[ntp:questions] Finding out where ntpd gets its ntp.conf file

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Fri Sep 5 18:24:28 UTC 2008

Joseph Gwinn wrote:
> In article <slrngbvrsh.rsh.kostecke at stasis.kostecke.net>,
>  Steve Kostecke <kostecke at ntp.org> wrote:
>> On 2008-09-03, Joseph Gwinn <joegwinn at comcast.net> wrote:
>>> Read the "service" shell script.  It appears to get its file paths from 
>>> environment variables named after the thing being started and stopped 
>>> and accessible only in the root environment; this bit of RHEL-specific 
>>> structure is being chased down.  (Does anyone know where this is 
>>> documented?)
>> On Linux OSes init scripts are typically found in /etc/init.d/ or
>> /etc/rc.d/init.d/ Look for one named ntp (or something containing ntp).
> Yes, and that's where strace led me, where I found a script called ntpd. 
> How the service script interacts with this ntpd script isn't clear.  
> Environment variables seem to be implicated, but a listing of 
> environment variables is not helpful.  Next week I'll digest it all.
>>> Which brings me to a question:  How does one get NTP to tell you exactly 
>>> where it is getting such things as the ntp.conf file from, all without 
>>> being able to find or see the actual command line or lines that launched 
>>> the daemon?  I did not see a ntpq command that sounded plausible, 
>>> although ntpq would be an obvious choice.
>>> This would be very useful for debugging, as each and every platform type 
>>> seems to have a different approach to handling NTP.  
>> Why not use the file location features built in to your OS to find all
>> possible instances of ntp.conf?
>> $ locate ntp.conf
>> or 
>> $ find / -name ntp.conf
>> Pipe the output of either of those commands to 'xargs ls -l' to see the
>> datestamps of the files.
> We did this, but could not tell which one mattered.  Next week.
> Nor is it *required* the the ntp configuration file be called ntp.config.
> Joe Gwinn

There MIGHT, in rare cases, be good reason NOT to call the configuration 
file "ntp.conf" (it's conf not config, unless someone changed it 
recently).  IF so, both the new name and the reasons for it should be 
documented!  In most cases it's best to stick with the de facto standard.

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