[ntp:questions] Not-So-Newbie question

Peter Laws plaws at ou.edu
Fri Feb 22 21:24:32 UTC 2008

OK, so I first set up NTP about 11 years ago.  Pointed the (NIS/NFS!) 
server at a Stratum 1 clock and then multicast time out to anyone who 
wanted it (I set up all the workstations to listen to multicast - I think 
that was the default if you enabled NTP in Solaris).

I've since been playing with it in ever more complicated scenarios and now 
have two Stratum 1 clocks (and probably a 3rd soon) and several Stratum 2s 
for user access.

Yesterday, I added another Stratum 2 to the group and for some reason, it 
seems to be taking a long time to get stabilized.  Part of the problem, I 
think, is that it's running off a Knoppix CD (it's an NPAD test system). I 
worked around the fact that the drift file, by default, had 0.00 in it, but 
I don't think that's an issue since I've restarted the daemon a number of 
times tweaking things.  Other systems of the same HW type didn't take this 

My real question is this:  What am I really looking at in the offset and 
jitter columns?  What makes a "good server" in terms of ntpq -p output? 
Low offset?  Low jitter?  Some combination?

Peter Laws / N5UWY
National Weather Center / Network Operations Center
University of Oklahoma Information Technology
plaws at ou.edu
Feedback? Contact my director, Craig Cochell, craigc at ou.edu. Thank you!

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