[ntp:questions] Re: NTP and Slow Computer Clock

Maarten Wiltink maarten at kittensandcats.net
Tue Oct 5 19:57:33 UTC 2004

"Peter Waskowic" <waskowic at sedsystems.ca> wrote in message
news:10m5ralmpbko19d at corp.supernews.com...

> I've got a Linux server computer that has a slow clock.  Basically, the
> motherboard design causes the computer to lose interrupts.  This means
> that the system clock loses some "ticks" and the clock is always
> somewhat behind depending on how many interrupts are lost.  I am unable
> to upgrade the computer because I have 20 of them that were purchased
> before this "feature" was discovered.
> I've got NTP running on the machine, which helps maintain the time.
> Every 30 to 40 minutes, I get a message in /var/log/messages that is of
> the form "ntpd: time reset 1.209444 s".
> However, I'd like to keep time a bit more accurately.  My question is:
> Can I configure ntp so that it adjusts the clock more frequently than
> every 30 or 40 minutes?

NTP keeps time all the time. Stepping is a last resort; usually, it just
makes the clock run (very little bits) faster or slower, as needed. But
missing clock ticks is rather hard to cope with in any elegant manner.

Under Dutch trade law, your motherboards would probably qualify as unfit
for the purpose they were sold for, and the person who sold them to you
could be required to fix, replace, or refund them.

Maarten Wiltink

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