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The time on my system is incorrect for some reason.
i need to run an update but i can't seem to be able to
this is the errror.

31 Aug 12:31:59 ntpdate[3108]: the NTP socket is in use, exiting

i just rebooted, i do not know how anything can be in use.

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up vote 38 down vote accepted

It's in use because the ntp service is probably running. You did not mention which Linux you are using so this assumes you have service installed (that you are running a System V system):

$ sudo ntpdate
31 Aug 19:05:55 ntpdate[8911]: the NTP socket is in use, exiting
$ sudo service ntp stop
[ ok ] Stopping NTP server: ntpd.
$ sudo ntpdate
31 Aug 19:07:11 ntpdate[10355]: adjust time server offset -0.002893 sec
$ sudo service ntp start
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For people reading the way above, though it technically works, look below at because it's way simpler (single command, no need to twiddle with stopping/starting the service). – Baptiste Mathus Apr 1 '15 at 6:59
Wouldn't stop for me, so I force stopped it and the started it. sudo pkill -9 -f ntp. That did the trick on centOS for me. – radtek Apr 8 at 21:16
In my case (SL), the service name wasn't ntp, but service ntpd stop – Werner Jun 3 at 23:56

If you want to execute ntpdate with the ntp daemon already up and running, use the following command:

# ntpdate -u

and it will use a different port.

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Thanks! It worked for me this way. – nick2083 Oct 7 '13 at 13:59
This should be the accepted answer. It's just one command, so it's a great time saver. It worked for me and fixed a multi-hour clock skew. I wish I knew it before. – proski Dec 22 '15 at 17:17

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