How to Set Time, Timezone and Synchronize System Clock Using timedatectl Command

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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12 Responses

  1. Harshal Wagh says:

    I have one doubt.

    Lets say if i have 2 system and both are in same time zone have “System clock synchronized: yes” or “NTP synchronized: yes” . so does it mean both systems the have exact times.

  2. Roger says:

    Thanks for the examples this helped me to quickly set up ntp synchronization.

    One issue found on a minimal Centos7 server install was:

    # timedatectl set-ntp true
    Failed to set ntp: NTP not supported.

    The solution was to install chrony. After that the set-ntp true command worked.

    # yum install chrony
  3. Tim says:


    I had problems setting my timezone, e.g.

    # timedatectl set-timezone Europe/Berlin

    resulted in

    Failed to set time zone: Invalid time zone 'Europe/Berlin'

    though this is listed by timedatectl list-timezones.

    The actual files to which the program timedatectl puts a symlink are very few. E.g.

    ls /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/

    only lists 3 cities, one for each available timezone in Europe. So find your timezone city (e.g. Paris for Berlin, Copenhagen etc.) and set this if you encounter the same issue.

  4. Logixor says:

    And ofcourse we set “timedatectl set-ntp true” and it magically works, but who sets the desired server, where, how. This is a big mess. Having the systemd and having to manually add the servers to the “/etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf” just looks wrong.

    Also the timestamp of “/etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf” is used for the internal workings of the timedatectl and guess what, if you manually modify this file you will actually change its timestamp. Really, this is a big huge mess.

  5. Brett E says:


    I did the following,

    # timedatectl set-ntp true

    But afterwards, the file /etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf, still had the Time servers commented out,


    My question is, does the timesyncd.conf file have to be edited after running, timedatectl set-ntp true ?

    Thank you.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      The default the internet cluster of ntp servers will be used. Unless you want to use the specified servers in /etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf, you can leave the time servers commented out.

  6. dn says:

    Has the software been tested for edge cases, eg UTC+13?

  7. dn says:

    These animated printouts are not an improvement – it looks cute, but the user has to wait to read what interests, and goes elsewhere.

    • eehh says:

      I had the very same thought about the animated examples since I came here just for a quick glance at timedatectl syntax and was turned off by visual bloat. Ironically, there’s a typo in item #8 — and the correct syntax can be seen in the GIF.

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