[ntp:questions] Problem Disabling Local Time Synch

Tom Einertson tome at siemens-emis.com
Thu Feb 3 22:08:32 UTC 2005

We have a system here consisting of a number of computers, two of which
are time sources, and the others which are time clients.  On the time
masters we have a serial connection to a satellite time receiver, and
we have a program that acquires this time from the satellite and synchs
that server's time to the satellite.  We run xntpd on the time servers
to distribute time to the clients.  The problem is that we keep getting
the following message in the console logs on our time masters.

xntpd[7770]: Previous time adjustment didn't complete

A little research indicated that this error means that one adjtime call
didn't complete before the next one was made, and that this can be
caused if NTP doesn't run at a high enough priority, or if there is
another time synch program running on the same server.  I didn't think
that NTP was having trouble being scheduled on this system, but then I
realized that I hadn't told NTP not to try to synch the time on this
server, so it was probably fighting with our other time synch program.
I then added 'disable pll' to the NTP config file, figuring this would
stop NTP from trying to synch the time and I restarted NTP.  I figured
that if NTP wasn't trying to adjust the local clock, it wouldn't be
calling adjtime, and it wouldn't be generating this error any more.
This didn't seem to make any difference, so there must be something
that I don't understand about this.  Any idea what it might be?

In case it matters, this system runs AIX 4.3.3, and the NTP version is
3.4y.  Here is a copy of the NTP config file from that system.

driftfile /etc/ntp.drift
tracefile /etc/ntp.trace
server             # LCL, local clock
fudge stratum 12  # increase stratum
disable pll

Any idea what I'm doing wrong here?

PS - I know we should have more than two time servers here - I'm
working on that.

Tom Einertson                              E-mail: tome at siemens-emis.com
SIEMENS Power Transmission & Distribution  Phone:  (952) 607-2244
Energy Management & Automation Division    Fax:    (952) 607-2018
10900 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 400
Minnetonka, MN, 55305

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