[ntp:questions] drift value very large and very unstable

Kevin Oberman oberman at es.net
Wed Mar 12 15:45:07 UTC 2008

> From: David Woolley <david at ex.djwhome.demon.co.uk.invalid>
> Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2008 08:11:23 +0000
> Sender: questions-bounces+oberman=es.net at lists.ntp.org
> Unruh wrote:
> > that is why there is a proposed file system standard. 
> > Log files in /var/log/ntp say.
> > Drift file in /etc/ntp.drift
> > config file in /etc/ntp.conf
> > 
> I think they were referring to the Linux filesystem standard, and one of 
> the things that does is to move things out of /etc.  In particular, 
> /etc/ntp.drift would never be allowed, because the file is updated 
> dynamically.
> Incidentally, a specimen configuration needn't include real server names.

Many systems mount root read-only for security reasons (and /etc is in
the root partition. As a result, most systems all files that need
dynamic writes (like the drift file) to an appropriate place in /var.

In the case of FreeBSD, this is done by running ntpd with the command
line options of "-p /var/run/ntpd.pid -f /var/db/ntpd.drift". No ntp
configuration file is distributed with the system, but the drift file is
moved to a much better location.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at es.net			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751
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