[ntp:questions] Mac OS X + ntpd?

Pete Stephenson pete+usenet at heypete.com
Tue Feb 1 11:32:01 UTC 2005

It seems that Mac OS X uses ntpd as a client to synchronize the system's 
clock after being configured in the System Preferences. This is all well 
good for most uses, but I wish to use my G5 (my main workstation) to act 
as a full-fledged NTP server while I work on the linux box that 
currently is time.heypete.com, a system in pool.ntp.org and listed at 
ntp.org's public Stratum 2 servers.

I expect, of course, to do the various administration and configuration 
from the commandline and whatnot. The one problem is that ntpd doesn't 
automatically start at system boot unless the box in the Date & Time 
control panel is ticked, which will write over the ntp.conf file and 
obliterate any configuration.

Is there any way to have ntpd start normally at system start as if it 
were running on a "real" FreeBSD machine? Hopefully any changes would be 
easily reversible to resort back to "normal" OS X behavior once I get 
the actual timeserver up and running?

Also, many thanks to Brad Knowles -- I'm looking into getting a Soekris 
machine to run FreeBSD specifically for NTP. The crystal clock on the 
Cobalt RaQ3 I presently have is wildly inaccurate -- it powered down for 
literally 15 minutes while I did some hardware work, and when I powered 
back on it was 12 seconds off. I'm amazed ntpd can hold it to such 
accurate time, but it does. Amazing.

Needless to say, a Soekris box with FreeBSD, ntpd and (possibly, if I 
can find a CF card big enough) Apache and an MTA would do quite well at 
replacing the Cobalt for timekeeping/minimal http service, would consume 
less power, and make /far/ less fan noise (does the box even have a fan? 
It doesn't look like it).

Of course, this'll happen /after/ I get some money. Fortunately, I seem 
to have landed a fairly decent job. :)

Pete Stephenson

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