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System time

Default time zone

All PLCnext controllers are set to UTC0 by default which is UTC±00:00 of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).


Synchronize via NTP (Network Time Protocol)


An ntpd (Network Time Protocol daemon) is included in the operating system for time synchronization. It is possible to connect to other NTP servers or to start your own server.


The NTP service from (Network Time Protocol project) is integrated into the operating system. This service can be configured via the /etc/ntp.conf configuration file. As an admin user, you have sufficient rights to modify the data. You have the option of specifying IP addresses and names in the configuration. The changes are adopted after restarting the NTP daemon:

  • Execute the ntpd script: sudo /etc/init.d/ntpd

The changes made in the configuration file will be active after the next controller restart.

In the standard configuration, the operating system time is synchronized with the Real-Time Clock (RTC) installed in the hardware.

Additional information

  • Find a general introduction to the Network Time Protocol daemon (ntpd) written by the developer here.
  • Find a detailed description of the configuration options written by the developer here.
  • The PLCnext Runtime already contains the NTP utilities (e.g. ntpq and ntpdc) for diagnostic and monitoring purposes.

Changing the system time via the shell

As an alternative to synchronization with an NTP server, you can also change the system time manually via the shell. Authentication with user name and password is necessary for SSH access to the shell. Access with administrator rights:

  • User name: admin
  • Password: Printed on the controller.

Requesting the system time

Open the shell.

Request the system time via the date command.

Setting the system time

Enter shell command sudo date -s "YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss".

YYYY: Year

MM: Month

TT: Day

hh: Hours

mm: Minutes

ss: Seconds

Setting the system time via PLCnext Engineer

You can also set the system time using the PLCnext Engineer software. Access with PLCnext Engineer requires authentication with a user name and password.

  • In the PLANT area, click on PLCnext.
  • Select the  Online Parameters editor.
  • Enter the desired values for the date and time in the corresponding input fields.





 • Published/reviewed: 2020-08-07 • Revision 35 •