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Gentoo Server Error: Superblock mount time is in the future

I was working on a Gentoo server today and had another time stamp issue. This may have been related to the one I wrote about yesterday because in addition to that error now I was getting a “Superblock mount time is in the future” error which was saying that the mount time of my drives was in the future. The server would not boot and I had to run a manual fsck every time to get it to boot. Clearly this was not normal behavior so I decided to dig into the problem. I rarely reboot the servers so I never noticed this behavior.

I tried various fix’s like:

  • Messing with my ntp timeserver client settings which didn’t do any good.
  • I made sure the BIOS clock was correct
  • I made sure my server time was correct and even tried to change it

Despite all of this every time I rebooted my files and discs the timestamps were a few hours in the future which prevented my system from booting. At this point I was a little anoyed. Finally I decided to have a look at the clock conf file.

In Gentoo this file is located at /etc/conf.d/clock


  1. # /etc/conf.d/clock
  3. # Set CLOCK to "UTC" if your system clock is set to UTC (also known as
  4. # Greenwich Mean Time).  If your clock is set to the local time, then
  5. # set CLOCK to "local".  Note that if you dual boot with Windows, then
  6. # you should set it to "local".
  8. CLOCK="local"
  10. # Select the proper timezone.  For valid values, peek inside of the
  11. # /usr/share/zoneinfo/ directory.  For example, some common values are
  12. # "America/New_York" or "EST5EDT" or "Europe/Berlin".  If you want to
  13. # manage /etc/localtime yourself, set this to "".
  15. TIMEZONE="America/New_York"
  17. # If you wish to pass any other arguments to hwclock during bootup,
  18. # you may do so here.
  20. CLOCK_OPTS=""
  22. # If you want to set the Hardware Clock to the current System Time
  23. # during shutdown, then say "yes" here.
  25. CLOCK_SYSTOHC="yes"
  29. # If your alpha uses the SRM console, set this to "yes".
  30. SRM="no"
  32. # If your alpha uses the ARC console, set this to "yes".
  33. ARC="no"

What I ended up doing was changing the CLOCK_SYSTOHC variable to yes. It was no by default. What that does it set the hardware clock in the BIOS to the current system time. I figured if my system time was correct then maybe this would help.  I have never had to mess with this variable before that I can remember but as soon as I set it to yes my machine booted perfectly and no more errors.

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