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

Uwe Klein uwe_klein_habertwedt at t-online.de
Sat Sep 13 08:42:36 UTC 2008

Hal Murray wrote:
>>I did get a look at the ntpd script today.  Turns out the answer on 
>>where it gets the ntp.conf file is right there, near the top, in the 
>>line "ntpconf=/etc/ntp.conf", even though the ntp man page points us 
>>deeper in the /etc hierarchy.  
>>The sysadmin I was working with was real annoyed, as the misinformation 
>>in the man page had sent him into circles.  We will add pointer comments 
>>to all placebo ntp.conf files, to save future generations of sysadmins 
>>from this fate.
> I still don't know which ntp.conf you are really using.
> I'm looking at a Fedora 6 box.
> If you look in /etc/init.d/ntpd, you will see that it mucks about
> with ntpconf (the one above) to find the servers.  Those servers
> get passed to ntpdate.  Mumble.  That's old crap.  There is now
> a command line switch that does the right thing.  I don't see
> where ntpconf gets passed to ntpd as a command line argument.
> If the man page says ntpd uses some other config file, it
> is probably right, or at it seems to me that it would be
> more likely that the guy who changed the code also changed
> the man page but didn't fixup the init script.
Does Red Hat write distribution specific manpages? I would be surprised if.


This is the recent SuSE Linux Manpage that all ntp related keywords point to:
NTP(1)                                                                                  NTP(1)

        NTP - Network Time Protocol

        The  NTP  distribution does not include man pages. To learn more about the NTP protocol
        and this software, please install the xntp-doc package included in you SuSE Linux  dis-

        In  /usr/share/doc/packages/xntp-doc you will find the complete set of documentation on
        building and configuring a NTP server or client. The documentation is in  the  form  of
        HTML files suitable for browsing and contains links to additional documentation at var-
        ious web sites.

        Also included: What about NTP?  Understanding and using the Network Time  Protocol.   A
        first  try  on  a  non-technical  Mini-HOWTO and FAQ on NTP. Edited by Ulrich Windl and
        David Dalton.

        Further information on NTP in the Internet  can  be  found  in  the  NTP  web  page  at

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