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

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Wed Mar 12 13:21:29 UTC 2008

David Woolley wrote:
> 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.

It almost certainly SHOULD NOT contain real server names.  At least a 
specimen provided by the NTP group should not.  A specimen provided by 
an O/S vendor could properly include servers owned and operated by that 
vendor as RedHat does.

If I were to write a sample ntp.conf it might look like this:

# NTP monitoring parameters
logfile /var/ntp/ntp.log
statsdir /var/ntp/ntpstats/
driftfile /var/ntp/ntp.drift
statistics peerstats clockstats
filegen peerstats file peerstats type day enable
filegen clockstats file clockstats type day enable
# Hardware Reference Clock
server prefer       # PST/Traconex 1020/1030 (Type 3 Unit 0)
# Network servers
server iburst      # Our local GPS server
server		# RFC-1918 address to fill out example
server		# Another RFC-1918 address. . . .
# Authentication parameters
keys /etc/inet/ntp.keys
trustedkey      2 3 4
controlkey 3            # To access the ntpq utility
requestkey 2            # To access the ntpdc utility

I might include more comments pointing out what the user needs to 
customize and a link to the ntp documentation.

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