[Techtalk] If it weren't so embarasssing, it would be funny

Laurel Fan laurel at freeshell.org
Fri Oct 12 04:25:01 EST 2001

On Fri, Oct 12, 2001 at 04:44:07AM -0400, Jennifer Davis wrote:
> What is the command to change the time?  I don't want to put a Win95
> bootdisk in just so I can change the time?  By the way, it's my slack 8
> system.

You can change the time using the date command (the same command used
to display the current time)[1].  For my debian system, the syntax
would be something like:

  date 10112057

(to set the date to oct 11, and the time to 20:57).  You probably have
to be root.  It may be different for yours, try "man date" or "info
date" for documentation.

To keep the time up to date, consider running ntp (network time
protocol).  Essentially, ntp periodically asks server(s) you specify
what time it is[2].  There are probably two parts which you may be
interested in:

ntpdate: queries a list of servers for the time and sets your clock

ntpd: queries a list of servers for the time every so often to keep
the clock accurate.

There are probably packages you can install to get these for your
distribution (or you may already have them), otherwise check the URL

More information on NTP can be found at

[1] Not the time command.  The time command times the execution of a
program.  If you type "time ls", it will run ls and then tell you how
long it took.

[2] It is, of course, more complicated (and more interesting, if
you're in to that sort of thing) than that, to take into consideration
network lag and such.

laurel at sdf.lonestar.org
SDF Public Access UNIX System - http://sdf.lonestar.org

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