Synchronize the system clock to Network Time Protocol (NTP) under Fedora or Red Hat Linux

by on May 5, 2006 · 20 comments· LAST UPDATED November 9, 2006

in , ,

The Network Time Protocol daemon (ntpd) program is a Linux operating system daemon. It sets and maintains the system time of day in synchronism with time servers (Mills).

You need to configure ntpd via /etc/ntp.conf configuration file. The file is well documented and you easily configure it.

Install ntpd

If ntpd is not installed use any one of the following command to install ntpd:
# yum install ntpOR# up2date ntp


You should at least set following parameter in /etc/ntp.conf config file:
server <Time Server Name or IP Address>

For example, open /etc/ntp.conf file using vi text editor:
# vi /etc/ntp.conf
Locate server parameter and set it as follows:

Save the file and restart the ntpd service:
# /etc/init.d/ntpd start

You can synchronize the system clock to an NTP server immediately with following command:
# ntpdate

 5 May 14:36:01 ntpdate[5257]: adjust time server offset -0.343242 sec
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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cool mind July 13, 2006 at 4:58 am

Time is not updated through Any other server that can be configured in /etc/ntpd.conf. Please suggest


2 nixCraft July 13, 2006 at 6:20 am

Goto -> and select the server you want :)


3 yellanna October 11, 2007 at 11:24 am

Iam unable to syn two systems time between redhat 7 and redhat enterprise 4.
Is there any please reply.


4 Timothy March 17, 2009 at 3:42 am

Works perfect! GNOME wouldn’t update the time itself, so I came here. Thanks, buddy!


5 ksk May 27, 2009 at 8:04 am

its good but tell me how i sync the client with my ntp server


6 Gururaj April 21, 2010 at 2:44 am

Hi ,
I am getting message as NTP socket in use , exiting … I am getting this message after I started the ntp service .

Do you know what it is ? any solution ?



7 DrCyb May 3, 2010 at 1:14 am

I had the same problem with Gururaj, until I found out that I need to stop the NTP service first.
/etc/init.d/ntpd stop
Then only ntpdate will work.

Why is this so when the instruction says to “Save the file and restart the ntpd service” then
“You can synchronize the system clock to an NTP server immediately with following command:” ?

The instructions doesn’t work in that order.


8 Sujith June 22, 2010 at 12:52 pm


9 Ville July 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Use or
They work nicely :)


10 Deb March 10, 2012 at 3:19 am

Hi, wanted to sync up my (SentOS)VM with NTP. Followed the above mentioned steps, but did not get the intended (described) results. Instead , I got the following errors :
[root@vm-perfads02 America]# /etc/init.d/ntpd start
Starting ntpd: <–Good ! No error !!
[root@vm-02 ~]# ntpdate
9 Mar 10:16:09 ntpdate[7372]: the NTP socket is in use, exiting
[root@vm-02 ~]# ntpdate
9 Mar 10:16:17 ntpdate[7375]: the NTP socket is in use, exiting
[root@vm-02 ~]# rdate -s
rdate: couldn't connect to host No route to host
I ended up fixing the issue , by date command ( as below ):
[root@vm-perfads02 America]# date
Fri Mar 9 10:27:33 PST 2012 <–This date was incorrect
[root@vm-perfads02 etc]# date 030918402012
Fri Mar 9 18:40:00 PST 2012 <–This is correct date [same as other servers]
Also bounced the box to recheck if the above date sticks and it does ! Hence sharing this info and good news. Kindest regards,


11 CharlieBrown April 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

ntpdate is not used anymore, now we have ntpd -q -g, as explained here:


12 Sameed Ahmed October 29, 2012 at 8:38 am

use ” ntpdate -u ”
If your server is behind firewall.


13 Mark January 8, 2013 at 4:10 am

I’m facing the problem on time incorrect even I had sync it correctly with ntpd. Weird.


14 Shweta January 25, 2013 at 7:20 am

ntpdate ntp_server_ip
after executing this command
its showing like ” no server suitable for synchronization”
Whats the reason behind this?


15 Santosh March 11, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Comment by Sameed Worked for me.. here is my system output.

[root@server1~]# ntpdate
11 Mar 17:11:11 ntpdate[31328]: the NTP socket is in use, exiting

[root@server1~]# date
Mon Mar 11 17:11:17 CDT 2013

[root@server1~]# ntpdate -u
11 Mar 17:29:29 ntpdate[31551]: step time server offset 979.012426 sec

[root@server1~]# date
Mon Mar 11 17:29:35 CDT 2013


16 Santosh March 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

not sure.. why my command was truncated in my comments so re posting.. I used:

“ntpdate [our internal server ip]” – Failed

“ntpdate -u [our internal server ip]” – worked.


17 wintel2006 June 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

sntp -P no -r

DO NOT use ntpdate anymore:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ntpdate program is deprecated and should not be used any more.


18 DG July 24, 2013 at 5:50 am

I am using SLES 11.1

!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ntpdate program is deprecated and should not be used any more. To
quote the upstream ntp developers:

“The functionality ntpdate offered is now provided by the ntpd daemon
itself. If you call ntpd with the command line option -q it will
retrieve the current time and set it accordingly.”

Please check the Network Time Protocol (NTP) daemon man page and
for further information.

You can replace the ntpdate call with “rcntp ntptimeset” to achieve an
inital poll of the servers specified in /etc/ntp.conf.

The program /usr/sbin/sntp offers comparable functionality to ntpdate.


sntp -P no -r [our internal server ip] ===> Worked


19 Ranjan July 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Hallo Sir,

How to set all my servers time table as my own server time in my Network ??? Is it possible & How ??? Can you please tell me the answer please … I am desperately want the replay sir…. THANKS in Advance.


20 idm March 4, 2014 at 7:01 am

Dear Sir,

How to minimize drift (dippresion ) in NTP master and client server.


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