Real Time Clock on Raspberry Pi

Configuring DS3231 Real-Time Clock controller on Raspberry Pi

Updated: June 15, 2019

Install software to confirm tha I2C devices are visible to RPi and running

sudo apt-get install python-smbus i2c-tools

Run the following commands and check if RTC (0x68), EEPROM (0x57) are visible

sudo i2cdetect -y 1

Add support for the RTC by adding a device tree overlay. Run

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

add the following line to the end of the file


Save the file and restart the RPi

sudo reboot

Log back in in and run

sudo i2cdetect -y 1

to see the UU show up where 0x68 was

Disable the “fake hwclock” which interferes with the ‘real’ hwclock

sudo apt-get -y remove fake-hwclock
sudo update-rc.d -f fake-hwclock remove


sudo nano /lib/udev/hwclock-set

Comment out these three lines:

#if [ -e /run/systemd/system ] ; then
# exit 0

Check if you can read time from RTC (however incorrect the time can be)

sudo hwclock -D -r



to see if RPi has updated time from internet

Run the following command to write the correct time into RTC

sudo hwclock -w

From this point the RTS module will take care of the time as long as it has the battery in it

To set the time and date you can also use

sudo date --set '2019-01-01 18:30:00'