Impossible to set date in 11.3.0?

Kevin Gordon kgordon420 at
Mon Aug 27 09:20:23 EDT 2012

On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 4:43 AM, James Cameron <quozl at> wrote:

> On Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 01:07:35PM -0400, Samuel Greenfeld wrote:
> > To the best of my knowledge this is an intentional omission for
> > antitheft reasons.  Instructions on how to set the clock from OFW or
> > the command line are at .
> I think the task of setting the clock should be split from the
> problems that lead to it described in that page.  It is far too scary
> looking.
> > If using the "date" command is not sufficient to permanently store
> > the change, "hwclock --systohc" or similar may also need to be used.
> "date" followed by a successful normal shutdown should work, because a
> normal shutdown runs hwclock ... but "hwclock --systohc" is handy in
> case you aren't sure that a normal shutdown will happen next.

Here's a little set of instructions that we use to customize for the right
time-zone and current utc date.  We also save a script and it sits on all
of our builds, Unfortunately, we are either busy or lazy :-)  and we have
the deployments change the script and run as need be, and we haven't done a
UI. It extracts info from the wiki and summarizes some of what's here, but
this process adds the local time-zone too, in this example EST.  We cannot
guarantee internet connectivity, hence this less elegant method.

Once Linux has booted, login at a root terminal (e.g. press Ctrl+Alt+F2) or
perform as superuser:

date --utc --set="2012-08-26 18:30:40"

cd /etc

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/EST localtime

/sbin/hwclock --systohc


(Don't force a shutdown by holding down the power button, because then the
change won't be stored.)


Building an input UI for date and time-zone parms is on our list, just
never seems to bubble to the top.


> > In newer firmware builds (potentially newer than 11.3.0's), Open
> > Firmware can log into a Open, WEP, or WPA-PSK secured access point
> > and use NTP to set the time.  To do this use the "essid" command
> > followed by the actual ESSID to set the ESSID, "wep" or "wpa" to set
> > the password, and "ntp-set-clock" (without any parameters) to query
> > a server from the public NTP pool and get the current time.
> The firmware included with 11.3.0 can already do ntp-set-clock with
> open wireless access points and USB Ethernet adapters.  More recent
> firmware fixed WEP and WPA-PSK, if I recall correctly.
> (Nothing to do with WEP and WPA-PSK in Linux though, you can stay on
> older firmware for that.)
> --
> James Cameron
> _______________________________________________
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> Devel at
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