Panel clock is always exactly one second late

Bug #731570 reported by Andrew Gryaznov on 2011-03-08
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-panel (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-panel

The default panel clock is always one second late. This is not a crucial bug but may be really disturbing especially when Mac OS / windows clocks do not have this bug, and everything you sync with ubuntu clock visually - ends up one second late in fact.

Also when two laptops (Mac and Ubuntu) are standing side-by-side it is clear that ubuntu is going late, which is very disappointing :-( .

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
Package: gnome-panel 1:2.30.2-1ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-25.44-generic-pae
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-25-generic-pae i686
NonfreeKernelModules: fglrx
Architecture: i386
Date: Tue Mar 8 23:16:40 2011
ExecutablePath: /usr/lib/gnome-panel/clock-applet
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" - Release i386 (20091028.5)
SourcePackage: gnome-panel

Andrew Gryaznov (realgrandrew) wrote :
Daniel Manrique (roadmr) wrote :

On my tests, the gnome-panel clock is displaying exactly what the system's clock indicates, meaning this is not a problem with the gnome-panel clock, but simply that the computer's internal clock might not be synchronized with that of the other computer you're comparing it to.

You might try synchronizing all your computers to the same time server. On Ubuntu, use this command on a terminal:

sudo ntpdate

Make sure to synchronize your other computers to the same time server (

Please report back and let me know if after synchronizing all clocks to an authoritative, reliable time source, they are still running out of sync.

Andrew Gryaznov (realgrandrew) wrote :

Double-checked it. The problem is that what panel clock is showing 1 sec late behind system clock which is correct:
tested with
while true; date; sleep 0.1; done
screenshot attached.

Maybe it is a bug in gnome-panel of 10.10 ubuntu and is not present in latest builds?

btw, i have a 10-day uptime and made several ntp syncs.
Will try a reboot.

Andrew Gryaznov (realgrandrew) wrote :


while true; do date; sleep 0.1; done

while running the script side-by side with panel clock as shown in my above post, I noticed that sometimes the clock is in sync and is slowly growing in error, smoothly approximating -1 sec lateness, then it skips '59' and says '58 .. 00'.
So the exact bug is that it seems to be showing a periodical lateness (0..1) sec, averaging at somewhat later that 0.5 sec since most of the time it seems to be about 1 sec late at least on my machine.

Changed in gnome-panel (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Daniel Manrique (roadmr) wrote :


Now that Ubuntu 11.04 has been released, I'm wondering if it's possible for you to download it, and boot it with the Live CD environment (so as to not overwrite your current system), and confirm whether you're still observing this behavior.

I'm also thinking that it might be a hardware-specific issue, to this end, I'd like to ask you to run the following command on a terminal window:

sudo dmidecode -t system > system-info.txt

Then edit the system-info.txt file, remove the Serial Number and UUID (so you don't submit private information) and post the content of the file as a comment here (it should be short enough). This will give us information about your machine's make and model.


Changed in gnome-panel (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

We're closing this bug since it is has been some time with no response from the original reporter. However, if the issue still exists please feel free to reopen with the requested information. Also, if you could, please test against the latest development version of Ubuntu, since this confirms the bug is one we may be able to pass upstream for help.

Changed in gnome-panel (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
Andrew Gryaznov (realgrandrew) wrote :

Okay, here is the version 11.10 and Y2012 and the annoying bug is still there in the panel..
Still same symptoms; everything same. Please consider reopening this bug!

Jeremy Bicha (jbicha) on 2012-01-07
Changed in gnome-panel (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → New
mightymouse2045 (eagleeyes426) wrote :

This is also an issue for me in Precise 12.04.

The panel time is up to 1 second behind the system time. I have confirmed the system time is within .0000316 of a second by comparing with my stratum 2 ntp router.

The panel time however is slower up to about one second or less when compared with the routers time. This is concerning me as the maths involved in calculating the panel clock or the code in calling and displaying the system time is obiously causing this and in my opinion should be an easy fix - this bug has been in the last 2 releases and is still present. Add in drift allowance or -1 off the clock that it looks sooooo close as to be good enough :P

I mean the ntp clock should be giving good enough data to use to make allowance for drift etc I just don't understand why this is still a problem

Changed in gnome-panel (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
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