[ntp:questions] Odd (mis)behavior when reference clock fails

Kevin Oberman oberman at es.net
Fri Sep 19 00:08:21 UTC 2008

> Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 15:51:40 -0600 (MDT)
> From: Rob Neal <hundoj at comcast.net>
> Sender: questions-bounces+oberman=es.net at lists.ntp.org
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2008, Kevin Oberman wrote:
> > We have a fairly large "mesh" of NTP servers spread across the
> > US. Almost all have PPS reference clocks and are quite
> > accurate. Recently one of the reference clocks located across the county
> > seems to have failed. Such is life.
> >
> > The problem is that the system's time started drifting and eventually
> > became far enough out of sync with the mesh to be marked as a bad
> > ticker.
> >
> > The only way I could get the clock to slew or step the time was to edit
> > the configuration and comment out the reference clock and PPS. It looks
> > like the system will only use the time from a reference clock when and if
> > the clock is configured, even if it can't be read.
> >
> > Is there any way to "fix" this?
>  	What is it that you consider broken? Please clarify.
>  	I've re-read this several times, and don't see the problem.
>  	A reference clock broke. It was disregarded because it chimed
>  	badly.
>  	You expected something different?
>  	A clock must be configured to be used, yes. Sad but true.

But I have no expectation of the clock working. I do have expectation
that the system, which has about 10 stratum 1 peers, so I would expect
it to simply start to sync with those systems. It does show a '*' on one
of the stratum 1 system. But the system clock drifts slowly away.

R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at es.net			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751
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