[ntp:questions] ntp configuration file keeps resetting to installation default

Ben Measures saint_abroadremove at removehotmail.com
Tue Jan 20 04:50:43 UTC 2004

I'm trying to setup ntpd for my network but am having numerous problems. 
  For the moment, I have only one question for a single problem that has 
really annoyed me for over a week now.

My /etc/ntp.conf keeps resetting to the default conf from the install, 
every time I boot the computer.

The old ntp.conf gets moved to /etc/ntp.conf.sv and the default conf 
takes its place. Since the default conf is not suitable (no ntp sync 
servers listed) this will not do at all. I'm having to manually
# cp /etc/ntp.conf.sv /etc/ntp.conf
# /etc/init.d/ntpd start
each time I boot the computer.

Here's my system:
Gentoo Linux (1.4, latest stable updates)

The first thing I did was search google for others who have had the same 
problem with no hits. I then searched forums.gentoo.org with no luck.

So I searched for other files on my computer ending in .sv. I got three 
# find /etc/ -iname '*.sv'
The only results google gives is for /etc/resolv.conf.sv. Amongst 
others, the manpage for dhcp comes up (with it replacing resolv.conf 
when the client receives its DNS options). So I read man ntpd and found 
nothing on the config being replaced.

Then I read /etc/init.d/ntpd with the no result. Just in case, I removed 
it from startup. Rebooted. Config file was renamed and replaced still. 

I then thought it might be filesystems corruption. So I rebooted with 
the Gentoo LiveCD and fsck all the volumes. No problem.

Whilst I was there, I did however, mount the root partition to see if 
the /etc/ntp.conf had been replaced. Result! It hadn't, so some progress 
there. It wasn't being replaced on shutdown.

So I took the CD out and booted in single user mode. The file had been 
replaced. Doh!

Continuing, I tried searching the startup/config scripts for references 
to ntp.conf:
# grep -R 'ntp.conf' /etc/
/etc/init.d/ntpd:       if [ ! -f /etc/ntp.conf ] ; then
/etc/init.d/ntpd:               eerror "Please create /etc/ntp.conf"
/etc/init.d/ntpd:               eerror "Sample conf: 
Bah! I knew that already.

So for some random reason (desperation perhaps), I decided to completely 
remove all traces of vanilla-sources-2.4.24 and reinstall/recompile it. 
So, as usual, I booted the previous kernel (vanilla-sources-2.4.23) and 
removed/reinstalled/recompiled vanilla-sources-2.4.24.

Whilst I was waiting for the compile, I had a look to see if 
/etc/ntp.conf had been replaced. It hadn't. Huh? I took it as a good 
omen for my quest.

So I booted with the new kernel. /etc/ntp.conf was replaced again. :( 
After many reboots it seems that the conf gets replaced with 
vanilla-sources-2.4.24 but not with vanilla-sources-2.4.23. This baffles 
me as I thought that they used the same startup/configuration files!

This is where I have ran out of steam/ideas. So now I'm trying the 
newsgroups. :) I must be missing something here. If someone could point 
the obvious out or send me on a new line of research it would be of 
great help. I'll post if I find anything new.

Ben M.

PS. How was my post for advice. I am trying my hardest to "Ask questions 
the smart way" - http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html. Did 
you like/hate the way I put it? Please let me know so I can ask better 
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