I don't have any experience with Debian, so this is based on my
experience with Slackware. In it's setup process it also asks if the
RTC is local or GMT/UTC, which it stores in /etc/hardwareclock.
Then the startup scripts poll this file, and set the system time
based on it: using either "hwclock --utc --hctosys" or else
"hwclock --localtime --hctosys".
So now that I've looked into it further, I'm actually not sure what
the kernel option does. Wild guess is it sets the default for if
"hwclock --hctosys" (set system time from the RTC) is called
without specifying --utc or --localtime.
So my suggestion to resolve this would be to look through your
startup scripts & find where the system time is set, and make sure
it is using --localtime.
Here are the /etc/hardwareclock file and the relevant part of my
# Tells how the hardware clock time is stored.
# You should run timeconfig to edit this file.
# Set the system time from the hardware clock using hwclock --hctosys.
# Detect SGI Visual Workstation, since hwclock will make those freeze up:
if fgrep -l Cobalt-APIC /proc/interrupts 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null ; then
echo "SGI Visual Workstation detected. Not running hwclock."
elif [ -x /sbin/hwclock ]; then
if grep "^UTC" /etc/hardwareclock 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null ; then
echo "Setting system time from the hardware clock (UTC)."
/sbin/hwclock --utc --hctosys
echo "Setting system time from the hardware clock (localtime)."
/sbin/hwclock --localtime --hctosys