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ive noticed the time on a linux server im maintaining is set to 8 hours in the future.

i thought this was weird so i checked ntpd was on, and it is.

i thought this was even weirder so i checked the timezone,

$ ls -lah /etc/localtime
/etc/localtime -> /usr/share/zoneinfo/Australia/Brisbane


$ ntpdate -q
server, stratum 2, offset -28768.189322, delay 0.06355
server, stratum 3, offset -28768.185683, delay 0.03165
server, stratum 3, offset -28768.187015, delay 0.04909
 8 Sep 19:49:49 ntpdate[16434]: step time server offset -28768.189322 sec

uhh... totally wrong. i figured there might be some kind of catch in ntpd to not actually update the server time if it differed too greatly from the local time, so i set it manually:

$ date 090811492010
Wed Sep 8 11:45:00 EST 2010

then ran date again to see what happened:

$ date
Wed Sep 8 11:44:47 EST 2010

it went backwards 13 seconds! i figured ntpd had ran successfully and adjusted the server time, being 13 seconds incorrect.

subsequent checking of the date with ntpdate -q, though, still said 19:49 for the correct time, and as such ntpd reset the time to 19:49 within a matter of moments..

does anyone know what ive done wrong?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Is this a dedicated virtual server, or a virtualized one? Some virtualization software can have a desync between the clocks on the host and guest OSs.

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hmm... very good point. i didnt mention the server i was working on was virtualised. i bet the host os (xen) is configured wrong, and xentools is forcing the date on the guests. ill have a look and mark you correct if this is the case. – mykchan Sep 8 '10 at 3:04
sadly, i havent had a chance to test this theory, as the host has the correct time. the guest now has the correct time too, however, so im pretty sure you were on the money. – mykchan Sep 8 '10 at 3:17

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