I'm currently (for some days now) having the problem, that my Ubuntu clock runs too fast. and by too fast I mean like: last time I adjusted it was at 4 PM, now (10:25 PM) it shows 10:57 PM ! Any ideas how to fix that?

Could it have something to do with handbrake? (I'm currently ripping my DVD collection, so handbrake is always running).

My System:

Ubuntu 10.4, all updates, handbrake from getdeb (0.9.4 I think), Intel Core2Quad, 4 GB Ram, NVidia GTX 260 (195.36.24 according to nvidia-settings)

Output of dmesg
Output of cat /proc/interrupts

Output of cmdline:

root=UUID=082d6800-413b-43d7-b4d1-b96b0d774f32 ro quiet splash

4 Answers 4


Maybe your CMOS battery is getting empty (the battery on the motherboard itself).

You can hit F1 (or DEL according to you motherboard) at the first seconds during pc starup to enter BIOS.

in the BIOS you can check the hardware clock.

Just let the computer run and check if the time stays correct (during this time you can't use your computer)

If the hardware clock is not running correctly, you can replace the battery. http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000239.htm


While I'm not sure what is causing your system clock to drift so badly, you can install ntpd to keep your clock in hand - it continuously adjusts the system clock based on the calculated drift.

sudo apt-get install ntp

By default it syncs to ntp.ubuntu.com but you can edit /etc/ntp.conf if you want to change the NTP server. For more details see the NTP page in the server guide.


If I recall an article I read once on lwn.net

Once the computer is booted it keeps track of time by the clock frequency of the system as this is more accurate than the quartz in the cmos and saves an expensive and (relatively) slow BIOS call.

There was a problem with virtual machines having their CPU time sliced that caused the problem.

This person has a good breakdown of how to edit the grub boot options: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=956263

Which basically says to edit the /boot/grub/menu.lst and add clock=tsc to the boot options

  • 1
    +1. However the steps are for grub-legacy. Ubuntu 10.04 uses grub2 which would not have any /boot/grub/menu.lst but the config information is stored in /boot/grub/grub.cfg. Except for the change of filename all other details in the linked post look ok. However grub.cfg gets regenerated each time a new kernel is added (via e.g., software updates), so the permanent fix would be to edit the grub templates. See grub 2 guide at ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1195275 or official manual at gnu.org/software/grub/manual
    – koushik
    Sep 6, 2010 at 11:32

Just a guess, try un-installing VirtualBox.


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