Whenever I change a file on my (Scientific Linux 6, 64bit) machine, its modification date is set in the future:

bash$ touch new.txt && stat -c %y new.txt && date
2016-09-19 12:33:08.763882267 +0200
Mo 19. Sep 12:30:21 CEST 2016

How can this possibly happen and how can I make the modification dates sane again? It seems as if the difference between the actual time and the modification time is increasing the longer the machine is active.

  • 1
    Are the files stored on a network share? If so you're seeing the difference in clock sync between the client and server. – chicks Sep 19 '16 at 18:48
  • You are right. The mount is of a network share. Testing on a local mount, the time stamps agree with one another; so the other machine's clock is not synced up. I didn't think of this ... Thanks a lot! – Zollern Sep 19 '16 at 22:23

As confirmed in comments above, you are working with a networked filesystem where the server and client times are not synced. The file is created with a timestamp provided by the server and so it is 3 minutes in the future from the perspective of your workstation. This is easily avoidable if you're running NTP or some other time synchronization system.

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