[ntp:questions] Re: NTP Leap Second on Windows XP

Maarten Wiltink maarten at kittensandcats.net
Tue Jan 3 08:59:00 UTC 2006

"Danny Mayer" <mayer at ntp.isc.org> wrote in message
news:43B9EE6E.4020309 at ntp.isc.org...
> Maarten Wiltink wrote:

<leap second adventures>

> Maarten, I'm not sure why you would do this. First of all step-tickers
> is a Red-hat thing for using ntpdate before starting ntpd. You are far
> better off just starting ntpd with the -g option and iburst on the
> server lines. All this messing with the drift file doesn't really help
> you. You should let ntpd do its job and set the drift value.

Step-tickers is a Redhat-ism, yes. I'm aware of that. These are Red Hat
boxes. The init scripts are there, I know how they work, I'm not about
to change them. In this case, it was a _convenience_ that I could disable
initial stepping by renaming a file in the /etc/ntp directory, without
touching my init scripts. (I may yet make a small adjustment there. The
script checks for the existence, rather than the readability, of the
file. I would have preferred to revoke read rights instead of renaming
the file.)

The iburst is there. Adding it clearly and obviously made things better.
The -g option isn't. Frankly, I don't care much for all the flap about
deprecating ntpdate. Given that I have something that I know, and that
works, how exactly, objectively, would I be better off? Please try to
think of arguments that convince _me_, not just you.

If you say messing with the drift file didn't help me, perhaps you'd
care to read again what I wrote. I let ntpd do its job for twelve hours,
but its upstream servers disagreed, ntpd hopped between them like crazy,
stepped back and forth, _stepped halfway_ half the time, and ran itself
onto the 500 PPM limit several times. So I told it to stop doing all
that (disable ntp), and after a false start fed it a drift value that
got it near actual time after another few hours. Instant end to chaos.
No step was necessary when re-enabling ntp. I fail to see how this did
not really help me. I have five nodes running off that server; I think
not stepping is a good thing.

If you will take my word for it that ntpd was turning garbage in (four
_severely_ disagreeing servers) into garbage out (symptoms as described
above), could you suggest a better plan than coasting with manual
corrections? By the way, coasting with manual corrections is as close
to a hardware clock as I'll consider. I'm not a soldering type of guy,
and I'm not spending eighty dollars on it, either.

Maarten Wiltink

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