How to synchronize time (TIMESYNC) between NetWare, NT, Solaris, Linux, and other network resources?

  • 7003223
  • 06-May-2009
  • 08-Apr-2013


Microsoft Windows
Novell NetWare
Sun Solaris


When various platforms are introduced into the same eDirectory tree, it is critical that these servers all hold the same time.  eDirectory uses timestamps as a foundation of synchronization.
How to synchronize time (TIMESYNC) between NetWare, NT, Solaris, Linux, and other network resources?
Timesync across platforms


Using NTP,  time synchronization is possible between various operating systems.  Configure all servers to us the same external NTP time source.  This is required for eDirectory synchronization.    Perform the following steps:  

1.  Configure NTP on the NetWare 5 Server in monitor to obtain time from an external source (Naval Observatory, Sony, or some other Internet time source) per the following solution:   How to Configure NetWare 5 NTP and Timesync [no longer available].  Earlier versions of NetWare will require third party solutions. 

2.  Configure the NT Servers to obtain time from the same NTP time source as the Novell NetWare 5 tree.  Refer to Microsoft Windows NT Resource Kit for assistance with configuring the TIMESERV Service on NT server's to use NTP.  (Necessary components:  TIMESERV.EXE, TIMESERV.DLL and TIMESERV.INI.  Instructions are contained in TIMESERV.WRI.).  For an easier, free solution, consider using the NTP utility provided by the University of Delaware.  More information can be found at 

3.  Configuring the Solaris box involves a simple step.  UNIX machines come with both an NTP server and client built in (although they may not be installed).  If not installed, find a package with a name similar to xntpd. Once installed, make sure that it starts automatically upon boot by adding it to the specified runlevel startup parameters. Configure time synchronization by creating or modifying /etc/inet/ntp.conf to reference the same NTP time sources.  The preferred server should have an entry that looks like: server prefer After configuration, then run /usr/lib/inet/xntpd start.  This daemon should be configured to start automatically on boot.  Consult Solaris documentation for more information.

4.  Configuring Linux machines is almost identical to Solaris, but the configuration file is /etc/ntp.conf. The startup/shutdown scripts are at /etc/rc.d/init.d/xntpd //.
Additionally, a NetWare server (or even other platforms) in your network may be configured as an NTP time provider.  This eliminates the need to go to the Internet, and will allow your network to maintain time in an independent fashion, if so desired.

Additional Information

Formerly known as TID# 10018288