OIT Time Server

Time Server

A time server is a computer that is synchronized with a very accurate time source and can be used to provide accurate timing for personal computers and servers.

Why Use It

Clocks in most desktop computers and servers aren't precise so they tend to drift slowly. Over large periods of time computer timing can be off dramatically. These types of inaccuracies can cause problems when OIT staff troubleshoot a problem or verify security information.

Who Should Use It

All campus computers that use campus resources. However, computers already connected to Active Directory (AD) are already connected to OIT's Time Server. If you do not know if your computer is connected to AD, you can follow the instructions below and the process will let you know if you connected.

Why OIT Provides a Time Server

  1. If we have a significant internet service outage, you won't be able to reach a time server and this could be the point when accurate time is most important.
  2. If a time server on the internet is removed or we lose access to it for some reason, it might take a while before anyone realizes it. Providing a local time server also makes it possible to provide more secure time services which are not as susceptible to tampering or 'poisoning' as the time servers available on the public internet. This would allow OIT to provide more accurate audit trails for reporting purposes.

For more information about computer time synchronization, check out Watch Guard's website.

How To Connect

Windows XP/Vista/7

Before beginning, please note: Some campus computers are connected to Active Directory (AD) and are therefore already connected to OIT's Time Server. You will know you are connected to AD and OIT's Time Server if you do not see the Internet Server Tab in step 3 below. Server administrators are urged to configure servers using the manual configuration steps to enable redundant time servers

1.) Right click date/time output in lower right corner of task bar

2.)  Select Adjust Date/Time 

3.) Select Internet Time tab. NOTE: If this tab is not visible, that means your computer is already connected to the OIT Time Server through Active Directory (AD) and you can stop at this step.

4.) Select Change settings button (Windows XP users skip this step)

5.) Type tick.net.unlv.edu in Server: text box

6.) Click Update Now button to commit settings and synchronize with time server


Windows XP/Vista/7/Server 2008 Manual Instructions for Multiple Time Sources

Manual Configuration

1.) Launch DOS prompt with proper permissions (run as administrator)

2.) Enter net start w32time to start the time service

       a.) Service may already be running if so you will recieve message stating "The requested service        has already been started." proceed to next step.

3.) Enter command w32tm /config /syncfromflags:manual /manualpeerlist:"tick.net.unlv.edu tock.net.unlv.edu”

4.) Enter DOS command w32tm /config /update

5.) Enter DOS command w32tm /resync

6.) Verify proper syncing by issuing the command w32tm /query /status (Works on Vista or later)

Mac OS X

1.) Select the Apple in the upper left corner

2.) Select Date & Time from System Preferences

3.) Type tick.net.unlv.edu, tock.net.unlv.edu in the "Set date and time automatically:" 

Manual Configuration (optional)

Tested on Mac OS X 10.4

1.) Launch terminal application

2.) Determine if ntp is configured to sync with UNLV NTP servers by issuing the command ntpq -p should reference ntp servers tick.net.unlv.edu and tock.net.unlv.edu 

3.) If not configured to reference UNLV NTP servers edit ntp.conf file with your favorite text editor. In this example I will use nano. Enter terminal command sudo nano /etc/ntp.conf

4.) Replace existing ntp servers with server tick.net.unlv.edu and server tock.net.unlv.edu

5.) Save updated ntp.conf file

6.) Restart NTP daemon by issuing terminal command sudo killall ntpd then issue the command sudo ntpd to restart

7.) Verify NTP sync by issuing the terminal command ntpq -p

Linux Debian/Ubuntu

1.) Determine if the NTP daemon is installed by issuing the command dpkg -l | grep -w ntp

2.) If not installed issue the terminal command apt-get install ntp

3.) Determine what ntp source if any the daemon is syncing to by issuing the terminal command ntpq -p

4.) If ntp source is anything other than (tick.net.unlv.edu or tock.net.unlv.edu) edit the ntpd config file (/etc/ntp.conf) with your favorite text editor. I used nano in this example.

5.) Under the heading “# You do need to talk to an NTP server or two (or three).” in the ntp config file include servers tick.net.unlv.edu and tock.net.unlv.edu

6.) Restart the NTP daemon to apply the recent changes to the configuration file by issuing the terminal command /etc/init.d/ntp restart

7.) Verify ntp sync by issuing the terminal command ntpq -p