A bug in GPS and the GPSD daemon will change the time back to March 2002, at least for the systems that rely on the two. You may be wondering why this will happen, and here’s why.

A bug in the time rollback (or GPS Week Rollover) checking code scheduled for November 2038 is instead going to trigger this Saturday and will make 1,024 to be subtracted from October 24 2021. Lot’s of computers dates will hit a quick March 2002, as if time travel.

Stratum 1 servers will also go back in time, as they run off of GPSD to sync with clocks. So are Stratum 2 – secondary – servers usually are in sync with Stratum 1 servers.

Anyway, a fix to all this has been made. However, it won’t be backported to previous releases, and not all distros pick up GPSD updates or upstream patches. Even if your OS is at the latest, there’s a chance that it might not have the update. To fix this problem anyway, just attempt to update your computer.

You may be wondering what the cause is for the commotion of the GPS Week Rollover, and the answer is that it is a legacy GPS problem. It uses a 10-bit code that can go all the way up to 1,023. Every 19.7 years, the number rolls to 0. This for some reason isn’t rolling to 0, it will go back up to 1,024, meaning computers that do not have this update, shall say goodbye.