Time sync with ESXi for Linux VMs

I was setting up my NIS/NFS server VM. After installing my base VM (debian squeeze), I wanted to ensure my VM syncs time with the ESXi host which in turn was syncing time with a NTP server.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Important: Do not install NTP client on the debian VM. If you have already installed on just uninstall the ntp client package.
  2. Then, add the following parameter to the debian VM’s configuration file (aka .vmx)
    tools.syncTime = "TRUE"
  3. Reboot the VM, for the the ‘time sync with host’ to take effect.
  4. After reboot, login to your VM and verify that the time is getting synchronized with the host (ESXi).
    vmware-toolbox-cmd timesync status
For more information please read KB1006427.
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