Setting and syncing time on CentOS with ntp Print

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It's important to keep your server's time and date correct and in-sync, so that logs and visitor activities all tally up. Thankfully, it's a very easy task to do.

Step 1: Set your timezone

The first step is to ensure you're using the correct timezone. You might want to use your home location's timezone, or stick with something universal like UTC. For purposes of demonstration, we'll show two examples and you can use/tweak whichever is most appropriate for you:

cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/UTC /etc/localtime

This will overwrite the localtime file with the UTC  timezone. This is recommended for web and production servers for PCI compliance.

cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime

This will overwrite the localtime file with the Europe/London timezone. You can also specify other timezones, for example "America/New_York" or whichever timezone of your choice.

Step 2: Install ntpd

NTPd is the server daemon/service that runs in the background and frequently checks the date and time. Installation is very simple:

yum install ntpd

Once installed, we'll want to ensure NTPd runs every time the server is booted up:

chkconfig ntpd on

And finally we want to start ntpd immediately so that it can begin syncing our time:

service ntpd start

Step 3: Sync the time

The last step is to sync the time right now. It's also super-simple to do:

ntpdate pool.ntp.org

And that's it! Your server time is up to date and will always be in-sync. Well done!

 


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