Ensure that chronyd is running under chrony user account


chrony is a daemon which implements the Network Time Protocol (NTP). It is designed to synchronize system clocks across a variety of systems and use a source that is highly accurate. More information on chrony can be found at

http://chrony.tuxfamily.org/. Chrony can be configured to be a client and/or a server. To ensure that chronyd is running under chrony user account,

user variable in /etc/chrony/chrony.conf is set to _chrony or is absent:

user _chrony

This recommendation only applies if chrony is in use on the system.


If chrony is in use on the system proper configuration is vital to ensuring time synchronization is working properly.


Shell script

The following script can be run on the host to remediate the issue.


# Remediation is applicable only in certain platforms
if [ ! -f /.dockerenv ] && [ ! -f /run/.containerenv ] && { dpkg-query --show --showformat='${db:Status-Status}\n' 'chrony' 2>/dev/null | grep -q installed; }; then

# Strip any search characters in the key arg so that the key can be replaced without
# adding any search characters to the config file.
stripped_key=$(sed 's/[\^=\$,;+]*//g' <<< "^user")

# shellcheck disable=SC2059
printf -v formatted_output "%s %s" "$stripped_key" "_chrony"

# If the key exists, change it. Otherwise, add it to the config_file.
# We search for the key string followed by a word boundary (matched by \>),
# so if we search for 'setting', 'setting2' won't match.
if LC_ALL=C grep -q -m 1 -i -e "^user\\>" "/etc/chrony/chrony.conf"; then
    escaped_formatted_output=$(sed -e 's|/|\\/|g' <<< "$formatted_output")
    LC_ALL=C sed -i --follow-symlinks "s/^user\\>.*/$escaped_formatted_output/gi" "/etc/chrony/chrony.conf"
    if [[ -s "/etc/chrony/chrony.conf" ]] && [[ -n "$(tail -c 1 -- "/etc/chrony/chrony.conf" || true)" ]]; then
        LC_ALL=C sed -i --follow-symlinks '$a'\\ "/etc/chrony/chrony.conf"
    printf '%s\n' "$formatted_output" >> "/etc/chrony/chrony.conf"

    >&2 echo 'Remediation is not applicable, nothing was done'