[ntp:questions] Re: HOWTO prepare ntpd to the leap of a second

Terje Mathisen terje.mathisen at hda.hydro.com
Fri Dec 23 20:18:56 UTC 2005

Danny Mayer wrote:

> Serge Bets wrote:
>>I would like a review of this nano-HOWTO prepare ntpd to the leap of a
>>second. Any comments and enhancements are welcome. Especially reports on
>>different ntpd versions. And any ideas about automated refreshing of the
>>NIST file twice a year in a way that must be network friendly, NIST
>>servers friendly, and secure. Is there some https://URL to get only
> Here's the proper procedure:
> 1) Go to local liquor store and purchase a champagne of a make and
> vintage that you enjoy.
> 2) Placee bottle(s) in refrigerator to ensure proper cooling.
> 3) 10 minutes before midnight UTC, remove chamgagne from refrigerator,
> open and let stand for a few minutes to let it breathe.
> 4) Pour for yourself and anyone else who may be with you into glasses.
> 5) Run ntpq -p -c rv in a loop and watch current time.
> 6) At leap-second insertion time raise glasses and toast the UTC New Year.
> 7) Go to bed if late, local time.
> Happy new leap-second.


All the talking about leap seconds caused me to check the status of my
reference clocks, I noted back in october/november that none of them had
set the leap_sec flag.

Now in december, things had changed:

All my new FreeBSD 6.0 + Synergy Systems Oncore servers agreed that yes,
indeed, a leap second is imminent.

The same did my FreeBSD 6/Garmin OEM 18 NMEA server, while my original
TAPR-sourced DIY 8-channel Oncore UT+ (running on V5.3) was the only one
which still didn't acknowledge leap_add_sec.

At this point I followed Serge Bets' nice HowTo post, installing crypto
certificates and the leapseconds file. After an ntpd restart everything
was fine, including the TAI offset which none of the other systems are

The only stumbling point was a problem running

  ntp-keygen -H -p password

which failed, complaining about a missing /root/.rnd file.

I cat'ed about 10 MB from /dev/random into this, and this was sufficient
to make ntp-keygen happy. I guess a softlink would have been easier and


- <Terje.Mathisen at hda.hydro.com>
"almost all programming can be viewed as an exercise in caching"

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