Hipchat Server UTC time is incorrect

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This article only applies to Atlassian's server products. Learn more about the differences between cloud and server.

This is for an outdated version of Hipchat Server

 This article applies to a version of Hipchat Server which will be deprecated soon. After that period the version will no longer be supported.

When will my version be deprecated?

The following versions have been deprecated:

  • Hipchat Server 1.3 (EOL Date: Aug 17, 2017)
  • Hipchat Server 2.0 (EOL Date: Jun 17, 2018)
  • Hipchat Server 2.1 (EOL Date: Dec 8, 2018)

The following version will be deprecated soon:

  • Hipchat Server 2.2 (EOL Date: May 30, 2019)

You can read more about Atlassian's End of Life policy here.

You should upgrade to a more recent version of Hipchat Server as soon as you can to take advantage of new features, and security and bug fixes.

Problem

The Hipchat Server has the correct time zone set (UTC) but the actual time on the server is being displayed incorrectly.

This also results in the time stamps being displayed incorrectly on all Hipchat clients during chat sessions.

Running the 'date' command on the Hipchat Server reveals that the default time zone for Hipchat Server is set correctly (UTC) but the time displayed is for a local time zone (PST, for example):

# date
Thu Jul 21 09:11:38 UTC 2016

In the above, the UTC time should be set to 16:11:38, but, instead it is showing 09:11:38, which is the local time in the Pacific time zone. 

Diagnosis

Environment

  • Hipchat Server deployed via OVA in a VMware vSphere environment.  

Diagnostic Steps

  • Disabled host-to-guest time syncing at the VMWare vSphere level and rebooted the Hipchat Server Virtual Machine with no change.
  • Restarted the NTP service on the Hipchat Server with no change. 
  • Reset the NTP server on the Hipchat Server using the command below and verified that the NTP servers were reachable, but, this did not resolve the issue:

    hipchat network -p <ntpServer>

Possible Workaround / Resolution

Solution 1 - Using hwclock

Check the Operating System's hardware clock setting to see if the correct UTC time is in use.  

  1. Log in to the Hipchat Server's command line interface and run the following commands:

    sudo dont-blame-hipchat
    hwclock
  2. If the hwclock setting is correct, then the following command can be used to set the System Time from the Hardware Clock.  Running the date command afterward will confirm the correct time.

    hwclock --hctosys
    date

(info) There is no need to restart the server or any of the chat client sessions after making this change. The clients will see the difference in their chat time stamps right away. 

Solution 2 - How to force an ntp system time update

Even if you update to the correct ntp server, the system clock could still be off. To force an NTP update:

  1. Stop the NTP service: 

    service ntp stop
  2. Force the NTP update:

    ntpd -gq
  3. Then start the NTP service:

    service ntp start

    From here, double-check the ntpq -p command to be sure you are connected to the time servers.

Solution 3 - Check your Hypervisor

If you are still seeing a problem with clock drift, then there may be a drift issue on your hypervisor at the VM level. Please checkout Time in virtual machine drifts due to hardware timer drift for more info.


Last modified on Jan 18, 2019

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