[ntp:questions] Re: uk pool problem

Harlan Stenn stenn at ntp.isc.org
Fri Sep 1 01:41:18 UTC 2006

>>> In article <ed6gtf$3or$1 at canard.ulcc.ac.uk>, Ronan Flood <ronan at noc.ulcc.ac.uk> writes:

Ronan>   http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/html/ntpdate.html

Ronan>  "ntpdate sets the local date and time by polling the Network Time
Ronan> Protocol (NTP) server(s) given as the server arguments to determine
Ronan> the correct time. It must be run as root on the local host. A number
Ronan> of samples are obtained from each of the servers specified and a
Ronan> subset of the NTP clock filter and selection algorithms are applied
Ronan> to select the best of these.  Note that the accuracy and reliability
Ronan> of ntpdate depends on the number of servers, the number of polls each
Ronan> time it is run and the interval between runs."

And ntpdate never did this well, and nobody wanted to maintain it, and Dave
fixed ntpd so it did not need ntpdate anymore.

On a system with a properly configured ntp.conf file and a decent value in
the drift file, ntpd will hit the ground and be ready to go in about 11
seconds.  To my knowledge, this was simply not possible before iburst.

ntpdate has problems, and if you simply want to set the time in a hurry and
not worry about how stable timekeeping is, sntp will do the same job and it
does not have ntpdate's problems.

If somebody wants to keep using ntpdate (which could turn in to a shell
script as far as I'm concerned) somebody will have to step up and volunteer
to do the work.

Note that there are currently also open bugs on ntptrace that have not been
fixed, either.

These problems can also be fixed with money.


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