[ntp:questions] Re: Deprecating ntpdate for Red Hat

David Schwartz davids at webmaster.com
Wed Feb 9 00:34:59 UTC 2005

"Kenneth Porter" <shiva.blacklist at sewingwitch.com> wrote in message 
news:Xns95F762134A843shivawellcom at

> Currently the Red Hat initscript /etc/rc.d/init.d/ntpd will use ntpdate to
> set the initial time if the file /etc/ntp/step-tickers (a list of servers
> to initially query) is present. (I'm looking at the ntp-4.2.0-7 package
> from Fedora Core 2.) Otherwise it falls back to "ntpd -g". I'd suggest 
> that
> the presence of step-tickers result in a warning and be ignored. Is there 
> a
> better way to do this?

    This would partially break a setup where a list of servers to initially 
query is present, but ntp is not configured. I'd suggest deprecating 
'step-tickers', and using 'ntpdate' only if step-tickers is present. 
Otherwise, use 'ntpd -g'. Issuing a warning when 'step-tickers' is present 
is probably a good idea.

    An alternative solution would be to parse the 'step-tickers' file into a 
rough configuration file and call 'ntp' to set the clock and exit (using a 
temporary config file built from the 'step-tickers' file. This would permit 
the deprecated 'step-tickers' capability to work even if they stop 
shipping/maintaining 'ntpdate'.


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