John Davidson

time - Where does PHP get its timezone from?


We are experiencing some strange inconsistencies with time functions on a PHP application that we have.

We have some code that writes entries to a database, and it logs the current date & time using:

$currentDate = Date("Y-m-d");
$currentTime = Date("H:i:s");

Left alone, these items will go into the database 4 hours ahead of the current timezone that we're in (we're in EST timezone).

Now of course, this is easy enough to correct by adding:


The problem is - it wasn't long ago that we didn't have to add that to the PHP file. Whenever we would add entries to the database, they would get entered under the correct timezone.

So, we're trying to figure out where PHP might be pulling its default timezone from.

Is it pulling it from the server that the files are on?

Is it pulling it from the php.ini file?

Is it pulling it from the .htaccess file?

Or is it some combination, depending on a variety of factors?

Can anybody please shed some light on this?

My Answer:
and time using PHP's `date()` function. However, we have noticed that the timestamps being recorded are not always accurate.

PHP gets its timezone from the server's configuration. By default, PHP uses the timezone set in the php.ini file. You can check the current timezone setting by using the `date_default_timezone_get()` function in PHP.

If you are experiencing inconsistencies with time functions in your PHP application, it could be due to a few reasons:

1. The server's timezone is not set correctly in the php.ini file. You can change the timezone setting in the php.ini file or override it in your PHP script using the `date_default_timezone_set()` function.

2. The database server's timezone is different from the PHP server's timezone. This can cause discrepancies in timestamps if the two servers are in different timezones. You can set the timezone for your database connection using SQL queries or by configuring the database server.

3. The timestamps are being manipulated or converted incorrectly in your PHP code. Make sure that you are using the correct timezone functions and that you are handling timestamps consistently throughout your application.

By checking and adjusting the timezone settings on your server and in your PHP code, you should be able to resolve any inconsistencies with time functions in your PHP application.

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