Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pinning Rails 3.2 to a specific time zone

I've been wrestling with some issues of dates and times in Rails. Being that I'm still pretty new to Rails, I been soaking up knowledge about this platform and today was no different. ActiveRecord, by default, converts timestamps and dates to UTC and interacts with them that way. UTC is also the format that the values will be stored in the database. If this is not what you want, you can pin your Rails system to a specific time zone by setting the following two configuration options in config/application.rb:
    config.time_zone = 'Central Time (US & Canada)'
    config.active_record.default_timezone = :local
Hope this helps others that discover that the default behavior of UTC is not what is desired. Official documentation on these configuration items can be found at and