Network Time Servers and macOS Mojave

Contributor II

With the release of macOS Mojave the command I was using to set the system clocks of our Mac lab systems stopped working. Here is the old command:

ntpdate -bvs

And here are three examples of the new command:

Apple's time server

sudo sntp -sS

Government server in the USA

sudo sntp -sSt 10

Government server in Canada

sudo sntp -sSt 4

Perhaps it is not a surprise that of the three servers listed above, the Canadian time server is the fastest and therefore the most accurate, but then again I am in Canada. Apple, of course, configures Mac systems out-of-the box to talk to its own server, The NIST server sometimes times out frequently, even with a 10 second timeout. Perhaps someone here can suggest a better time server.

For reference, here is a link to the NRC’s NTP page which includes information about a subscription service to an authenticated time server:

I'm sure there are similar servers in the USA and elsewhere.


New Contributor II

try using just and see if the response time is any better.

Valued Contributor II

I'm pretty sure systemsetup still works for setting the time server.

systemsetup -setusingnetworktime on -setnetworktimeserver

Valued Contributor III

Yeah, we use systemsetup, I'm pretty certain that's the way Apple recommends to do it.

New Contributor

Thank you. sudo sntp is just what I needed for testing new ntp server installations.