Time drifts in virtual NetWare guest running under VMWare

  • 7000789
  • 01-Jul-2008
  • 27-Apr-2012


Novell NetWare 6.5
Novell NetWare 6.0
Novell NetWare 5.1
synchronisation / synchronise / virtualisation / virtualised (English spelling)
synchronization / synchronize / virtualization / virtualized (American spelling)


When running NetWare as a virtualised guest under VMWare, time speeds up or slows down. 

Several guests running on a single VMWare host and all guests started simultaneously.

It was noted that if time did not successfully synchronise when the virtual guest server was booted, it would never successfully synchronise.

All other diagnostic, troubleshooting, tuning and configuration efforts have failed.


This is a TID of last resort and the following should be tried when nothing else will work.

Set up NetWare to use use xntpd instead of timesync as per native (physical) hardware.  See https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2/oes_implement_lx_nw/data/time.html for full details.
  • Watch the host server's utilisation and start each guest once the host's utilisation is low/idling. 
  • Wait until the guest's time has synchronised and host server's utilisation has dropped before starting the next guest.
  • Do not start all guests simultaneously.
Using this method, all NetWare guests stayed in sync.  They would occasionally lose synchronisation but resync shortly afterwards.

Additional Information

Tried the following troubleshooting steps, none of which were successful:
  • Timesync vs ntp
  • Timesync reference/primary/secondary model
  • ntp time source pool model (multiple sources vs single source)
  • VMWare tools loaded vs not loaded
  • Synchronise guest to host vs maintain own clock
  • UNLOAD/LOAD timsync/ntp/xntpd and slam time
  • Clear drift.ntp file
  • VMWare host on Windows vs Linux
  • Followed TID10093328 and all the links to VMWare's site therein