Setting the hardware clock and system time

I have had persistent problems properly setting the hardware clock and system time using Mandriva's graphical tools. This documents how to do so using the terminal. …

The following presumes the hardware clock to be in UTC and the system time set to the local time zone.

First, see what time the hardware clock (first line) and the system time (second line) think it is:

hwclock --utc --show

In both cases the time will be shown in local time, despite being stored in the hardware clock in UTC.

If the hardware clock is incorrect, set it:

hwclock --utc --set --date="8/24/09 09:04:00"
hwclock --utc --show

The first line says that the hardware clock should be set to 9:04:00 am, August 24, 2009, local time, but to store it in UTC. The second line displays in local time the hardware clock's new value to check your work.

Now set the system time to agree with the hardware clock (first line) and check your work (second line):

hwclock --utc --hctosys

Your hardware clock and system time are now correct. The graphical clock in your desktop environment should update itself within a few seconds.

TODO: Document how to check and correct local time zone. tzselect might do this, or changing TZ= in a */profile file. Is this a system-wide setting, per user, or both?


About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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