Setting the system date and clock

To set the system clock, use the date command.

For Redhat Systems, use the following format:

date --set="Mmm DD HH:MM:SS YYYY"


date --set="Oct 20 15:52:29 2004"

For FreeBSD systems, use the following format:



date 0410201544

Will set the date/time to 2004, October 20th, 15:44 (3:44pm).

For any operating system, if you have the rdate program, you can simply type:

rdate -s

to sync your server with the atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado. Note that if the value set by rdate isn't correct, then you likely have a wrong timezone specified. Commands like system-config-date or redhat-config-date can set it up for you.

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