[ntp:questions] orphan mode

Frank Alsop fealsop at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 1 18:42:02 UTC 2011

   I am still confused about the proper use of the "tos orphan #" statement.  
Thanks for the replies to my last question and I have read the relevant docs at 
ntp.org.  I am pretty confident that I understand how to choose an appropriate 
orphan stratum.  However, I am not 100%, and I have been unable to convince the 
others in my group.  As a response to a previous question of mine, I was told 
that 5 is the default minimum and to set the tos orphan stratum to be greater 
than or equal to 5.  In our ntp.conf, in our stratum 2 hosts, we have "tos 
orphan 4".  The others in my group are not convinced this is a mistake, even 
with the recommendation to use a minimum of 5.  Our system has a GPS at stratum 
1, 4 "peers" at stratum 2, a mix of clients and servers at stratum 3, with the 
highest client at stratum 5.  So, I think we should set "tos orphan 5" to adhere 
to: "A host is enabled for orphan mode using the tos orphan stratum command, 
where stratum is some stratum less than 16 and greater than any anticipated 
stratum that might occur with configured Internet time servers".  I am assuming 
that the server at stratum 4 in our system is a "configured internet time 
server".  Others in my group think that only the lowest stratum, which is our 
stratum 2 peer group, should be considered "configured internet time servers".  
Therefore, they think 4 is greater than that and we are ok.
   So, what is the negative impact (if any) of having a "tos orphan 4" statement 
in our setup as described above?  If we had an additional server at stratum 5 
with a client at stratum 6, would we then need to set "tos orphan 6", etc.?  


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