[ntp:questions] slow start

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Tue May 29 04:43:58 UTC 2007

Jammer wrote:
> Incredibly slow /etc/init.d/ntpd start
> (it hangs on boot so I do it manually but it is slow).
> Is it a hardware problem?
> The computer clock seems to work fine.
> Should I be able to ping all the ntp servers in my /etc/ntp.conf?
> I can't.

Normally, you should be able to ping NTP servers.

You should not, however, start your troubleshooting by pinging your NTP 
servers.  Start by pinging something on your local network such as your 
router or another computer.  Success tells you that your computer is 
able to talk to your local network.

If you didn't ping your router, do it now.  If it doesn't respond, you 
have some idea where to look for your problem.

Next, ping your ISP's gateway.  If that works, you've established that 
you can connect to the internet.

Now try pinging your NTP servers.

Try ntpdate -dU <server address>
Do you get a response?  (This should not set your clock, it should just 
tell you what ntpdate would have done if you had allowed it to.)

If you get no response, try:
nslookup <fully qualified domain name of NTP server>

Does that return a numeric IP address in "dotted decimal" form?  It 
should look like (the numbers will be different; I just 
pulled those out of my a**!).  If so, DNS is working.  If not, you 
probably need to get professional help from your ISP's help desk.

You might also try issuing:

ntpq -p

That should list all your configured servers.  The "reach" field should
show "377" for each server if ntpd has been running for at least 30 
minutes.  If the reach field shows 0 you are unable to get a reply from 
that server.  If they all say 0, you have some sort of a configuration 
or network problem.  If you get some value greater than 0 but less than 
377 you are having only partial success reaching your servers.

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