[ntp:questions] What exactly does "Maximum Distance Exceded" mean?

Joseph Gwinn joegwinn at comcast.net
Sun Mar 15 15:48:57 UTC 2009

In article <lbGdnS8Bwol7myDUnZ2dnUVZ_uKWnZ2d at giganews.com>,
 "Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Joseph Gwinn wrote:
> > In article <49BC631C.1060606 at ntp.org>, mayer at ntp.org (Danny Mayer) 
> > wrote:
> > 
> >> Ronan Flood wrote:
> >>> On Thu, 12 Mar 2009 23:31:11 -0500,
> >>> Joseph Gwinn <joegwinn at comcast.net> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> NTP version 3 is running.  I've been trying to find the command to give 
> >>>> me the full version, including dot (like 3.4y), and I get answers, but 
> >>>> don't know which one to believe, and if the version given is that of the 
> >>>> NTP daemon itself, or of ntpq, or of ntpdate.
> >>> It might get logged to /var/adm/messages or somewhere when xntpd starts,
> >>> but try
> >>>
> >>>  ntpq -c "rv 0 daemon_version"
> >>>
> >> However we are not supporting ntp version 3, at least not without
> >> funding. Is there some reason why you are not running the latest version
> >> of ntpd?
> > 
> > It's what came with that old version of Solaris, the most modern Solaris 
> > that will run on the old Sun boxes in question.
> > 
> > Is NTP v4 proven to run on Solaris 9 (SunOS 5.9 Generic May 2002)?
> Proven?  Please define that!  It works for me.  YMMV!

OK, demonstrated.  As opposed to "it should work (but nobody has 
actually done it)".

So, you have done it, which is encouraging.

> > The suspicion is that we have not set something up correctly, not that 
> > NTP v3 has failed, or that NTP v4 would fare better or worse.  Don't 
> > understand the comment about funding.
> > 
> Simple enough.  The people who maintain NTPD have to earn a living 
> somehow.  The more unpaid time they volunteer the more difficult it 
> becomes to pay the bills!

Open Source is doomed?  Bill's prayers are answered at last.

> Version 3 is AT LEAST six years old.  

So is the OS version being used: 2009-2002= 7 years.  So, they're 

>  V4.something is current.  Vendors 
> are still shipping V3 because the RFC for V4 has not yet been formally 
> adopted.  Or, if it has been adopted, the adoption is extremely recent.

You forgot to mention laziness and pernicious inertia.

If I recall, on a prior project, the version of NTP that came with the 
Solaris boxes of the day wasn't quite good enough (don't recall why), so 
the software folk downloaded and installed the then latest version of 
NTP (v3 I think) and that worked.  The project team is still around.  I 
think I'll chase the details down.

> If you have a C compiler, you can download the source and build it 
> yourself.  If you don't have a C compiler you can download GCC for free.

Way too much work.  It's never just compile and go.  Significant futzing 
always seems necessary.  Nor should this be necessary for Sun 

But nagging at me is a half memory that on that prior project they may 
have had to compile NTP, for some possibly irrelevant reason.  Like 
wanting to use the same toolchain for all code.  Another reason to chase 
the details down.

Joe Gwinn

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