[ntp:questions] enable pps not working from ntp.conf

Dennis Golden dgolden at golden-consulting.invalid
Fri Jan 10 17:35:31 UTC 2014

On Wed, 08 Jan 2014 17:46:26 +0000, David Taylor wrote:

> On 07/01/2014 16:55, Dennis Golden wrote:
>> I have searched to find an answer to this problem with no success. I am
>> using the oncore clock ( and have included "enable pps" in
>> ntp.conf, but I get the following in /var/log messages:
>> line 59 column 8 syntax error, unexpected T_String
>> syntax error in /etc/ntp.conf line 59, column 8
>> I can use ntpdc to set this option with no problem.
>> Any ideas?
>> TIA,
>> Dennis
> Likely it's not related, but I was just playing with a new system 
> (Raspberry Pi) and I had told NTP that a leap file was present, when I 
> hadn't yet created it.  This is copying the ntp.conf from one system to 
> another.  NTP worked, except the PPS didn't work when the system booted. 
>   Restart NTP and the PPS worked perfectly.  I didn't put two and two 
> together until I added the leap-second file, and NTP started correctly 
> at boot time.  The reference was right at the end of ntp.conf
> So this suggests that NTP can parse so far down ntp.conf and get those 
> things working, but when it finds an error, it stops other things 
> working.  So maybe your error was causing a similar effect.  This with 
> ntp 4.2.7p410 on Raspberry Pi with a derivative of Debian Wheezy, I believe.

Thanks to all for your responses. I still don't understand why enable pps using
ntpdc appears to work and shows up in the logs, but I'm not sure it does anything
from looking at the source (ntp-4.2.6p5). Since consensus says that it's not
supported, I'm not going to worry about it. Correlating the information from other
servers, it appears that pps is working.


Dennis Golden
Golden Consulting Services
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