Configuring Time In OS X Mountain Lion & OS X Mountain Lion Server

Time is a very important aspect of OS X Server, as it has been since the early days. Time is so important that if you see network time server, NTP or 5 minutes as the answer on an Apple exam, you should just pick that one, as it’s invariably correct. The traditional way to configure time zones and Network Time Servers is to use systemsetup command. Before you set a time zone, run the following to see a list of all available time zones, use the -listtimezones option in systemsetup:

sudo systemsetup -listtimezones

To set the time zone, pick one and use the -settimezone option in systemsetup:

sudo systemsetup -settimezone "America/Chicago"

To check the current time, then run -gettime:

sudo systemsetup -gettime

The -settime option can then be used to set the time, although it’s invariably better to set the time zone automatically with a network time protocol (NTP) server, using the -setnetworktimeserver option:

sudo systemsetup -setnetworktimeserver time.krypted.com

You would then need to turn using NTP servers on, using -setusingnetworktime option and setting the value there to on

sudo systemsetup -setusingnetworktime on

Now let’s look at a different way to do this. Run the following, in OS X Server:

sudo serveradmin settings info:timeZone = "America/New_York"

That shouldn’t work. Now ya’ know, OS X Server isn’t fully matured yet, so they’ll get around to it… But what does work is setting the NTP server and enabling NTP services. To enable NTP:

sudo serveradmin settings info:ntpTimeServe = yes

To set the NTP server:

info:ntpServerName = "time.krypted.com"

Note: The NTP server must be accessible when set.