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timedatectl - Control the system time and date


timedatectl [OPTIONS...] {COMMAND}


timedatectl may be used to query and change the system clock and its settings.

Use systemd-firstboot(1) to initialize the system time zone for mounted (but not booted) system images.

timedatectl may be used to show the current status of systemd-timesyncd.service(8).


The following options are understood:


Do not query the user for authentication for privileged operations.


If set-local-rtc is invoked and this option is passed, the system clock is synchronized from the RTC again, taking the new setting into account. Otherwise, the RTC is synchronized from the system clock.


If timesync-status is invoked and this option is passed, then timedatectl monitors the status of systemd-timesyncd.service(8) and updates the outputs. Use Ctrl+C to terminate the monitoring.

-a, --all

When showing properties of systemd-timesyncd.service(8), show all properties regardless of whether they are set or not.

-p, --property=

When showing properties of systemd-timesyncd.service(8), limit display to certain properties as specified as argument. If not specified, all set properties are shown. The argument should be a property name, such as "ServerName". If specified more than once, all properties with the specified names are shown.


When printing properties with show-timesync, only print the value, and skip the property name and "=".

-H, --host=

Execute the operation remotely. Specify a hostname, or a username and hostname separated by "@", to connect to. The hostname may optionally be suffixed by a port ssh is listening on, seperated by ":", and then a container name, separated by "/", which connects directly to a specific container on the specified host. This will use SSH to talk to the remote machine manager instance. Container names may be enumerated with machinectl -H HOST. Put IPv6 addresses in brackets.

-M, --machine=

Execute operation on a local container. Specify a container name to connect to.

-h, --help

Print a short help text and exit.


Print a short version string and exit.


Do not pipe output into a pager.


The following commands are understood:


Show current settings of the system clock and RTC, including whether network time synchronization through systemd-timesyncd.service is active. Even if it is inactive, a different service might still synchronize the clock. If no command is specified, this is the implied default.


Show the same information as status, but in machine readable form. This command is intended to be used whenever computer-parsable output is required. Use status if you are looking for formatted human-readable output.

By default, empty properties are suppressed. Use --all to show those too. To select specific properties to show, use --property=.

set-time [TIME]

Set the system clock to the specified time. This will also update the RTC time accordingly. The time may be specified in the format "2012-10-30 18:17:16".

set-timezone [TIMEZONE]

Set the system time zone to the specified value. Available timezones can be listed with list-timezones. If the RTC is configured to be in the local time, this will also update the RTC time. This call will alter the /etc/localtime symlink. See localtime(5) for more information.


List available time zones, one per line. Entries from the list can be set as the system timezone with set-timezone.

set-local-rtc [BOOL]

Takes a boolean argument. If "0", the system is configured to maintain the RTC in universal time. If "1", it will maintain the RTC in local time instead. Note that maintaining the RTC in the local timezone is not fully supported and will create various problems with time zone changes and daylight saving adjustments. If at all possible, keep the RTC in UTC mode. Note that invoking this will also synchronize the RTC from the system clock, unless --adjust-system-clock is passed (see above). This command will change the 3rd line of /etc/adjtime, as documented in hwclock(8).

set-ntp [BOOL]

Takes a boolean argument. Controls whether network time synchronization is active and enabled (if available). If the argument is true, this enables and starts the first existed service listed in the environment variable $SYSTEMD_TIMEDATED_NTP_SERVICES of systemd-timedated.service. If the argument is false, then this disables and stops the all services listed in $SYSTEMD_TIMEDATED_NTP_SERVICES.

systemd-timesyncd Commands

The following commands are specific to systemd-timesyncd.service(8).


Show current status of systemd-timesyncd.service(8). If --monitor is specified, then this will monitor the status updates.


Show the same information as timesync-status, but in machine readable form. This command is intended to be used whenever computer-parsable output is required. Use timesync-status if you are looking for formatted human-readable output.

By default, empty properties are suppressed. Use --all to show those too. To select specific properties to show, use --property=.


On success, 0 is returned, a non-zero failure code otherwise.


Pager to use when --no-pager is not given; overrides $PAGER. If neither $SYSTEMD_PAGER nor $PAGER are set, a set of well-known pager implementations are tried in turn, including less(1) and more(1), until one is found. If no pager implementation is discovered no pager is invoked. Setting this environment variable to an empty string or the value "cat" is equivalent to passing --no-pager.


Override the options passed to less (by default "FRSXMK").

If the value of $SYSTEMD_LESS does not include "K", and the pager that is invoked is less, Ctrl+C will be ignored by the executable. This allows less to handle Ctrl+C itself.


Override the charset passed to less (by default "utf-8", if the invoking terminal is determined to be UTF-8 compatible).


Show current settings:

$ timedatectl
               Local time: Thu 2017-09-21 16:08:56 CEST
           Universal time: Thu 2017-09-21 14:08:56 UTC
                 RTC time: Thu 2017-09-21 14:08:56
                Time zone: Europe/Warsaw (CEST, +0200)
System clock synchronized: yes
              NTP service: active
          RTC in local TZ: no

Enable network time synchronization:

$ timedatectl set-ntp true
==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.freedesktop.timedate1.set-ntp ===
Authentication is required to control whether network time synchronization shall be enabled.
Authenticating as: user
Password: ********

$ systemctl status systemd-timesyncd.service
● systemd-timesyncd.service - Network Time Synchronization
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/systemd-timesyncd.service; enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Mo 2015-03-30 14:20:38 CEST; 5s ago
     Docs: man:systemd-timesyncd.service(8)
 Main PID: 595 (systemd-timesyn)
   Status: "Using Time Server ("
   CGroup: /system.slice/systemd-timesyncd.service
           └─595 /lib/systemd/systemd-timesyncd

Show current status of systemd-timesyncd.service(8):

$ timedatectl timesync-status
       Server: (
Poll interval: 1min 4s (min: 32s; max 34min 8s)
         Leap: normal
      Version: 4
      Stratum: 1
    Reference: GPS
    Precision: 1us (-20)
Root distance: 335us (max: 5s)
       Offset: +316us
        Delay: 349us
       Jitter: 0
 Packet count: 1
    Frequency: -8.802ppm


systemd(1), hwclock(8), date(1), localtime(5), systemctl(1), systemd-timedated.service(8), systemd-timesyncd.service(8), systemd-firstboot(1)
systemd 241