[ntp:questions] Re: Forcing Stratum Level

Heiko Gerstung heiko.gerstung_removeme_ at meinberg.de
Tue Mar 21 09:43:38 UTC 2006

Hi, Jesse:

Lands, Jesse schrieb:
>  I have a closed network that I am using NTPD on to control all the clocks. I can not open the network up to a public time server and I would prefer not to spend the money to hook it up to a GPS. 
> I just need all the Windows XP clients to sync their time to the NTPD server. However when I try to sync them I get "The peer's stratum is less than the host's stratum." 
> How do I force the NTP server to show as a better stratum?

Your NTP server running ntpd therefore uses its own local clock as its 
reference time, right?

You should have the following lines included in your ntpd.conf:

server                  # local clock
fudge stratum 12       # local stratum

You can change the stratum level of the "local clock" reference with 
that fudge line (just edit the "12").

I am not sure which stratum the W32time service considers for itself, 
therefore you might need to try out a few values. You should try to 
avoid a better (=lower) stratum level than 10 for a system which uses 
its own, unsynchronized local clock as the time reference. If you need 
it to be lower than 10, you should be aware of the fact that this can 
lead to ugly effects and bad timekeeping on the clients if you ever 
introduce synchronized NTP time servers into your network and forget to 
reconfigure your server.

Kind regards,

Meinberg radio clocks: 25 years of accurate time worldwide

MEINBERG Radio Clocks

Stand alone ntp time servers and radio clocks based on GPS, DCF77 and 
IRIG. Rackmount and desktop versions and PCI slot cards.

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