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My system uses UTC for the system clock, which I don't particularly feel like changing. Is there an easy way to get the current TAI time? (preferably a command line tool or flag)

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Do you want to get the difference between UTC and TAI for informational purposes (e.g. it's 12:30:13 UTC and 12:30:45 TAI) or do you want to reset the clock from an external source to make up for accumulated differences on your local system? – Sven Jul 5 '12 at 19:58
At the moment just for informational purposes. And in case I ever want to use it in programming, since TAI, unlike UTC, is always monotonically increasing – JanKanis Jul 6 '12 at 9:19

There is work in progress to give Linux native support for TAI. Until then, you can use scheme-clock to convert to TAI.

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Hmm, so there's not any easy support currently, but kernel support is coming and then we just need to wait for userland utilities to support the CLOCK_TAI option. – JanKanis Jul 10 '12 at 9:52

You could use the "right/" timezone to display an approximation (<1s) of the TAI.

But you need to make sure that your timezone package is up-to-date (e.g. tzdata on Ubuntu).


TZ='right/UTC' date


$ date -u ; TZ='right/UTC' date
Mon Sep 16 13:36:21 UTC 2013
Mon Sep 16 13:35:56 UTC 2013
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It's easy to do: just run /usr/sbin/ntpdate;/sbin/hwclock --systohc once or add it to cron. I have it set to daily.

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Better use something like instead of a fixed IP address to load balance the service better. – Sven Jul 5 '12 at 19:59
also the authors of ntpdate label it as unmaintained, obsolete, and deprecated. People are encouraged to use ntpd and ntp-wait instead. Its better to just have your clock always correct than have it suddenly jump to the correct time periodically. – stew Jul 5 '12 at 20:00
I think NTP issues the UTC time, not TAI time which I specifically asked for. – JanKanis Jul 6 '12 at 9:21

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