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For best timekeeping results in a VM, we recommend using a Linux distribution based on a kernel which supports tickless timekeeping. This was introduced in Linux starting with kernel 2.6.22. These kernels offer timekeeping performance comparable to VMI-enabled VMs. Though we haven't specifically tested the NTP server case, we don't see a reason why these new kernels won't work as well as VMI from timekeeping point of view. Below is a list of configurations for popular Linux distributions which we expect to have the best timekeeping behavior in VMs: * Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 on ESX 3.5 or later * SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP2 on ESX 3.5 or later * SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 on ESX 4.0 or later * Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" on ESX 3.5 or later * Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" on ESX 3.5, ESX 4.0 or later * Ubuntu 9.04 "Jaunty Jackalope" on ESX 3.5, ESX 4.0 or later You can refer to the following knowledge base article for additional recommended configurations. http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1006427 "Timekeeping best practices for Linux" Please let us know if you see any problems.
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