[ntp:questions] where is the most authoritative NTP documentation?

Nathan Stratton Treadway nathanst+ntp-questions at ontko.com
Thu Mar 29 17:10:22 UTC 2012

On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:11:26 -0400, Ron Frazier (NTP) wrote:
> Where is the most authoritative and up to date NTP documentation?
> Here:          http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/html/index.html
> Or Here:     http://doc.ntp.org/

The ~mills/ URL points to the current "dev" version of the
documentation, as edited by Dr. Mills from time to time.  Thus, it's a
work-in-progress, but should mostly match the current "dev" branch of

As already mentioned on this thread, each release of NTP includes
documentation for that particular release; you can find copies of the
stable-release versions of those docs in the archive at
http://doc.ntp.org/ , and also most NTP installations will include a
local copy of the doc files.

(For some "packaged" version of ntp the documentation comes in a
separate package, so for example under under Debian/Ubuntu you would
need to install the "ntp-doc" package, and then you'd find the doc files
installed in /usr/share/doc/ntp-doc/html/ .)

As others have mentioned, normally you'll want to be looking at the
version of the docs that correspond to the version of NTP that you are
running (so that you aren't seeing descriptions of features that aren't
available in your version, etc.).

But note that sometimes documentation fixes are made within a stable
release series, so you may find it's helpful to look forward to a newer
version of the docs even if you don't upgrade your ntp binary.

(As one example of what I mean, compare the table of the
"peers" section in
, where the updated description applies just as well to 4.2.6 as to
later versions of the ntpq command.)

And sometimes you can learn a bit about why NTP behaves as it does by
comparing the description of a particular feature in earlier and later
versions of the documentation (to see how things have changed over
time).  It's pretty easy to do that using the search feature on the
Documentation Archive page.


Nathan Stratton Treadway  -  nathanst at ontko.com  -  Mid-Atlantic region
Ray Ontko & Co.  -  Software consulting services  -   http://www.ontko.com/
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