For this answer, I'll assume that there may be several elements working hard to set your time straight. Since I don't really want to wild-guess about which one is working against you, I'll try and give you an answer which should help you find it yourself instead.
On a UNIX system, the clock can typically be set using the
stime system call. As things evolved, it also became possible to set the clocks more accurately using the
clock_settime call instead. You might also come accross
settimeofday. When running
date --set on a CentOS machine,
strace revealed that it used
Knowing this, a solution would be to trace these system calls. Good thing is, Linux has a mechanism for that: debugfs. On my system, calling
mount, I can see that this is available at
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
However, on some systems (including RedHat and probably CentOS), it isn't mounted at boot time. You'll therefore need to run...
# mount -t debugfs nodev /sys/kernel/debug
Also note that if you were in that directory before mounting, you might have to go out and back in before files start to appear in it.
Now we're ready to go. Let's enable the trace for our systems calls. I'm tracing all of them because I don't really want to check which one is really being used. Tracing for system calls can be set in
/sys/kernel/debug/tracing/events/syscalls. In this directory, you should find...
... depending on what's available on your system.
These correspond to the events of entering our system calls, which is what we want to trace (you'll also find
sys_exit_* directories). Within each directory, you'll find a file named
enable, the contents of which should appear to be 0. To trace these calls, set that to 1 instead:
# echo 1 > /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/events/syscalls/sys_enter_stime/enable
# echo 1 > /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/events/syscalls/sys_enter_clock_settime/enable
# echo 1 > /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/events/syscalls/sys_enter_settimeofday/enable
Now that we've set up our trap, just wait until something sets your time to its correct value. Once it has happened, run for the trace logs at...
# cat /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/trace
Now, unless something wrong occured, you should see one of the following lines:
stime-xxxxx [xxx] .... x.x: sys_stime(...)
clock_settime-xxxxx [xxx] .... x.x: sys_clock_settime(...)
settimeofday-xxxxx [xxx] .... x.x: sys_settimeofday(...)
The number right after
stime- (or another call's name) is the PID of the process which made the system call. Now go get it:
# ps -fp xxxxx
UID PID PPID C STIME TTY TIME CMD
root XXXXX XXXXX 0 hh:mm ? hh:mm:ss time_warrior
You should now have everything you need to make sure your system stops getting the time right. The simplest thing would probably be to kill the process, and make sure it isn't spawned at boot time ; of course, you'll have to make sure it doesn't serve a more important purpose before doing so : you don't want to completely crash your system...
Also remember to disable the trace when you're done by writing 0 to the files we edited earlier. A shortcut could be:
# echo 0 > /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/events/syscalls/enable
(this file acts as a master switch for all others ; it allows you to switch all system calls tracing off)
Note: as Mark Plotnick said in a comment
systemtap could be a slightly easier way to achieve similar results. I'll let him write a
stap answer if he feels like it, since I'm not fluent with
stap scripts at all.