my cron jobs are executed half an hour later than when they are supposed to. Does cron refer to the system time when it executes its jobs or refers to its own time(if it has one)?
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cron refers to system time, so you may have to correct the clock.
Yes, cron will run at the system time, which might be different to yours.
and compare that to /etc/TIMEZONE
Or the time might be wrong, have you configured ntp?