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

Joseph Gwinn joegwinn at comcast.net
Sun Mar 15 22:48:16 UTC 2009

Status codes also fixed below.

In article <ywn9mybmil8b.fsf at ntp1.isc.org>,
 Harlan Stenn <stenn at ntp.org> wrote:

> >>> In article <joegwinn-A341A8.15084015032009 at news.giganews.com>, Joseph 
> >>> Gwinn <joegwinn at comcast.net> writes:
> Joseph> Let me summarize:
> Joseph> 1.  Sun Microsystems' current behavior is not the issue, as I'm
> Joseph> loading old software from an old CD onto old computer hardware,
> Joseph> hardware that cannot support a newer version of Solaris than v9.
> Joseph> One of these old Solaris boxes did work with NTPv3 running an even
> Joseph> older version of Solaris, with no 9514 codes, deepening the mystery.
> Joseph> The fact that this obsolete system can most likely support NTPv4 is
> Joseph> worth investigation, though.
> I believe ntp4 will work there, and if it does not and somebody opens a bug
> report on it, I expect it will be fixed.


> Joseph> 2.  I think that what's happening is that I'm doing something dumb,
> Joseph> and I bet that there is no real difference in how NTPv3 or NTPv4
> Joseph> would react to this faux pas, whatever it turns out to be.  Nor is
> Joseph> source code research needed or requested.
> I mostly agree with you here, more in a bit...
> Joseph> 3.  The original question was how to interpret a specific status
> Joseph> code, 9514.  I read the explanation in the documentation, but became
> Joseph> no wiser for it.  Thus my question.
> Joseph> If there isn't a NTP FAQ entry on this, there probably should be.
> Joseph> Our sysadmins were flummoxed by the cloud of 9514 codes, and they
> Joseph> are far too busy to undertake a research project.  (The deeper
> Joseph> problem is that some managers believe that NTP is plug and play,
> Joseph> which isn't quite true.)
> I think you are talking about one of my pet peeves:
>  http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Dev/NtpVariablesAndNtpq

I don't think that I have inconsistent versions of ntpd and ntpq, 
because both came off the same CD from Sun Microsystems.

> I strongly believe that we should implement something like this.
> It will need to be implemented in a way that Dave can tolerate.
> The odds of this being implemented are directly proportional to somebody
> doing the work.
> Near as I can tell, the best way to have somebody do the work is to have
> money available to pay for the work to be done.
> The best way I know to get money to pay for this work to be done is to show
> organizations that by joining the NTP Forum they will be spending money to
> get significant value in return.
> I believe projects like this one are one example of that "significant
> value".

It would be nice for sure, but I cannot see companies not selling 
time-related equipment having a sufficient business case to fund the NTP 
Forum.  Being a user (versus maker) of such equipment is not generally 
sufficient.  This analysis is not restricted to time-related stuff.  

I spent many years working on POSIX standards.  The only reason my 
employer was willing to support this effort (and the associated travel 
expenses) was that our customers demanded conformance to such standards, 
and also that we help develop those standards.

Joe Gwinn

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