It was installed by default on the previous distributions (jessie, wheezy, etc), but it is not so on stretch. Before installing it, I wish to know whether there is some other preferred means to ensure time is synchronized. I just recently discovered the timesyncd daemon, however, it does not appear to be setup. Is timesyncd what should now be used? If neither ntpd or timesyncd is running, how does the RPi keep time synchronized?

  • The Debian Handbook still refers to NTP. – Jeff Schaller Nov 20 '17 at 18:51
  • @JeffSchaller so go with NTP or timesync? – user1032531 Nov 21 '17 at 13:46
  • I'm not a Debian expert, so I would go with what their handbook says. If there's discussions underway to convert from NTP to timesync, I didn't find any (that doesn't mean there isn't -- just that I didn't find it). – Jeff Schaller Nov 21 '17 at 14:08
  • @JeffSchaller My gut feel is timesync is likely preferred for a client only. – user1032531 Nov 21 '17 at 23:44

The pi does not have a hardware clock, afaik, so ntpd OR timesync are mandatory. Given systemd's track record, I would stick with ntpd.

Systemd track record: http://www.cvedetails.com/cve/CVE-2017-15908/

You may claim, yeah, all software is vulnerable and I say fine.

However, systemd team wrote their own code instead of using road-worn glic code. Amusingly, glibc had this exact same issue some years prior ...

Why develop time-sync if you have ntpd ? I don't know of a logical explanation. I would create a systemd unit that starts ntpd to keep time and disable timesync. That is just me, I have my reasons as outlined above.

  • Thanks thecarpy, As date displays the correct time and as you indicate there is no on-board hardware clock, something is keeping time synchronized. But neither ntpd or timesync seem to be doing so. Maybe I am not checking correctly. Recommendations how I should check? – user1032531 Nov 20 '17 at 13:24
  • Hm, on my pi, I have time-sync.target as output of systemctl | grep time, you don't ? – thecarpy Nov 20 '17 at 13:49
  • Ah, yes I do. I am new to systemctl still, and was trying things like systemctl status timesync. – user1032531 Nov 20 '17 at 13:52
  • On my system (Stretch Lite), that target seems empty from systemctl list-dependencies time-sync.target – Elliott B Aug 7 '18 at 5:45

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