[ntp:questions] ntpd oddness

John Oliver joliver at john-oliver.net
Tue Apr 1 20:18:19 UTC 2008

I'm having a small issue with ntp-4.2.0.a.20040617-6.el4 running under
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 update 5.

In the Kickstart script to configure the server, I specify:

timezone --utc GMT/London

After the installation is done:

[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ date
Tue Apr  1 17:03:23 EDT 2008

/etc/localtime is a real file:

[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ ls -l /etc/localtime
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1267 Jan 31  2007 /etc/localtime

If I remove that file and replace it with a symlink:

[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ ls -l /etc/localtime
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root 23 Apr  1 21:04 /etc/localtime ->

The system clock displays correctly:

[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ date
Tue Apr  1 21:05:09 GMT 2008

But, now, the hwclock is always 12 hours off:

[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ /sbin/hwclock
Tue 01 Apr 2008 09:05:39 PM GMT  -0.323329 seconds
[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ sudo /sbin/hwclock --systohc
[joliver at 0123456789-VCS ~]$ /sbin/hwclock
Tue 01 Apr 2008 09:05:52 PM GMT  -0.776568 seconds

1) Why is /etc/localtime a file by default instead of a symlink?  Is
this just some silly Red Hat-ism that has to be avoided?

2) Why is my hardware clock 12 hours off from the system clock?

* John Oliver                              http://www.john-oliver.net/ *

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