FAQ: Tame the Time of a Virtual Machine?

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FAQ: The current concept of centralization is being countered by the evolution of virtual machines (VM). Specific functions are decentralized into containers that can be decommissioned just as fast as they were commissioned. However, one can run into problems as the VM seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to time. How then can you tame the VM's concept of time?

Virtual machines are convinient. Given enough resources, VM's for testing purposes can come and go. However, for time sensitive applications the VMs seems to have its own world. And it is important to tame the beast.

For Linux or Solaris x86:

1. Configure ntp client and enable to start automatically on boot.

2. Install vmware-tools on the client and enable to run on boot as well.

3. Still on the client, add clock=pit in the line containing kernel of the grub configuration file (menu.lst). On some distributions, this should be clocksource=pit instead of clock=pit.

4. On the VM server, edit the client vmware config file (SOME_HOST.vmx) on the vmware server. Change "tools.syncTime" value from "FALSE" to "TRUE".

5. Reboot the client after making the above changes.

For Windows:

1. Install vm-tools on the client and enable the service to automatically start. A reboot is required after the install.

2. The vm-tools icon will appear on the system tray of the VM client. Right click on this icon and launch vm-tools.

3. Under the Options tab, tick "Time synchronization between the virtual machine and the host operating system." (see below). Click OK to accept the changes.

The above will keep the VM time in sync with the host OS.

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