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The time on a Xen VM running CentOS 5 is incorrect. Running the date command seems to result in the expected output, but subsequent calls to date still show the incorrect time.

[xxx@xxx ~]$ sudo date -s "2010-02-08 12:26:00"
Mon Feb  8 12:26:00 GMT 2010
[xxx@xxx ~]$ date
Mon Feb  8 17:26:58 GMT 2010

Any ideas? Thank you.

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I am seeing the same behaviour on a CentOS 5.5 VM running on XenServer 5.0.0 build 13192p. – Xhantar Nov 16 '11 at 9:21

Try a '-u' before the '-s'.

Or better still use NTP.

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The -u doesn't seem to make any difference. NTP is a good suggestion, but I am interested in understanding what is going wrong here. – Ben James Feb 8 '10 at 12:47
ok, it's almost certainly just a timezone issue given it's out by pretty much whole hours - I imagine your machine thinks it's in NYC when you're in the UK or similar - have a look here; – Chopper3 Feb 8 '10 at 12:57
+1 for the NTP suggestion – Antoine Benkemoun Feb 8 '10 at 13:09
"almost certainly just a timezone issue" - but look at the output I gave, both cases show "GMT" which is correct. – Ben James Feb 8 '10 at 13:40
Antoine, what makes you think ntpd will be able to set the date when I can't do it myself? – Ben James Feb 8 '10 at 14:05

The issue is that on a Xen VPS, it isn't possible to set the date at all!

So since I have no control over the underlying hardware (which seemed to be on GMT+5 yet thought it was on GMT), the solution was to set my timezone to GMT+5.

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