Update ubuntu system clock (ntpdate)

Did you notice that the system clock on your Ubuntu server is wrong? On a production server this might not happen, but on a staging server (or on a WSL instance) the date/time can dift. Here’s how to fix it:

First, ask your server what time it is (so you can have a baseline)

$ date
Thu Mar  4 12:30:02 PST 2021  

If that seems wrong, you’ll want to run ntpdate…but first make sure it’s installed:

$ sudo apt install ntpdate

Next, run the command to update the time

$ sudo ntpdate time.nist.gov

# 5 Mar 10:58:20 ntpdate[11619]: step time server offset 80783.696700 sec

Wow, I was off by over 80,000 seconds, which is 1,346 minutes or 22.4 hours!

Now that it’s been fixed, let’s check the date/time again:

$ date
Fri Mar  5 10:58:26 PST 2021