[ntp:questions] Multiple ntp processes?

Danny Mayer mayer at ntp.isc.org
Mon Oct 16 04:06:44 UTC 2006

Scot P. Floess wrote:
> I didn't readily find an answer to this problem...
> I note when I start ntp as an init script running Fedora Core 5 on a
> dual PIII 450 Mhz box, I see two ntpd processes running.  By looking at
> the PID and PPID it appears one ntpd is starting the other.  I note in
> /var/log/messages I will see logs with intermixed times.  For instance,
> a log with time X followed by logs with X - some prior time...it's very
> odd...

Yes, the second process is created by a fork of the first one. The
second one is doing DNS lookups that it sends back to the first once it
has a definitive answer. The second process will exit when there is no
longer anything for it to do. This is quite normal.

> If, on the command line, I stop ntpd both processes stop fine.  By
> starting ntpd again...I note only one ntpd process running.

You should see both but it's possible that you waited too long and the
second has already returned all of it's answers.

> My question is:  is this behavior normal on a dual processor box?  Based
> on the odd timestamps in /var/log/messages - I would have to say only
> one ntpd should be running...it almost "feels" like the two ntpd's are
> fighting to set the system clock.

No, this is all normal. Only one of them is setting the clock.


> Thanks in advance!
> Scot        

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