[ntp:questions] Re: Q:About "Time reset & Sync Lost"

Eric ejensen at spamcop.net
Fri Oct 17 14:29:16 UTC 2003

On Fri, 17 Oct 2003 21:09:21 +0900, Yuji Hoshino
<yuji.hoshino at niscom.co.jp> wrote:

>I understand that "time reset" means setting the clock
>not gradually,but immediately.
>(when "offset" value is more than 128 ms)
>But after "time reset","synchronisation lost" always occurs.
>I think that the clock has been set correctly after "time reset"
>and that an ntp server is in synchronisation because there is
>almost no time difference .
>Why does "synchronisation lost" occur after "time reset" ,
>in which there is almost no time difference ?
>What is the reason why "synchronisation lost" happens ?

>8 Oct 22:03:52 ntpd[777]: time reset 0.217715 s
>8 Oct 22:03:52 ntpd[777]: synchronisation lost
>8 Oct 22:19:45 ntpd[777]: time reset -0.305509 s
>8 Oct 22:19:45 ntpd[777]: synchronisation lost

The messages are IMO out of order, but it doesn't really matter.  They
occur in pairs, sync lost & time reset.  The NTPD process continually
keeps the local clock synchronized to the upstream servers.  The
specification requires that the local clock always be with 128ms of
the calculated correct time.  When the polls to the upstream servers
give misleading times (because of asymmetric delays, for example), the
calculated time may suddenly appear to be more than 128ms off from the
local clock, and at that point, NTPD "knows" two things: 1) the local
clock is very wrong, which should not have happened, so sync is now
officially lost, and 2) If options permit, the time will be stepped
rather than slewed to allow the local clock to be more correct,

After the network congestion or trouble that led to the asymmetric
delays goes away, NTPD often hits the same problem in reverse, because
it has now stepped the local time based on inaccurate poll times, and
the current polls show that calculated time to be way off, in the
other direction, so sync has now been lost again, and the local clock
is re-stepped to correct it, and is probably now close to where it
started.  This seems to fit with your example above.

- Eric

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