What is the command to update time and date from Internet? Is there any application that allows me to do so from its user interface rather than from the shell?

  • Can you identify which Ubuntu version you are using?
    – david6
    Nov 21, 2011 at 22:04
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    Do you need extremely accurate time? (If so, you need to familiarize yourself with ntpq and choose time servers). If you just want your time to be (approx.) correct, then try: System Settings >> Time & Date, and check that 'Set the time' is set to 'Automatically from the Internet'.
    – david6
    Nov 21, 2011 at 23:26
  • If you want constantly extremely accurate, install ntpd. This is a small process that runs in the background and adjusts time constantly instead of bursts/jumps, but it will take up a bit of your resources.
    – strugee
    May 24, 2013 at 4:08
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    This question is of critical importance nowadays. Lately it's become very tricky : some PCs use chrony or ntpd, they always find a reason NOT to update the time (clock is too wrong, win dual-boot-related issues, ntp may also refuse to trust clock sources that don't have internet). Moreover, if you have a PC with internet, but a wrong clock, as now browsers and websites force you to use HTTPS, it will block as your clock is wrong, and you can't even google how to fix it! It would be nice if there was an answer that addresses all cases. "Set the clock by hand" is the most reliable one now...
    – bct
    Apr 23, 2019 at 5:55

12 Answers 12


This is a nice little code I found to update your time in case you have issues with ntp:

sudo date -s "$(wget -qSO- --max-redirect=0 google.com 2>&1 | grep Date: | cut -d' ' -f5-8)Z"
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    Nice solution !
    – Farid Rn
    Aug 24, 2016 at 10:55
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    This should be the accepted answer!
    – brijs
    Jan 31, 2017 at 18:23
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    Works, but I have one problem. The command sets the clock to GMT, not the local time. Any workaround for this? Mar 23, 2018 at 5:46
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    This is good, but it usually will be between 8 and 50 ms behind since it doesn't synchronize per se. Jul 14, 2018 at 14:54
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    the solution works, but don't expect accuracy compared to NTP. this approach simple does an HTTP request to google.com and syncs local date. NTP is quite more than that: datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/rfc5905
    – logoff
    Aug 18, 2021 at 10:03

You can do so with e.g. sudo ntpdate time.nist.gov. Other servers include time.windows.com, etc.

http://www.pool.ntp.org/ lists time servers around the world.

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    I'm getting an error the NTP socket is in use, exiting Aug 11, 2014 at 2:29
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    @friederbluemle As said in this answer, you have to stop ntp service sudo service ntp stop. Then you can use the command suggested in the answer and finally you can restart the service with sudo service ntp start
    – Michele
    Sep 7, 2014 at 14:35
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    I get a "ntpdate[15806]: no server suitable for synchronization found" error. The second answer below using the google.com works better
    – Kim Stacks
    May 4, 2017 at 12:10
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    ntpdate: command not found
    – rogerdpack
    May 17, 2018 at 21:08
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    if you want to use nptdate, and it's not found, then: sudo apt install ntpdate; note that it's not installed by default anymore, and may no longer be the preferred solution with latest versions of ubuntu; see help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuTime and see also askubuntu.com/questions/254826/… for more options (as well as other answers to this question)
    – michael
    Sep 13, 2018 at 19:30

As of 2018 with a fresh installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, running sudo ntpdate time.nist.gov gives:

sudo: ntpdate: command not found

This is because (official source):

ntpdate is considered deprecated in favour of timedatectl and thereby no more installed by default.

Instead do this to force the sync to happen now:

sudo timedatectl set-ntp off
sudo timedatectl set-ntp on

In my case I was running a Ubuntu on a virtualbox and had saved the machine state so when I started the instance back up again it did not automatically sync the clock since there was no boot event to trigger the sync. So the time was still showing what it was the last time I was running the virtual box.

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    I just upgraded to bionic and noticed that ntpdate wasn't working anymore, and timedatectl worked for me.
    – kapad
    Jul 6, 2018 at 8:39
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    It worked for me too, on Ubuntu 18.04.
    – apaderno
    Jul 14, 2018 at 11:43
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    If the time doesn't change, check your timezone with just timedatectl. If it's wrong, see the --help section for the command on how to change it.
    – Brad Turek
    Aug 22, 2018 at 16:28
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    Nice catch for the Virtual Box. Saved a lot of debugging headache! Nov 11, 2018 at 23:57
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    Worked nicely for me.
    – Patrick S
    Jul 20, 2022 at 7:20

Running this command in a terminal should do the trick

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

You can add extra time zones graphically, I think, by clicking on the clock and going through its options.

