While building a Symfony 2.3 bundle using the excellent Crud Generator from MWSimple, I kept getting this fatal error when trying to create a new object with a DateTime field:

DateTime::__construct(): Failed to parse time string (2008-10-10 0:0:0 CST6CDT) at position 20 (6): Unexpected character 

After a lot of googling, I found that the timezone stamp was not being recognized by Symfony2. While "CST6CDT" is technically a valid timezone, it is listed under "Others" in the PHP manual, and we are discouraged from using it. As you probably know, when you create a new DateTime object, the current timezone is used.

After even more googling, it occurred to me that I had not set the default timezone anywhere in my code. I never found out why it defaults to "CST6CDT" or even what this timezone actually means. But adding this to my AppKernel.php solved my problem:


class AppKernel extends Kernel
    /* Add this method to set the default timezone */
    public function init()
        date_default_timezone_set( 'America/Chicago' );

    public function registerBundles()


26 August 2013