[ntp:questions] Re: simple time server

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Thu Aug 3 03:57:47 UTC 2006

Bryan Henderson wrote:

>>It takes a couple of hours for the program to figure out "what the time 
>>is precisely".
> Remember that in this thread, I'm talking about a situation where the
> local clock of one computer is the time standard.  If the time server
> is running on that computer, it knows by definition at all times
> precisely what time it is.
> There is a whole class of applications of network time service where
> it's important that a bunch of computers adhere to a time standard,
> but that standard doesn't have to be UTC.  There's also a whole class
> of applications where wristwatch level precision is adequate.  In my
> case, I can't imagine making use of more than about 100 ms precision.
> I think I've discovered in my brief investigation of the Ntpd
> reference implementation that it is not appropriate for those
> applications.  I'm still trying to figure out whether NTP itself is.

If you are willing to settle for time to the nearest second you can use 
rdate.  If you need better; e.g. time to the nearest 100 milliseconds or 
better, SNTP *might* do it for you but I wouldn't want to rely on it myself.

You can, if you wish, use ntpdate to set your clocks from some NTP 
server.  You could run it in a cron job once an hour or something like 
that and it should keep your clock within a hundred milliseconds of the 
server unless you have a machine with a really bad local clock.  Ntpdate 
does not provide the full functionality of ntpd and it is "deprecated" 
and sooner or later will be dropped from the distribution.

More information about the questions mailing list