[ntp:hackers] ntpdate removal is coming

Harlan Stenn stenn at ntp.org
Mon Jul 25 23:25:24 UTC 2011

Brian wrote:
> On 07/24/11 02:44, Harlan Stenn wrote:
> > My preference is that we make sure we get rid of the need to set the
> > clock before starting ntpd.
> > 
> > H
> I have run into a bit of a snag regarding ntpdate and ntpdc. You may or
> may not know that Solaris has certain policies regarding the removal or
> changing of user programs and libraries. We can only make certain
> changes at certain points in the release cycle. The development of
> Solaris 11 is at a stage that I can only make minor changes to it. I
> currently have 4.2.5p200 integrated and it will ship with that.
> What that means is, if I ship ntpdate and ntpdc in Solaris 11, I cannot
> stop shipping them until Solaris 12. This means that I can only update
> Solaris 11 to the last NTP version that includes them until Solaris 12
> ships.
> So, I have three alternatives. One is that I don't ship ntpdate and/or
> ntpdc in Solaris 11. I don't know if ntpd in 4.2.5p200 is an adequate
> replacement or not. But I do know that ntpq in 4.2.5p200 does not
> replace ntpdc.

This seems suboptimal.

> Two, I update to the last ntp-dev that has them included, whatever that
> turns out to be.

This seems suboptimal.

> Three, I replace ntpdate and/or ntpdc with something that takes the same
> command line arguments and subcommands and implements the same
> functionality. Typically this would be a shell script that munges the
> flags and calls another program. Or something like what was done with
> ntptrace.

I believe we will be offering a shell-script to replace ntpdate, and
getting rid of ntpdc is not a priority for me - the program will likely
stick around until the next major release of ntp anyway.

As far as a shell script to replace ntpdate, there are 2 sets of folks
who want to use it - those who want to have it set the time once, well,
and those who want to have it to set the time once, quickly.

As the Solaris NTP package maintainer, you will get to decide what the
default case will be, and the ntpdate shell script will take the same
options it did before and implement your policy choice about "well"
v. "quickly".

There will be a command-line option to override that choice, should a
local administrator so choose.

> So, if ntpd in 4.2.5p200 is a good replacement for ntpdate, I could not
> ship that. This would be good if the removal of ntpdc is not planned for
> as early a time as ntpdate. But if both of them are in imminent danger,
> then this would not help.

I think I addressed all of this above, right?

> So, I need some advice. Could ntpdate and ntpdc be kept in the distro
> but not built or installed by default?

I don't think we were planning to *delete* the programs in 4.2.8.

I have not thought about ntpdc, but there is a chance that 4.2.8 will
have a shell-script replacement for ntpdate that has the same
command-line functionality as the binary (and again, somebody will have
to decide whether or not the default case will be "fast" or "well" on
setting the time).

> Does anybody happen to know what functionality was missing from ntpd
> regarding the ntpdate functions?



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