[ntp:questions] Will ntpd tell me if it encounters problems?

Richard B. gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Thu Apr 12 12:36:13 UTC 2007

gluino wrote:
> Thanks all for the help.
> On Apr 12, 6:52 am, "Richard B. gilbert" <rgilber... at comcast.net>
> wrote:
>>It's generally possible to find servers with delays less than twenty
>>milliseconds.  It should almost always be possible to find servers with
>>delays less than 50 milliseconds.
> Maybe it's because I'm in South East Asia, I'll try to look around
> some more.
> Anyway, I'm happy with keeping my machines within say 1/4 seconds of
> UTC, considering that for many years the the company network
> (including scores of POS and DVR PCs) has been chugging along fine
> with just manual time adjustments.
> So... Maarten suggests using a simple script to check on ntpq -p, I'm
> not sure what to check for, will the asterisk always disappear after a
> problem?
> If so, I would just check for presence of the string:
> "*" (it's my government's public time server)

The asterisk marks the server that has been chosen as the 
synchronization source.  If no server has been marked with the asterisk 
it means that no suitable server has been found yet.  Note that ntpd 
needs several minutes to select a suitable synchronization source unless 
you use the "iburst" option in your server statements.

A healthy system should have at least four servers configured.  One 
should be marked with an asterisk and three should be marked with a plus 
sign.  The plus sign designates a member of the "selection set".  An "x" 
means that the server in question is considered "insane".  A minus sign
means that the server is not eligible for selection, probably because 
there are several servers that look better to ntpd.

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