Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 8177
hwclock utility broken on UX
Last modified: 2008-05-01 11:37:53 EDT
The current version of 'hwclock' when supplied with -A flag (or
equivalently --arc) returns on UX, a.k.a. Ruffian, shfited back
by 20 years. As startup files in 6.1 do that regardless of
settings in /etc/sysconfig/clock, which likely should be classified
as a bug on its own, then 6.1 installation on UX ends up with
a funny time.
To add to an aggravation the maintainer of util-linux insists
that this a correct behaviour. Technically he is right as a hardware
clock on UX indeed is somewhat unusual but this behaviour violates
a long established practice and a "principle of the least surprise";
users are NOT expected to memorize minutae of a hardware clock
implementation on particular boards.
An alternate implemenation of a function from clock/cmos.c, which restores
sanity, is included in an attached file. It is not totally full-proof
as it may fail if /proc is not mounted, but then startup scripts
will have other problems to worry about.
Sorry to bother again, but could you reply to this message with the
clock/cmos.c attached, as the file is not attached? A pointer to
a src rpm with your changes to util-linux is probably even a better
This old report got, in a sense, obsoleted by further developments. The
current 'hwclock', from util-linux, is quite good at guessing clock types
on a hardware in question and there is in reality more than two of these. :-(
At least I do not know platforms where this guessing fails so the best
policy is _not_ to set -A, or -S, flag in startup scripts unless explicitely
requested in /etc/sysconfig/clock. A default in this configuration file
should be "none". In any case it is totally unacceptable overriding this
choice in /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit because a boot via milo was detected. The
later is a root cause of troubles on UX as it boots with milo and its clock
does not conform to ARC specifications.
I do not have this UX anymore but when I had it following the policy outlined
above was what was needed. The only problems were showing during updates
when Red Hat tools were trying to "outsmart" me (see #17877). Also for
quite a while Hard Data ships all its Alpha machines with a preloaded
software (i.e. nearly all of these) configured according to this policy
and I still have to hear complaints because of that. :-) It was not
possible to do that in the past when clock utilities were not smart enough.