundaries.
The default time zone is specified as a constant numeric offset from UTC.
We do not recommend using the type time with time zone though it is supported by PostgreSQL for legacy applications and for compliance with the SQL standard. PostgreSQL assumes your local time zone for any type containing only date or time. All timezone-aware dates and times are stored internally in UTC.
They are converted to local time in the zone specified by the timezone configuration parameter before being displayed to the dating options united zone inside. PostgreSQL uses the widely-used IANA time zone data for this purpose, so the same time zone names are also recognized by much other software.
A time zone abbreviation, for example PST. Such a specification merely defines a particular offset from UTC, in contrast to full time zone names which can imply a set of daylight savings transition-date rules as well. When a daylight-savings zone name is present, it is assumed to be used according to the same daylight-savings transition rules used in the IANA time zone database's posixrules entry.
If needed, you can adjust this behavior by replacing the posixrules file. In short, this is the difference between abbreviations and full names: abbreviations represent a specific offset from UTC, whereas many of the full names imply a local daylight-savings time rule, and so have two possible UTC offsets.
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So EDT specifies that same time instant. PostgreSQL interprets such abbreviations according to whatever they meant or had most recently meant on the specified date; but, as with the EST example above, this is not necessarily the same as local civil time on that date.
One should be wary that the POSIX-style time zone feature can lead to silently accepting dating options united zone inside input, since there is no check on the reasonableness of the zone abbreviations. Another issue to keep in mind is that in POSIX time zone names, positive offsets are used for locations west of Greenwich.
In all cases, timezone names and abbreviations are recognized case-insensitively. This is a change from PostgreSQL versions prior to 8.
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Neither timezone names nor abbreviations are hard-wired into the server; they are obtained from configuration files stored under The timezone configuration parameter can be set in the file postgresql. There are also dating options united zone inside special ways to set it: If timezone is not specified in postgresql. If TZ is not defined or is not any of the time zone names known to PostgreSQL, the server attempts to determine the operating system's default time zone by checking the behavior of the C library function localtime.
The default time zone is selected as the closest match among PostgreSQL's known time zones. The at sign is optional noise.
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The amounts of the different units are implicitly added with appropriate sign accounting. Quantities of days, hours, minutes, and seconds can be specified without explicit unit markings. For example, '1 ' is read the same as '1 day 12 hours 59 min 10 sec'.
Also, a combination of years and months can be specified with a dash; for example '' is read the same as ' years 10 months'. Interval values can also be written as ISO time intervals, using either the "format with designators" of the standard's section 4. The format with designators looks like this: P quantity unit [ quantity unit The available dating options united zone inside abbreviations are given in Table Units may be omitted, and may be specified in any order, but units smaller than a day must appear after T.
In particular, the meaning of M depends on whether it is before or after T.