OSX Mavericks clock slow or wrong?

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

cat /etc/ntp.conf

The only returned line was

server time.euro.apple.com.

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

server uk.pool.ntp.org
server eu.pool.ntp.org

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.


2 thoughts on “OSX Mavericks clock slow or wrong?

  1. James June 21, 2016 at 9:57 am Reply

    what was thew update? On OSX 10.11.5 I have noticed that both clocks are different (and 2FA is not working because of it). Both my IOS devices (iPhone and iPad) are correct though.

  2. BigR June 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm Reply

    I am still running 10.10.4 on the machine I am typing this but my clocks are accurate using the stuff I posted – why that should be if it is not NTP running… I have yet to work out.

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