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System Administration Guide: Security Services
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Clock Synchronization Within a Realm

All hosts that participate in the Kerberos authentication system must have their internal clocks synchronized within a specified maximum amount of time. Known as clock skew, this feature provides another Kerberos security check. If the clock skew is exceeded between any of the participating hosts, requests are rejected.

One way to synchronize all the clocks is to use the Network Time Protocol (NTP) software. See Synchronizing Clocks Between KDCs and Kerberos Clients for more information. Other ways of synchronizing the clocks are available, so the use of NTP is not required. However, some form of synchronization should be used to prevent access failures because of clock skew.

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