[ntp:questions] "ntpd -q" is slow compared to ntpdate

Harlan Stenn stenn at ntp.org
Sat Oct 18 06:16:50 UTC 2008

>>> In article <976d969e0810151552y27b51d97p7c44fef03714becf at mail.gmail.com>, extproxy at gmail.com (Mohit Aron) writes:

>> > Thanks. It seems 'sntp -r <server>' is the appropriate replacement >
>> for ntpdate.
>> I'm sure I'm about to soil my shoe in what may be an old and well-trodden
>> pile, but if sntp can set the time as well and as quickly as ntpdate, why
>> a new program rather than fixes/enhancements to the old one?

I thought we answered this already.

ntpdate is broken, and has been for a very long time.

Folks have used ntpdate to initially set the time for ntpd.

This is generally no longer needed.

Please see:




for a discussion of the issues.

Mohit> Good question. I'd much rather just keep using ntpdate. The ntpd man
Mohit> page is obviously wrong when it suggests that 'ntpd -q' mimics the
Mohit> behavior of ntpdate - it doesn't - 'ntpd -q' is dog slow. Along comes
Mohit> 'sntp -r' to the rescue.

Eventually the ntpd man page will be updated.  But for a certain class of
situation, yes ntpd -q does mimic ntpdate.

Please remembere that I mentioned that ntpdate is broken and has been for a
long time.

Mohit> ... I did find the deb package 'msntp' on Ubuntu, which has
Mohit> the binary 'msntp' which seems to perform exactly like the 'sntp'
Mohit> binary on Gentoo. The man pages also look suspiciously similar. Go
Mohit> figure.

The currently distributed sntp is the msntp package.  That package is being
replaced by an sntp implementation that is up-to-date with the current RFC.

Harlan Stenn <stenn at ntp.org>
http://ntpforum.isc.org  - be a member!

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