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Re: fake rtc

On Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 08:04:31AM +0100, peter green wrote:
> Many arm systems don't have a rtc. This means every time they reboot the  
> clock goes back to the epoch. Clocks going back to the epoch causes all  
> sorts of issues (some versions of fsck fail, make won't work properly,  
> logs will be impossible to relate to each other, and very annoying  
> forced password changes).
> There is NTP of course but that doesn't typically kick in until quite  
> late in the boot process (unless the boot process is hacked to bring up  
> the network real early) because it depends on network. Also not all  
> systems will nessacerally have network access all the time.
> So i'm wondering about implementing a "fake-rtc" that simply saves the  
> time to somewhere in /var on shutdown and reloads it on bootup. The time  
> would still be wrong until/unless something else syncs it but at least  
> it wouldn't go backwards.

Whilst I'm not sure that it isn't better for the time to revert to some
"obviously wrong" value (rather than being subtly wrong) in the general
case, if you want your systems to behave like you describe, I'd say your
proposed solution is as good as any.  As long as the package is optional,
and doesn't get installed by default anywhere, there's no reason I can think
of that it shouldn't exist for people to use if they want.

> Do others think such tool is a good idea.
> Would there be any chance of getting such a package in debian (note: i'm  
> not a dd so someone would have to sponsor it)

I'd sponsor that for you.

- Matt

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