  • Timezones are not really the same as (accurate) time. But, it also not very clear what Vikramjeet was asking either.
    – david6
    Nov 21, 2011 at 22:05
  • What is the command to update time and date from Internet is the question, sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata is the answer, so what gives? the comment about the timezones, is related to the only thing i know to be possible graphically
    – Jayo
    Nov 21, 2011 at 22:24
  • I assumed that by graphically they meant a graphical (or 'GUI') method, and NOT geographic (or worldwide).
    – david6
    Nov 21, 2011 at 22:55
  • so did i, i am not aware of a way to update the date and time via the net graphically, so i use the terminal, what i do know how to do graphically is set up time zones, the part about time zones was my two cents on what can be done to affect the time in a graphical manner, as far as i knew, am i understood now?
    – Jayo
    Nov 21, 2011 at 23:19
  • this works for me since it does update the time
    – ch271828n
    Oct 1, 2021 at 0:39

It's very easy to set up from command line: https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/NTP.html From that link:

Ubuntu comes with ntpdate as standard, and will run it once at boot time to set up your time according to Ubuntu's NTP server: ntpdate -s ntp.ubuntu.com

Here's GUI example https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuTime#Time_Synchronization_using_NTP

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    Please do not use links to other sites. When they disappear so does the information you posted. Prevent 'link rot' from happening by answering with the content of the link (and give credit where credit is due).
    – Rinzwind
    Nov 21, 2011 at 13:46

Most here won't work, since ntp will override your settings within seconds.

You need to disable NTP first. On ubuntu it is done as:

    # Disable ntp
    sudo timedatectl set-ntp 0

Then you can do:

    # Set software clock 
    sudo date --set="2018-04-01 22:22:22"
    # Sync with hardware clock 
    sudo hwclock --systohc

I had this issue because I would pause a VM for a while and when I resume, Ubuntu 20.04 would refuse to update any packages until the time was corrected. (i.e. packages were not from the 'future').

The easiest way (by terminal) was to run this command:

sudo systemctl restart systemd-timesyncd

Tested on Ubuntu's main GNOME edition 20.04.

No need for a separate command to restart NTP. Updates the reported time in GNOME as well.

You can add this to your bash files:

synctime() {
  sudo systemctl restart systemd-timesyncd

and run the command after reloading your bash files (or opening a new terminal).

  • It works great.
    – omt66
    Nov 22, 2022 at 19:12
dateFromServer=$(curl -v --silent https://google.com/ 2>&1 \
   | grep Date | sed -e 's/< Date: //'); date +"%d%m%Y%H%M%S" -d "$dateFromServer"


date -s `curl -I 'https://startpage.com/' 2>/dev/null | grep -i '^date:' | sed 's/^[Dd]ate: //g'`
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    The standard way of setting the date and time by connecting with time servers via ntp. Why are you using https connections to do this?
    – xiota
    May 14, 2018 at 1:23
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    // , Sometimes it's nice to have an alternative to the standard way, I guess. Jan 16, 2019 at 3:25
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    My ISP was blocking my NTP server
    – Tyler
    Feb 4, 2019 at 5:06

Is there any application that allows me to do so from its user interface rather than from the shell?

I'm using 17.10 and can go to Settings (from the upper-right menu in the UI) > Details > Date & Time. In my case, my system wasn't updating from the Internet even though "Automatic Date & Time" was set to "ON". I simply changed it to "OFF", waited a second, then changed it back to "ON". It picked up the current date and time and I was good to go.


You need to install the ntp package. Date/Time settings are availble under system settings. Here's some more information.

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    The link is dead... As said by Rinzwind "Please do not use links to other sites. When they disappear so does the information you posted. Prevent 'link rot' from happening by answering with the content of the link (and give credit where credit is due)." Thanks
    – Michele
    Sep 7, 2014 at 14:30

Thanks to Twiglets [For AsusWRT/Merlin Routers]

Here is an alternative that DOES set the date !!! [-s option]. Prints out 'Date' it retrieves & the 'Date' that is set for comparison.

On AsusWRT / Merlin, the only thing that is odd is that the date retrieved is ".... GMT" and the date utility sets the correct time but changes it to "... DST" Environment has TZ set to "GMT"

datetext=$(curl -I '' 2>/dev/null | grep "Date:" |sed 's/Date: [A-Z][a-z][a-z], //g'| sed 's/\r//') ; echo "Date Retrieved = $datetext" ; echo -n "Date set = " ; date -s "$datetext" -D'%d %b %Y %T %Z'

Sometimes when time is out of sync, it is really hard to even go to the internet since it could make DNSSEC validation failures.

This is another way to sync time using ssh

sshpass -p 'password' ssh -t -o StrictHostKeyChecking=no user@hostname "sudo -S <<< 'password' date -s @$(date -u +"%s")"

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