Consistent Time

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provides a means to ensure that the system clocks and time stamps of the many computers in a network are well synchronized. This profile specifies synchronization with a median error less than 1 second. This is sufficient for most purposes.

Formal Specification

See Also

Windows Client Configuration

To configure Windows system to be a time client, simply enter the following at the command line:

C:\> net time /setsntp:hostname

Where hostname is the host name or IP address of the time server.

To ensure that your clock is updated immediately, stop the windows time service, set your clock back 5 minutes, then set the hostname, and restart your time service.

C:\> net stop w32time
C:\> time
C:\> net time /setsntp:hostname
C:\> net start w32time

Unix Client Configuration

On a unix system, ask a sysadmin to ensure that ntpd is running and configured properly. Typically, this involves ensuring that /etc/ntp.conf contains the following line:

 server hostname

Where hostname is the host name or IP address of the time server.


  • NIST provides several time servers in the US that can be used to synchronize a system's internal clock.
  • is the international pool of NTP servers set up to distribute and share the load on time servers.

A May 2012 Economist article commented on the persistent need for time synchronization of medical devices.

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