Time Sync for Linux VMs in VMWare Workstation

You may have seen in my previous post about EyeOS that I tried many things to get time in sync on the virtual OS. It was drifting lots of time and after a few hours it was an hour behind. Google tells me this is quite common but I could not find anything that decidedly fixed it.

run ntpdate every hour. This is not advised, primarily because it will add a lot of extra load after a while to the public(free) time servers. Especially if I want to have several machines up to date. One thought then was to set up a local ntpd and let other guest OS sync time with that. But then I could not get that in sync so we were back to square one.

others mention using VMWare tools time sync.

My setup

Intel Quad Core i7-920 8GB RAM Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333MHz 8GB CL9 Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R Windows 7 x64 Vmware Workstation 7.1.1

What works for me

For ubuntu 10.10 x64

Make sure vmware tools is installed (type vmware and hit 'tab'). With a .txt editor open up "vmname.vmx" on your host OS. Set tools.syncTime = "FALSE" to "TRUE". Restart vm.

Now on this particular machine I've had ntpd installed, but it is now uninstalled.

For Red Hat Enterprise Linux  5 x64 - RHEL 5

  • Install vmware-tools (without make/gcc installed).
  • Set tools.syncTime = "TRUE"
  • Set up ntpd with the below from ntp.conf
  • Restart ntpd by getting root shell with 'su -' and then '/etc/init.d/ntpd restart'

I filled out the ntp-information during installation and then after wards I added the "tinker panic 0" which should let the ntpd make 'big jumps' and by commenting the fudge-line I chose not to use the local clock because this is drifting so much. More than 24 hours after I installed the OS the driftfile is still 0.000.


tinker panic 0 restrict default kod nomodify notrap nopeer noquery
restrict restrict -6 ::1
# Hosts on local network are less restricted.
#restrict mask nomodify notrap
server 0.rhel.pool.ntp.org
server 1.rhel.pool.ntp.org
server 2.rhel.pool.ntp.org
# Undisciplined Local Clock. This is a fake driver intended for backup # and when no outside source of synchronized time is available.
#fudge stratum 10
driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift
keys /etc/ntp/keys
restrict 0.rhel.pool.ntp.org mask nomodify notrap noquery
restrict 1.rhel.pool.ntp.org mask nomodify notrap noquery
restrict 2.rhel.pool.ntp.org mask nomodify notrap noquery