[ntp:questions] System time changes only on restarting ntpd service and query about iterating through the sources

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Wed Sep 5 21:44:35 UTC 2012

On 9/5/2012 4:47 PM, David Woolley wrote:
> Arpith Nayak wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm running into this problem.  The system time is set to 1970 after
>> every
>> system reboot. The first time I enable ntpd it is contacting the ntp
>> source
> I was under the impression that NTP time stamps are ambiguous on a time
> scale that means a system starting with a time in 1970 will never get a
> correct time.
>> and getting the updated time. However it is unable to change the system
>> time immediately. Only after I stop the service and start it again
>> does the
>> system time get changed. Has anyone else observed this behaviour? Also is
>> there any way to iteratively consult the various server addresses
>> given in
>> the ntp.conf file?
> A lot of this probably relates to the system startup scripts, not to
> ntpd.  As you haven't identified the system, it is a bit difficult to be
> sure what is going on.

Without knowing a bit more about the hardware and software involved it's 
difficult to diagnose.  AFAIK, there should be nothing that requires 
that your clock defaults to 1970.

If the system defaults the date to 1970, you should be to able override
the 1970 date by setting the correct year, month, day, time, etc.

If you don't restart the system frequently the date/time should not be a
big problem.  If you must restart, either set the date/time from a 
"known good" clock, or learn to live with unreliable date/time stamps.

Best practice is DON'T restart!  If you MUST restart, the startup 
scripts should get and set the date and time from a trusted source.

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