[ntp:questions] Re: Lists of public NTP servers

Wolfgang S. Rupprecht wolfgang+gnus20031103T093820 at dailyplanet.dontspam.wsrcc.com
Mon Nov 3 18:17:39 UTC 2003

> My suggestion, as this area is retooled, is to separate the S1 page
> away from the S2 page to a less easily found spot within the NTP web
> site.  There should be lots of links directing people to the S2 page,
> so that only folks attempting to engineer a public S2 server would be
> likely to find, and use, the S1 list.

If there was a working /etc/ntp.conf file that got installed along
with the code when a user does a "make install" much of this nonsense
would be a non-issue.  The fact that end-users have to guess at
*anything* before they have had a chance to understand how ntp works
is a significant problem.  Some users will invariably guess
incorrectly and misunderstand the importance (or lack thereof) of
stratum-1 vs. stratum-2 servers.

Supplying an ntp.conf file that made use of pools.ntp.org would take
care of most home-user's needs.  I suspect most folks would be quite
satisfied if their computers were sync-ed to under 1 second.  The
supplied ntp.conf could have a note to the effect that "if you are an
admin of a network of over 100 machines then ..."

Another idea would be to have the ntp "make install" step run a small
program to probe for the existence of the local domain's own public
ntp servers.  Quite a few isp's do advertise servers at
"ntp.example.com" or "ntp.mysubdomain.example.com".

> A few well chosen questions, like "are you syncing one computer or a
> whole network?", with the "one" answer leading directly to the S2
> page.

Or just have ntpd come up using pools.ntp.org and if (and only if) the
monlist command shows that they are serving more than N machines will
the list of stratum-1's (or stratum-2's ???) be made available.  A
simple cgi script using ntpq/ntpdc could probe the user's ntpd and
validate the fact that they are serving the required number of hosts.

It doesn't look like there are that many more stratum 2's than
stratum-1's.  If the stratum-1's can't take the load of every Tom,
Dick, and Harry pinging their machine then I don't see how the
stratum-2's can either.

Wolfgang S. Rupprecht 		     http://www.wsrcc.com/wolfgang/
           The From: address is valid.  Don't mess with it.
irony: when the richest man in the world is struck using Microsoft products

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