Synchronizing Computer Time
Maintaining synchronized clocks across your clients is essential for management
reliability. Synchronized times allow for more precise audits and allow you to accurately
correlate events between clients on the network. In addition, many internet services
rely on, or benefit from, clock times that are synchronized to a Network Time Protocol
(NTP) server. Any scheduled event benefits from synchronized client time.
All Mac OS X clients can be set to automatically synchronize their clocks with an NTP
server. Mac OS X Server can be configured to act as an NTP server as well. In order to
maintain synchronization across your clients, you should choose a single NTP server to
synchronize to. Apple provides an NTP server at time.apple.com.
Setting computer time requires the use of Apple Remote Desktop’s Send UNIX
Command feature and its built-in command-line tool,
. See “Built-in
Command-Line Tools” on page 159 for more information about the tool.
Administering Client Computers
To synchronize client computer clocks:
Select a computer list in the Remote Desktop window.
Select one or more computers in the selected computer list.
Choose Manage > Send UNIX Command.
Use the provided Templates for Send UNIX Command to set the time server (see “Send
UNIX Command Templates” on page 155 for more information).
Select System Setup > Network Time from the Template pop-up menu.
Select System Setup > Network Time Server from the Template pop-up menu.
Change the time server from time.apple.com to whichever time server you want, if
Alternatively, manually enter the UNIX command.
Type or paste the following UNIX command:
systemsetup -setusingnetworktime on -setnetworktimeserver <NTP server
Set the user permissions for this command to be sent as the user “root.”