After my umpteenth late appearance for a conference call I finally decided that it was time to do something about my Mac Mini clock being slow. The only time (no pun intended) it seemed to be accurate was when I opened the Date and Time System Preference!
As I am in the UK, OSX kindly chooses the European time servers. But clearly either they are running slow or we are just not checking enough to keep the clock accurate.
I could see only the Apple servers were being used by opening a Terminal Window and typing
The only returned line was
There are NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers made available for use as part of the NTP Pool Project. They seemed like a good substitute for the Apple servers.
Now you can overtype the values Apple places in the Date and Time preferences:
This uk.pool.ntp.org entry returns the address of one of the servers in the pool in a random order to spread the load. But you can actually have multiple values, separated by commas, in that NTP field, so I also added eu.pool.ntp.org:
What does this look like at system level?
Checking again in ntp.conf shows
You can see some talk related to this in the stackexchange discussion.
Update: It seems on Mavericks that NTP no longer manages time, the program pacemaker does instead. I will report back to this posting whether my Date and Time preference changes did anything positive.