[ntp:questions] Re: Need ntpdate *tool* not *counselor*

mayer mayer at gis.net
Thu Jun 2 02:45:34 UTC 2005

----- Original Message Follows -----
> Actually I wrote to questions at lists.ntp.isc.org
> My product is an embedded alarm processor.  
> I log events and broadcast audio and flash the lights and clang the
> bells. My Master is whatever I'm told is my Master.  
> What time the Master has is the correct time, regardless.  
> That's the meaning of him being Master.
> It is FAR more important that we (alarm servers) all have the same 
> time, which is the Masters, than that we have the "correct" time 
> which is different from the Master's time.  This is why the
> counsel of ntpdate should NOT be accepted.
> So I want ntpdate to have a '-f' flag to force my time to this 
> stratum 16 Master, because that's what I must accomplish.
> If the Master is plugged in to a *real* time master (stratum 1) then
> fine;  this is not likely on an oil rig offshore Angola, or 4 hours by
> helicopter  from Kuala Lumpur, but criticism of the whole is not my
> job.  
> Announcing alarms with the same time as the Master is.
> Also the Master is where the Setup & Service people load new/updated 
> executables and configuration files.  I'm to notice them by the time
> stamp. If the Service and Setup people have flown to Downtown
> Kazakhstan to install a new configuration file, but ntpdate has
> refused to sync time, I could arouse a few invectives.  I'd rather we
> functioned drunk than  that we failed for definable pedantic
> nit-picks.  Chuck a syslog entry  warning that your best time is
> Stratum16, so you've no sense of the time  being *correct*, but it is
> at least sync'd to the millisecond.
> I conclude from the reply comments that ntpd/ntpdate are 
> currently "incurably pedantic" and will not function unless *real*
> time is available, they can't function without a server chain leading 
> up to a stratum 1.  This is fine for the Ivory Tower folks, a drilling
> ship exploring Way Out Somewhere with operational constraints
> I cannot dictate ("Thou Shalt Have a Global Time Receiver,
> and thou shalt connect this GTR to a machine that I may see,
> sayeth the alarm processor at the bottom of the authority chain,
> or I shall smite thee by refusing to sync with anything") is another
> kettle of fish.
> I'll try rdate, and consider ntp/ntpdate uselessly picky.

ntp is not for you given these conditions. ntp tries very hard NOT
to get a bad answer which is why it refuses to use a server with a
stratum 16. ntp's goal is to provide ACCURATE answers and not ANY
answer.  I somehow doubt that your systems are so isolated that
you never want to be able to integrate logs with other systems.


> Brian Brunner
> brian.t.brunner at gai-tronics.com
> (610)796-5838

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