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

Joseph Gwinn joegwinn at comcast.net
Fri Sep 5 20:32:53 UTC 2008

In article <x_WdneCj6sdQ5VzVnZ2dnUVZ_gCdnZ2d at comcast.com>,
 "Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> wrote:

> 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.

I agree completely.  But I didn't set the thing up.  But I do have to 
figure it out and fix it.  And document it.  It did flummox all our 
sysadmins, although as with sysadmins worldwide they are too busy.

Joe Gwinn

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