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Unexpected date after changing the date and rebooting

This document (7011862) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 2

Situation

Changing the date of the server and then rebooting the server can yield unexpected results.  For example, if the year is set to 1999 on reboot the system displays the year as 2099, or if the year is set to 2001 on reboot the system displays 2012.

Resolution

The system is working as designed.  The issue only appears when the date is set to be drastically out-of-date.  Using a trusted ntp source will help prevent this issue.

Additional Information

If the year is set to sometime in the 1900's the kernel will attempt to get the century byte from the BIOS. If the century byte is unavailable then the kernel assumes 2000+ the two digit year provided by the BIOS.  So if the date was set to 1999-01-01 before reboot the system may display 2099-01-01 after reboot.

If the year was set in the 2000's but before the current year the initrd will force the date from the mkinitrd package as the date (2012-02-03 SLES SP2 GA); the date initrd forces will change as the mkinitrd packages is updated.  So 2000-01-01 would become 2012-02-03 or later depending on the build of mkinitrd.

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7011862
  • Creation Date:01-MAR-13
  • Modified Date:01-MAR-13
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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