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I'm running Tor on a VPS and the service provider is not co-operating. I am using the command line and not the Vidalia bundle, and I have a problem with time synchronization. I have given the right time to both "date" & "hwclock". Here's the output of my server in United States, Nevada, Las Vegas::

$ hwclock && date
Mon 04 Nov 2013 11:25:28 AM PST  -1.041996 seconds
Mon Nov  4 11:25:27 PST 2013

What Tor prints is this:

Nov 04 11:22:14.371 [notice] Tor v0.2.3.25 (git-3fed5eb096d2d187) running on Linux.
Nov 04 11:22:14.372 [notice] Tor can't help you if you use it wrong! Learn how to be safe at https://www.torproject.org/download/download#warning
Nov 04 11:22:14.372 [notice] Read configuration file "/etc/tor/torrc".
Nov 04 11:22:14.375 [notice] Initialized libevent version 2.0.19-stable using method epoll (with changelist). Good.
Nov 04 11:22:14.375 [notice] Opening Socks listener on 127.0.0.1:9050
Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [notice] Parsing GEOIP file /usr/share/tor/geoip.
Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [warn] You are running Tor as root. You don't need to, and you probably shouldn't.
Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [notice] This version of OpenSSL has a known-good EVP counter-mode implementation. Using it.
Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [notice] OpenSSL OpenSSL 1.0.1e 11 Feb 2013 looks like version 0.9.8m or later; I will try SSL_OP to enable renegotiation
Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [notice] Reloaded microdescriptor cache.  Found 0 descriptors.
**Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [warn] Our clock is 15 hours, 37 minutes behind the time published in the consensus network status document (2013-11-05 11:00:00 GMT).  Tor needs an accurate clock to work correctly. Please check your time and date settings!**
Nov 04 11:22:14.000 [notice] I learned some more directory information, but not enough to build a circuit: We have no recent usable consensus.
Nov 04 11:22:15.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 5%: Connecting to directory server.
Nov 04 11:22:15.000 [notice] Heartbeat: Tor's uptime is 0:00 hours, with 1 circuits open. I've sent 0 kB and received 0 kB.
Nov 04 11:22:16.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 10%: Finishing handshake with directory server.
Nov 04 11:22:16.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 15%: Establishing an encrypted directory connection.
Nov 04 11:22:16.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 20%: Asking for networkstatus consensus.
Nov 04 11:22:16.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 25%: Loading networkstatus consensus.

What can I do with my Virtual Machine time to fix Tor?

migrated from askubuntu.com Nov 6 '13 at 19:54

This question came from our site for Ubuntu users and developers.

  • So the all the times in your post were correct and you are wondering why Tor writes: [warn] Our clock is 15 hours, 37 minutes behind the time published in the consensus network status document (2013-11-05 11:00:00 GMT). Tor needs an accurate clock to work correctly. Please check your time and date settings! ? – pabouk Nov 7 '13 at 1:57
  • To check that you have the correct time and time zone, could you please show output of date ; date -u ? – pabouk Nov 7 '13 at 2:00
  • try sudo datetime pool.ntp.org and restart Tor – user873 Jan 1 '14 at 20:24
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It is not uncommon that VPS providers have strange times on their machines. In the past it helped me to kindly ask them to correct the time. Usually they corrected it and the problem disappeared.

However if your VPS provider won't cooperate, you can try to change the clock manually. So stop the Tor process, enter the correct time and restart the process. Now Tor has the correct time and will connect.

  • I think it is still not clear what the message Our clock is 15 hours, 37 minutes behind the time published in the consensus network status document does mean. Our clock is the clock of the machine Tor client is running on? What is the time published in the consensus network status document? – pabouk Nov 8 '13 at 17:57

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