[ntp:questions] Test internal clock

Rob nomail at example.com
Thu Mar 19 09:56:01 UTC 2009

David J Taylor <david-taylor at blueyonder.neither-this-bit.nor-this.co.uk> wrote:
> Rob wrote:
> []
>> When somebody asks a question about a Windows system, where a native
>> NTP implementation is available that can be debugged with a simple
>> commandline program (w32tm), the response to any question invariably
>> is to "install ntpd".
>> It may have some advantages, but is it really necessary for everyone?
>> Wouldn't it be better to help everyone with the software they are
>> using, instead to first suggest them to convert?
>> It almost seems like a religious group.  Most people try to convert
>> the world to Mills' NTPD, and then there is the dissident who tries
>> to push Chrony in every thread.
>> Not really necessary, I think.
> Rob,
> In the case of the Windows Time Service, until recently the /best/ advice 
> was to replace it with NTP.
> I am working in an environment where accuracy to within half a second or 
> better is sometimes required, and NTP provides that.  I have tried many 
> programs over the years, and come to the conclusion that Meinberg's NTP 
> installation is the easiest way to get what I need.  It doesn't mean that 
> there aren't things I would like to see improved, though!
> Cheers,
> David 

What I want to state is: somebody has a Windows domain and is asking how
he can check if its time is similar to some external ntp server.
Windows provides the w32tm command with the /monitor flag that accomplishes
exactly that.  The user did not ask how he could get better time, he only
wanted to see what is going on.

I don't think it is necessary to project one's own expectations about time
accuracy on that question and suggest him to install a different NTP
daemon.  He probably is not even able to do that, because the domain sync
is done on the domain controller, where he may not be able to install
software.  But he can issue the w32tm command on his workstation and
monitor the situation (at least when NTP is not blocked in the firewall,
which it now seems to be).

So, let's just answer the questions asked.  Without religiously trying
to convert everyone to different software.  That can be done later, when
the followup question "my time is 0.3 seconds off how can I improve that"
is asked.  Maybe de OP is not interested in milliseconds or seconds, but
sees the domain time being off by minutes.  That happens, you know.
(especially when the firewall blocks NTP even for the domain controller)

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