Q: Where does a domain get its time from?
A: Briefly, Xen reads the RTC at start of day and by default will track that with the precision of the periodic timer crystal. Xen's estimate of the wall-clock time can only be updated by domain 0. If domain 0 runs ntpdate, ntpd, etc. then the synchronised time will automatically be pushed down to Xen every minute (and written to the RTC every 11 minutes, just as normal x86 Linux does). All other domains always track Xen's wall-clock time: setting the date, or running ntpd, on these domains will not affect their wall-clock time. Note that the wall-clock time exported by Xen is UTC --- all domains must have appropriate timezone handling (i.e. a correct /etc/localtime file).
Q: Is there is some cross-domain time synchronization : are they always in perfect sync, or should I run some kind of ntp in each subdomain ? Or only domain 0 would be enough ?
A:If you want each domain to keep its own time, there are two ways to cause a domain to run its wallclock independently from Xen:
1. Specify 'independent_wallclock' on the command line.
2. 'echo 1 >/proc/sys/xeno/independent_wallclock'
To reenable tracking of Xen wallclock:
1. 'echo 0 >/proc/sys/xeno/independent_wallclock'