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

Svein Skogen svein at stillbilde.net
Sun Oct 19 23:47:30 UTC 2008

Hash: SHA1

Mohit Aron wrote:
>> Mohit> I don't think '-g' option to ntpd is a practical solution - since it
>> Mohit> takes way too long to set the local time. Given this, people will
>> Mohit> continue to use ntpdate or sntp to set the time in a one-shot way
>> Mohit> before actually running ntpd.
>> Please see http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Dev/DeprecatingNtpdate and
>> http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Support/StartingNTP .
>> Just because ntpd -g is not right for *your* application doesn't mean it is
>> wrong for everybody.
>> And in the instances I run, 'ntpd -g' has the machine sync'd and moving
>> along fine in about 11 seconds.
> An 11s delay during startup is also unsatisfactory. I've read the links
> you've posted, and I realize that 'sntp -r <server>' might be an appropriate
> replacement for ntpdate (if that binary were to go away). Ideally I'd prefer
> that ntpdate just stays - in script form if nothing else. I'm merely
> responding to your comment that 'ntpd -q -g' was chosen as a viable
> replacement for 'ntpdate'.

I've kept out of this topic on purpose, simply because I did not want to
add anything that people would take as a personal attack (and I failed
to see how I could vent my feelings without looking like I was starting
a flame war)

The way I see this, we're separated into two general camps here. In one
of the camps we find the purists who more or less on principle wants
ntpdate gone, because they want everybody to run ntpd. I can understand
them, even if I do not agree with them.

The other camp consists mostly of people in the operations environment.
A lot of them doing remote management of servers. In this camp, any
additional time in the boot sequence is both wasted time, and a
nightmare because you always have that nagging "what will go wrong THIS
time" when you remote reboot anything. I've been there, and I know the

For the operations people, ntpdate is a supplement to ntpd, not a
replacement. They run ntpdate to get log timestamps +-1millennium
correct, then get on with their boot and throw ntpd into the background
to keep timestamps somewhat trusty.

Thus, they want ntpdate, or a script just as fast. 'ntpd -q -g' is NOT
the solution to their problem. Period. A script converting ntpdate
parameters into 'sntp -r' MAY be the solution.

However the real problem here is the fundamentalists that seem to want
ntpdate gone totally. This is a problem I'm afraid noone here can help
them with. If they have religious reasons for wanting something done or
gone, I suggest talking to a cleric about them. Sorry if I've insulted
anybody with this.

Just my ?0.02


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