[ntp:questions] NTP and Windows Vista

Svein Skogen svein at d80.iso100.no
Mon Jun 2 12:42:27 UTC 2008

Danny Mayer wrote:
> David J Taylor wrote:
>> Danny,
>> There is certainly need to be able to record the version of the operating 
>> system which is use, whether that be in a drop-down list or elsewhere I 
>> don't mind.  Windows 3.X and the NT/2000/XP/Vista set, for example, are 
>> quite different.
> Window 3.x, 95, 98, etc. haven't been supported by NTP for quite a few 
> years so any bug report about them would be invalid anyway. The others, 
> based on NT are what we support but are merely different versions of the 
> Windows NT operating system.
>> As many of the security settings have changed on Windows 
>> Vista, and these could affect how NTP works, I personally feel that it is 
>> appropriate to have Windows Vista set out separately from other versions.
> Security settings are not relevant to NTP. Those are things you need to 
> deal with separately. Those are operator errors and not NTP errors.

Unless of course we are talking about security-settings done by an 
installer. Most of the UAC problems are actually file-permission errors, 
and since windows32 programmers are "used to" administrative privileges, 
they don't bother setting up proper ACLs on the files the app/service 
needs to access. For instance, ntpd would need read+execute permissions 
on its own files, but would need write+change on the drift file, to be 
able to properly run as a non-privileged user. If registry ACLs are 
handled properly aswell (right for the ntpd user to actually adjust 
system time), we are getting close. :)

Windows Vista (with UAC enabled) is quite different from most other 
windows'es in this manner.

>> I don't see a field for OS sub-version on the bug report form right now. 
>> It could be helpful if there were another field for OS sub-version which 
>> would allow the user to enter "Home", "Business" etc. (for Vista) should 
>> they wish, although in this particular case the sub-version seems unlikely 
>> to affect how NTP works.
> That doesn't matter either since they are just subsets of the operating 
> system. The pieces that NTP uses are basically the IP stack, the IO to 
> disk and network and a few other odds and ends. You can enter that 
> information if it's really relevant but I'd be astonished if it was 
> something the NTP needed to deal with.

I'm not 100% sure this applies to Vista, but if memory serves me, 
previous windows versions had limitations on the number of open, and 
half-open connections that were allowed, and those limits were different 
in the different subsets of windows. Thus, getting the "entire" version 
of window matters, more so than it does for FreeBSD or Linux, since 
those synthetic limitations are non-existent there.

>> Doesn't Linux need something similar for version numbers, in view of how 
>> kernel changes may interact with NTP?
> Yes and those version numbers can be important in the bug report but 
> it's still Linux.

To reiterate my own statement, Windows introduces some synthetic 
limitations on different "breeds" (editions) of the OS. Linux doesn't.


Svein Skogen		| svein at d80.iso100.no
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