The hbgenmethod directive specifies how Heartbeat should compute its current generation number for communications. This is a specialized and obscure directive, used mainly in firewalls which have no local disk, and other devices which do not have a method of storing data persistently across reboots. It defaults to storing the Heartbeat generations in a file. Generation numbers are used by Heartbeat for replay attack protection.
All legal hbgenmethod directives are shown below:
hbgenmethod time hbgenmethod file # this is the default.
If one specifies the time method, there are certain possible cases where troubles can arise. If a machine restarts Heartbeat and its local time of day clock is less than or equal to than the value of the time of day clock when Heartbeat last started, then that node will be unable to join the cluster.