Just a Theory

By David E. Wheeler

Posts about NTP

How Do I Know Whether NTPD is Working?

Well, after figuring out how to configure NTPD, it appears to be working well: there are two processes running, and there’s a drift file. However, the drift file just has “0.000” in it, and ntpq doesn’t seem to know much:

% ntpq -p timed out, nothing received
***Request timed out

So, how do I know if it’s working? Is it working? Shouldn’t ntpq -p be more informative?

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NTPD Configuration on FreeBSD and Red Hat Linux

Well, I got no responses to my request for assistance setting up NTPD on FreeBSD, but today I must’ve just been Googling better, because I found the resources I needed.

The most important site I found was the NTP configuration page from Computer Facilities Management at the University of Washington. It was valuable because it provided some simple ntpd.conf file samples that set up ntpd to run only as a client. So no I’m confident that no one will try to connect to my servers and cause any mischief. The CFM NTP page also helpfully pointed out that I could easily enable ntpd on my Red Hat box by typing chkconfig ntpd on.

Another interesting site I found is www.pool.ntp.org. The cool thing about using pool.ntp.org as the time server to synchronize my servers to is that it distributes the load to lots of time servers. So I set up my ntpd.conf files to point first to pool.ntp.org, and then to two geographically close servers.

And finally, this DynDNS page gave me the instruction I needed to get ntpd running on FreeBSD. All I had to do was add xntpd_enable="YES" to /etc/rc.conf. I restarted my box, and now I’m in business!

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How do I Configure NTPD?

So I need simple instructions to get NTPD running on FreeBSD. It should function solely as a client, and not accept connections from other servers. I could also use the corresponding instructions for Linux (and don’t say “RPM”!). I’ve found an awful lot of information online about NTPD, but the simple instructions for setting up a secure NTPD to start when the system starts up are sorely lacking. Part of the problem with regards to BSD may be my not yet fully understanding how FreeBSD startup stuff is supposed to work, but I also can’t find simple instructions for how to configure ntptd to operate only as a client.

Links and instructions gladly accepted.

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