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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 1.7 - Configure Common System Services: chrony

The Chrony service is a network time synchronization daemon that allows Linux systems to maintain accurate time across the network. It replaces the older NTP (Network Time Protocol) service and provides better timekeeping accuracy and stability.

In this guide, we will explore the process of configuring the Chrony service on a Linux system. We will discuss the relevant configuration files and directives used to customize the time synchronization behavior.

Configuration Directives

The Chrony configuration is typically defined in the /etc/chrony.conf file. Let's look at some of the important directives and their purpose:

  • server: This directive specifies the NTP server to synchronize with. You can provide multiple server entries to ensure time synchronization redundancy. For example:

  • allow: The allow directive defines the networks or hosts that are allowed to query the local Chrony server for time synchronization. It helps control access to the server. For example:

  • local: The local directive specifies that the system should use its own local clock as a time source when other time sources are unavailable. For example:

    local stratum 10
  • driftfile: This directive sets the path to the file where the estimated clock drift is stored. It helps Chrony make more accurate time adjustments. For example:

    driftfile /var/lib/chrony/drift
  • log: The log directive defines the file where Chrony logs its messages. It helps monitor the Chrony service and troubleshoot any synchronization issues. For example:

    log tracking measurements statistics

Configuration File Example

Here is an example configuration file (/etc/chrony.conf) that combines the directives we discussed:

# /etc/chrony.conf

# Use the local system clock as a time source
local stratum 10

# Specify NTP servers for time synchronization

# Allow access from the local network

# Set the drift file location
driftfile /var/lib/chrony/drift

# Log messages for tracking, measurements, and statistics
log tracking measurements statistics

Make sure to adjust the server entries, network settings, and file paths according to your specific environment.

Managing the Chrony Service

To manage the Chrony service, you can use the systemctl command. Here are some useful commands:

  • Start the Chrony service:

    sudo systemctl start chronyd
  • Stop the Chrony service:

    sudo systemctl stop chronyd
  • Restart the Chrony service:

    sudo systemctl restart chronyd
  • Check the status of the Chrony service:

    sudo systemctl status chronyd

Remember to restart the Chrony service after making changes to the configuration file for the modifications to take effect.


Configuring the Chrony service is crucial for maintaining accurate time synchronization on Linux systems. By editing the /etc/chrony.conf file and setting the appropriate directives, you can customize how Chrony synchronizes time with NTP servers, controls access to the server, and handles local clock sources.

Ensure that the configuration file reflects your specific time synchronization requirements and network settings. Regularly monitor the Chrony service and check the logs for any synchronization issues or anomalies.

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