clockdiff - measure clock difference between hosts


clockdiff [ -o] [ -o1] destination


clockdiff Measures clock difference between us and destination with 1 msec resolution using ICMP TIMESTAMP [2] packets or, optionally, IP TIMESTAMP option [3] option added to ICMP ECHO. [1]


-o Use IP TIMESTAMP with ICMP ECHO instead of ICMP TIMESTAMP messages. It is useful with some destinations, which do not support ICMP TIMESTAMP (f.e. Solaris <2.4).
-o1 Slightly different form of -o, namely it uses three-term IP TIMESTAMP with prespecified hop addresses instead of four term one. What flavor works better depends on target host. Particularly, -o is better for Linux.


o Some nodes (Cisco) use non-standard timestamps, which is allowed by RFC, but makes timestamps mostly useless.
o Some nodes generate messed timestamps (Solaris>2.4), when run xntpd. Seems, its IP stack uses a corrupted clock source, which is synchronized to time-of-day clock periodically and jumps randomly making timestamps mostly useless. Good news is that you can use NTP in this case, which is even better.
o clockdiff shows difference in time modulo 24 days.


ping(8), arping(8), tracepath(8).


[1] ICMP ECHO, RFC0792, page 14.

[2] ICMP TIMESTAMP, RFC0792, page 16.

[3] IP TIMESTAMP option, RFC0791, 3.1, page 16.


clockdiff was compiled by Alexey Kuznetsov <>. It was based on code borrowed from BSD timed daemon.


clockdiff requires CAP_NET_RAWIO capability to be executed. It is safe to be used as set-uid root.


clockdiff is part of iputils package and the latest versions are available in source form for anonymous ftp

openSUSE Logo