Samba as time server for windows clients

In a windows network with a windows server you can use the command ‘net time \server’ to synchronized the time of a client.

I have a separated network with a ipfire machine and a few windows clients but without any windows server. I thought I could install and activate samba on the ipfire machine and then use the command ‘net time \ipfire-machine’ to sync the time on the windows clients.

I add “time server = yes” to /var/ipfire/samba/smb.conf and restart the service.

But all I get is access denied on the windows client.


global.settings by IPFire Project

server string = Samba on IPFire

time server = yes

workgroup = workgroup
realm = workgroup
passdb backend = smbpasswd

map to guest = Bad User

guest account = samba
unix password sync = no

bind interfaces only = true
interfaces = green0 blue0
remote announce =
remote browse sync =

winbind separator = +
winbind uid = 10000-20000
winbind gid = 10000-20000
winbind use default domain = yes

Log to syslog

logging = syslog

Enable support for Apple

vfs objects = catia fruit streams_xattr recycle

Enable following symlinks

wide links = yes

server role = standalone
smb encrypt = desired

Export all printers

path = /var/spool/samba/
printable = yes

Have you already read the wiki page below?


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The command ‘net time’ on Windows do not use NTP.

are your windows clients in the Blue zone? If yes, it is possible that in Firewall/Firewall Options you have activated the switch Drop all Microsoft ports 135,137,138,139,445,1025. You also need to create the users for them to receive permission to connect, see the wiki.


I hope that the following pages will be of additional help to everyone:


The Windows Time service uses the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to help synchronize time across a network. NTP is an Internet time protocol that includes the discipline algorithms necessary for synchronizing clocks. NTP is a more accurate time protocol than the Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) that is used in some versions of Windows; however W32Time continues to support SNTP to enable backward compatibility with computers running SNTP-based time services, such as Windows 2000.

The Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP) is a simplified time protocol that is intended for servers and clients that do not require the degree of accuracy that NTP provides. SNTP, a more rudimentary version of NTP, is the primary time protocol that is used in Windows 2000. Because the network packet formats of SNTP and NTP are identical, the two protocols are interoperable. The primary difference between the two is that SNTP does not have the error management and complex filtering systems that NTP provides. For more information about the Simple Network Time Protocol, see RFC 1769 in the IETF RFC Database.

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Why would you not use ipfire NTP server?

@georg thinks/thought that Windows doesn’t use NTP.

The network I talk about is only for setup new computer and the image on the computer have no active time synchronization and I don’t want to setup up a automatically time synchronization. I want to sync the time only on demand. And for that “net time \server” would be the easiest way. And w32tm (NTP) is more to configure your system but I don’t want to touch the configuration. To be honest I could find out how to sync with w32tm the time only once without touching the configuration.

So that’s why I can’t use NTP. I wish I could.