[ntp:questions] NTPD silently not tracking

Steve Kostecke kostecke at ntp.org
Sun Sep 1 15:29:19 UTC 2013

On 2013-09-01, Rob <nomail at example.com> wrote:

> Maarten Wiltink <maarten at kittensandcats.net> wrote:
>> "unruh" <unruh at invalid.ca> wrote:
>>> On 2013-08-31, BlackLists wrote:
>>>>  perhaps it has already been fixed in a more recent version.


>>> Sorry, but I have always found this to be a complete copout.


>> As a developer (not NTP) myself, I don't react well to people
>> complaining about bugs I've already solved, just not in the version
>> they have.


> Like "unruh", I hate developers and companies with this attitude.
> When there is no reason to believe that a particular problem is solved
> in a later release, it is just annoying when the suggestion from
> support departments is to first install the latest version and see
> if that fixes it.  It is just a way to wave off the initial complaint
> and to keep others busy.

Not at all.

The NTP Project, in conjunction with the NTP Public Services Project,
supports (i.e. provides bug fixes for) the current NTP Reference
Implementation Stable (i.e. production) and Development release series.

Limited free support for EOLed versions of NTP may be available
through the comp.protocols.time.ntp Usenet news-group and gatewayed
questions at lists.ntp.org mailing list (operated by The NTP Public
Services Project), the #ntp IRC channel at freenode, the Community
Supported NTP Documentation at http://support.ntp.org, and other venues.

Support contracts for EOLed versions of the NTP Reference Implementation
(from www.ntp.org) are available from The Network Time Foundation

Unfortunately the NTP Reference Implementation release numbering scheme
violates the principle of least surprise and obscures the true magnitude
of the differences between releases.

Here's an example:

The final release in the "old-stable" series was NTP-4.2.4p8 and the
current release in the stable series is NTP-4.2.6p5.

Most people will compare the release as v4.2.4p8 vs v4.2.6p5; looks
like only a small change in the inremental release version along with a
couple of patches. Doesn't look like much, does it?

However the real comparision should be v2.4.8 vs v2.6.5. The difference
between release versions looks much greater in this case. Plus there was
a series of 250 development releases (v2.5.*) between v2.4 and v2.6;
a review of the ChangeLogs will reveal the magnitude of the changes
between versions.

> What is even worse: when people report an issue and it goes on a bug
> registration system (e.g. bugzilla), and after some time has elapsed a
> person marks all open bugs with remarks like "we have not heard about
> you for a while, please install latest version maybe it was fixed".
> As if that many bugs are fixed by accident. Sometimes it even happens
> with feature requests.

ntpd bugs submitted to the NTP BTS are never closed due to inactivity.

Try this query and you'll see open bugs dating back to 2003:


> Also remember that it is not always straightforward to upgrade
> a program. People often install ntpd as part of an OS (Linux)
> distribution, and it is integrated into the system by their
> distributor.

The NTP Reference Implementation is free software. The copyright
holder (The University of Delaware) makes no representations
about the suitability this software for any purpose. It is
provided "as is" without express or implied warranty. Please visit
http://www.ntp.org/copyright for the complete copyright notice and
license statement.

Each OS vendor / distributor / aggregator is responsible for supporting
code which they have customized or which has been EOLed by the uptream
author / vendor.

Support contracts for EOLed versions of the NTP Reference Implementation
(from www.ntp.org) are available from The Network Time Foundation

> Getting a newer version compiled from scratch and replacing the
> integrated version can be a major and risky operation, especially for
> someone not proficient in such tasks.

We live in an age where information is ubibiquitous.

A motivated person should have no difficulty locating documentation
describing the process of compiling software as "raw" source code
or through their Operating System software/package management
infrastructure. Further, there all manner of free support venues where
one may obtain assistance with this task.

Steve Kostecke <kostecke at ntp.org>
NTP Public Services Project - http://support.ntp.org/

More information about the questions mailing list