Stay punctual with chrony

On Time

© Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

© Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

Article from Issue 225/2019

The chrony implementation of the network time protocol provides an alternative to the familiar NTP daemon.

Keeping your computer's clock set correctly is important; otherwise, a number of bad things can happen. For example, on a server, the logs can become inaccurate and confusing (and therefore insecure and ineffective). Also, when all files on your server or your desktop are modified or accessed, the time is noted. For day-to-day tasks, this timekeeping is moderately important, but for security it can be key, as you might imagine, if an attacker changes files on a system.

Networking can become disorganized, too. You may find with older implementations of secure web pages (SSL, Secure Sockets Layer) that the time on your desktop machine must have the correct time for the connections to work as expected.

Moreover, many anti-spam email systems treat time-warped email sent from the future as unwanted spam by default. Some systems instantly and silently refuse to process the offending email in any way, shape, or form. Finally do not forget that scheduled tasks (e.g., downloading new packages) also get messed up if your system clock is skewed.


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