On one of my servers (Debian 9) I disabled IPv6. Now I receive the following error in the system's syslog:

systemd-timesyncd[645]: Failed to setup connection socket: \
    Address family not supported by protocol

How can I disable IPv6 for systemd-timesyncd?

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    Have you specified your time server by IP address or by name? If by name, run getent hosts <name-of-NTP-server>. If you get an IPv6 address back, your DNS resolver library is still preferring IPv6 over IPv4 and you'll need to fix that. – telcoM Sep 5 '18 at 17:23

It seems to be a known systemd bug in Arch. Did not find any reference for Debian itself, but is possible there is a similar bug. From the arch wiki relevant post

systemd-timesyncd will contact servers in turn until one is found that responds. Arch uses the zones in the order of 0, 1, 2, 3. However, all pool.ntp.org zones only have IPv6 and IPv4 enabled on the 2 subdomain. All others are IPv4 only. Therefore, 2 should be placed first in order to properly provide support for IPv6/IPv4 hosts.

It is also possible DHCP is giving you a wrong NTP server.

The following settings are configured in the "[Time]" section:


A space-separated list of NTP server host names or IP addresses. During runtime this list is combined with any per-interface NTP servers acquired from systemd-networkd.service(8). systemd-timesyncd will contact all configured system or per-interface servers in turn until one is found that responds. This setting defaults to an empty list.


A space-separated list of NTP server host names or IP addresses to be used as the fallback NTP servers. Any per-interface NTP servers obtained from systemd-networkd.service(8) take precedence over this setting, as do any servers set via NTP= above. This setting is hence only used if no other NTP server information is known. If this option is not given, a compiled-in list of NTP servers is used instead.

Possible workaround: disabling systemd-timesyncd and installing chrony

| improve this answer | |
  • Someone more familiar with systemd than myself might also suggest a systemd-timesyncd friendly workaround. – Rui F Ribeiro Sep 5 '18 at 18:24

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