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083. Why Does the Computer Have the Wrong Time?




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This article is from the Frequently Asked Questions for Linux, the Free/Open Source UNIX-like operating system kernel that runs on many modern computer systems. Maintained by David C. Merrill with numerous contributions by others. (v1.0).

083. Why Does the Computer Have the Wrong Time?

A: There are two clocks in your computer. The hardware (CMOS) clock runs even when the computer is turned off, and is used when the system starts up and by DOS (if you use DOS). The ordinary system time, shown and set by date, is maintained by the kernel while Linux is running.

You can display the CMOS clock time, or set either clock from the other, with /sbin/clock (now called hwclock in many distributions). Refer to: man 8 clock or man 8 hwclock.

There are various other programs that can correct either or both clocks for system drift or transfer time across the network. Some of them may already be installed on your system. Try looking for adjtimex (corrects for drift), Network Time Protocol clients like netdate, getdate, and xntp, or NTP client-server suite like chrony. Refer to How Do I Find a Particular Application?.

 

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