(I'm trying to deploy an open source php project to nginx. The project itself does not matter.)

I need to set date.timezone to my local timezone because the project uses a global setting.

I found a line in my php.ini (at /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini for debian) file but because I did not want to change the global setting, I created a new ini file in the fpm/conf.d/ directory with the line:

date.timezone = ('Europe/Berlin') 

This is one of the supported time zones as documented here However when I look at my php info, the timezone reflects in both "Local Value" as well as "Master Value".

Can I have it so that only this one php project has the timezone set while the global remains at the default UTC?


The fpm/conf.d/ is scanned for additional .ini files, making it easier to separate configuration for example per module. Those are scanned for every FPM pool, i.e. it's a global configuration just like the php.ini.

You can override individual settings for a single pool in your fpm/pool.d/poolname.conf:

php_admin_value[date.timezone] = Europe/Berlin

Shortly on PHP FPM pools that allows using separate settings, resources & user (permissions):

  1. The default pool is configured in fpm/pool.d/www.conf for listening a UNIX socket:

    listen = /run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock

    Also notice that it runs as the user www-data (or nginx), having all its permissions.

  2. Nginx server{} block passes PHP script to this socket for the PHP FPM pool to handle:

    location ~ \.php$ {
        fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.2-fpm.sock;
        # another fastcgi options
  3. You can run the PHP of your single project as a separated user mautic by creating an additional FPM pool, e.g. fpm/pool.d/mautic.conf for your Mautic project:

    user = mautic
    group = mautic
    listen = /run/php/mautic.sock
    chdir = /var/www/mautic   # or /home/mautic etc.
    listen.owner = www-data   # or nginx(?) to let Nginx use the socket
    listen.group = www-data
    php_admin_value[date.timezone] = Europe/Berlin

    And naturally use this new /run/php/mautic.sock in the relevant Nginx configuration.

The official documentation starts from where you should already know the basic idea, making it a bit hard for beginners. Luckily there are tutorials, or you could even enjoy watching a video.

  • OK, I don't know what a "pool" is in this context. Can you please give me some best practices for deployment/ point me to a web page for these php deployments? – Nosh Sep 10 '18 at 13:50

Honestly, I am lazy and simply set it in /etc/php.ini. This covers all of the php applications on the server and in most cases all of the applications on the server will be in the same TZ.

Simply open /etc/php.ini and them find the line with date.timezone and use whatever your required timezone is. For a list of possible timezones see the official PHP doc.

  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question that is specifically about changing the timezone for a single project, leaving others unaffected. In Debian, the path is not /etc/php.ini but e.g. /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini, depending on the version and whether you use CLI, FPM etc. – Esa Jokinen Sep 11 '18 at 9:51
  • Having all the projects run as a single user is not lazy, but careless. One vulnerable old WordPress plugin/theme and the whole server is a cracker playground. Real lazy people like me try to do things properly from the beginning to avoid unnecessary work in the future. – Esa Jokinen Sep 11 '18 at 9:53
  • Yea, I already said I found the php.ini file and DO NOT want to change the setting globally. I managed to change the setting but only globally because I used the conf.d directory. – Nosh Sep 11 '18 at 10:09
  • My apologies all, I missed that in the original question and that falls upon my shoulders. – hgoscenski Sep 11 '18 at 18:06

Side note here

In the situation where your're developing using Laravel, in the config/app.php file you can specify timezone only of that project.

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