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

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Sat Jun 4 03:47:14 UTC 2005

Brian T. Brunner wrote:

>I don't own my time master and have no capacity to 'go over the head' of the master.  I just have to accept whatever time it decides to give me regardless of whatever.
>So I command 
>ntpdate -d -s -b master
>and I get back
>Server dropped, strata too high
>I didn't ask for ntpdate's opinion (counsel) of what height stratum I should be advised to consider acceptable, I wanted ntpdate to go (tool) get the time and use it.
>Man pages for ntpdate give me no clues what to do, so I'm asking here.
>Brian Brunner
>brian.t.brunner at gai-tronics.com
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You might as well be using a scalpel to cut down a tree or a chain saw 
to perform open heart surgery!!

NTP was not designed to synchronize computer B's clock to computer A's 
clock.   It was designed to synchronize clocks to UTC; e.g. to maintain 
the CORRECT time.!  Synchronization of the clocks in two different 
computers is merely a useful side effect of having both clocks keeping 
the correct time.   To this end, ntpd and allied tools have a lot of 
defenses built in to help ensure that they get the time as correct as 

This has not stopped a lot of people from trying to get ntpd and allied 
tools to do things for which they were not designed.  If it works for 
you, fine but don't complain that it's broken when it doesn't work the 
way *you* want it to.

You neglected to say what hardware platform(s) or operating system(s) 
you were using.  There may be other solutions available that will 
synchronize clocks without regard to the correctness of the time.   Or, 
you could design and build your own solution.

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