Golang : Get current time from the Internet time server(ntp) example

There are times when a program needs to have accurate machine time. For example, the make command found in Unix/Linux. To get the most accurate time, your local machine time need to synchronize first with a time server to get the best accuracy.

Below is a Golang example code on how to get the time from pool.ntp.org via the Network Time Protocol(NTP). There are couple of packages that allow us to get the time via NTP and we will use the github.com/beevik/ntp package.

First, $go get -u github.com/beevik/ntp and then run the code below.

 package main

 import (

 func main() {
 // ntpTime, err := ntp.Time("pool.ntp.org")
 // time.apple.com will give the same result as pool.ntp.org
 ntpTime, err := ntp.Time("time.apple.com")
 if err != nil {

 ntpTimeFormatted := ntpTime.Format(time.UnixDate)

 fmt.Printf("Network time: %v\n", ntpTime)
 fmt.Printf("Unix Date Network time: %v\n", ntpTimeFormatted)
 timeFormatted := time.Now().Local().Format(time.UnixDate)
 fmt.Printf("System time: %v\n", time.Now())
 fmt.Printf("Unix Date System time: %v\n", timeFormatted)

 // so from here, use ntpTime instead of time.Now().Local()
 // or set your machine time to sync with a network time server
 // for example, on Mac OSX, you can tick to enable auto sync
 // with time.apple.com



Network time: 2017-04-21 14:28:15.461293531 +0800 MYT

Unix Date Network time: Fri Apr 21 14:28:15 MYT 2017


System time: 2017-04-21 14:30:13.041308829 +0800 MYT

Unix Date System time: Fri Apr 21 14:30:13 MYT 2017

NOTICE that my system time is 14:30 versus the network time 14:28. My local machine time is 2 minutes ahead.If my local machine is set to automagically sync with a time server ... such as time.apple.com, then both the local and network time should be the same.

set time to automatically sync with time.apple.com

Happy coding!




  See also : Golang : Get local time and equivalent time in different time zone

By Adam Ng

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