So, my server is living in the future, unfortunately I can't get lottery numbers, or stock picks out of it.

It thinks this is the time: Thu Nov 7 04:07:18 EST 2013

Not correct, I tried to set the time manually via date in a few ways

# date -s "06 NOV 2013 14:48:00"

# date 110614482013 -- same output, same problem

Which outputs Wed Nov 6 14:48:00 EST 2013, but when I check the date again, it's still set to Nov 7th 0400 or whatever.

I checked my system messages, and I see this pop up often:

Nov 7 03:54:00 www ntpd[4482]: time correction of -47927 seconds exceeds sanity limit (1000); set clock manually to the correct UTC time.

Which makes sense, we're way off the correct time. But I can't seem to manually fix it. So now what?

Also, I'm wondering if my hardware clock is setup correct, hwclock doesn't return any values. Would that be causing issues?

This is a virtualized server, I don't have direct access to the hypervisor, but I can talk to who does, assume I can explain myself well enough.


  • 1
    Have you tried stopping ntpd, setting the time manually (or via ntpdate), and restarting ntpd?
    – MadHatter
    Nov 6, 2013 at 19:55
  • I think so, but I'll try it again just to be sure, thanks.
    – kevingreen
    Nov 6, 2013 at 19:56
  • Just tried setting via date, and ntpdate, unfortunately, still stuck 15 hours into the future. @MadHatter
    – kevingreen
    Nov 6, 2013 at 19:57
  • 1
    What kind of hypervisor is it? Nov 6, 2013 at 19:58
  • You did stop ntpd first, yes?
    – MadHatter
    Nov 6, 2013 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


At it's default settings, ntpd will refuse to make any large changes to the system clock, as it assumes something has gone wrong. To force a large NTP update, do the following:

  1. Stop the NTPD service
  2. run ntpd -gnqd
  3. Start the NTPD service again

This will cause the NTP daemon to update the time once in the foreground and will allow large time changes.

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