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rdate is a TCP/IP command used to retrieve the date and time from a host or hosts on the network and optionally set the local system time.


rdate [options] [host...]


Send errors and output to syslogd.
Print the retrieved dates.
Set the local system time from the host; must be specified by root.
-t n 
Timeout each retrieval attempt after n seconds.
Use UDP instead of TCP.


  • e.g. add the following to a file in your /etc/cron.hourly/ dir (after choosing an NTP):
/usr/bin/rdate -s time.nist.gov   # or, "time.u.washington.edu", etc.

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