[ntp:questions] Local (own site) NTP servers.

tglassey tglassey at glassey.com
Thu Jul 23 15:04:22 UTC 2009

G8KBV wrote:
> Wonder if this will get posed, or returned to me..
> Hi...
> Been lurking for a while.
> Also, been messing about trying to get a local (to me) GPS
> Disciplined NTP server working, based on David Taylor's work
> with FreeBSD, 
Yes this is a good place to start.
> I think I have one of those configured OK, but
> I've got other issues with FreeBSD on that machine that sort
> of prevent me using it for unattended "appliance" use.  It
> keeps generating system emails for the Root user, and I can't
> find out why!  Other than its something about recovered editor
> files?
There is a process called virecover which starts from boot - you can 
disable it. Look in /etc/rc.d/virecover. In fact /etc/rc.d is the 
directory with many of the start/stop rc (*scripts) files. But you could 
have found this by simply typing a google search for "stopping 
virecover" for what its worth.
> So...  I'm about to try a couple of Windows "solutions"
> (opportunities)  One the "Tardis" program, that would appear
> to be able to take PPS based GPS signals, and act as a server.
Its not NTP - but rather SNTP as I recall. What are you trying to 
accomplish? using a non-evidentiary grade of time services or putting 
together provable time services for your system?
> Have to say, if it works, that would be a good solution for
> some other interested parties (near zero config!)   
Except the reason for setting the time data on the system is so that the 
log files can be properly compared to the real world and that the 
time-sensitve crypto features of Kerberos and other tools work
> The author
> of that app seems to think it should work (they would I
> guess?)   Plus, I know my way around most of Windoze, unlike
> my knowledge of Linuz/BSD or whatever, that just slows me down
> to the point of frustration.  No one in the (local to me) LUG
> is interested in any of this sort of thing sadly.
> (& just why is it that about all 'nix documentation and help
> files, are written almost exclusively to obfuscate the needed
> information?)
> Also the Meinberg NTP software (not looked at in detail yet)
> Both of them (independently while I play with them) will each
> live on a dedicated PC for now, but ultimately one or the
> other would need to co-exist on the same PC with the
> monitoring program (Faros) that needs the time stamps.
> Pointing it's NTP client routines at LocalHost?  Low single
> figure mS jitter is OK, sub uS accuracy is just not needed.
> However, while involved in something else, this came to my
> attention....
> http://bifferos.bizhat.com/
> Now, I realise the clock speed is not that quick by modern
> standards, but could that have enough "grunt" to work as a
> GPSDNTP server for a small low traffic LAN?..
> OK, I've managed (I think, as earlier) to get an older version
> of FreeBSD to run for this sort of thing (on a 500MHz P3
> machine)  But, just how cut down can it go, with just enough
> left to boot and do the NTP task, or is the Kernel BifferOS
> uses capable of half decent NPT serving tasks as it is?  It
> appears to use a version of the same code others are using in
> the WRTG routers for other purposes.
> Or, has anyone done similar with "re-purposed" Router hardware
> for example (Linksys, Sweex, etc)   I am aware of someone
> selling (too rich for me!) a GPSDNTP server based on a "Slug"
> (eBay 180384450442) using a USB connected GPS.
> My ultimate goal?
> To get Faros (HF Beacon monitoring program, runs on Windows,
> only.)  A GPSDNTP source, HF Receiver control app (my own
> code) and the resulting web based status page (or website
> updater) all living on the same PC.  I may have a 1GHz P3
> available, if I can get replacement RAM for it.  With Win2k
> already resident.  And a couple of Garmin GPS16LVS devices,
> verified working with 1PPS output.
> Now, if Alex would integrate GPS timekeeping within Faros, all
> this would not be needed, but he has his own reasons it seems
> for not doing so.  As a result, it needs a 24/7 'net
> connection, or access to some other NTP time source.   My
> ISP's servers are somewhat less than reliable at times,
> likewise access to others due to unpredictable and huge WAN
> network latencies from time to time.
> I also can't help wondering if any of the modern single chip
> microcontrollers, some of which have available IP stacks,
> could do the GPSDNTP thing in raw machine (or compiled) code.
> But try as I might, I can find no reference to anyone trying
> such a thing.
> I am of course trying to keep the electric bill down, running
> 3 PC's and a radio or two 24/7 is somewhat noticeable to the
> wallet these days, and it is not getting any easier!...
> Then there is the chore of just finding the time to research
> and mess with all this stuff...
> Enough waffle from me...
> Regards to All..
> Dave Baxter.
> G0WBX.
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