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MySQL 5.5 Reference Manual
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B.4.3.7 Time Zone Problems

If you have a problem with SELECT NOW() returning values in UTC and not your local time, you have to tell the server your current time zone. The same applies if UNIX_TIMESTAMP() returns the wrong value. This should be done for the environment in which the server runs (for example, in mysqld_safe or mysql.server). See Section 4.9, “MySQL Environment Variables”.

You can set the time zone for the server with the --timezone=timezone_name option to mysqld_safe. You can also set it by setting the TZ environment variable before you start mysqld.

The permissible values for --timezone or TZ are system dependent. Consult your operating system documentation to see what values are acceptable.