Thanks for everyone's input. You have given me more information and
diagnostic techniques to help me try to figure this out. I have made a
couple of changes to my config file, taking out the lines for restrict and
broadcast delay. When I get things working properly I will switch to using
the pool ntp servers so that I am not relying on a single ntp server. This
week I am going to try to learn how to use some of the software tools to
trace packets and see what is going on. I was looking at using Wireshark as
I have a preference for using GUI's on programs that are outside my skill
level and comfort range, but first have to figure out why Wireshark isn't
running on my system even though it appears to be installed correctly. I
will report back here if I learn anything new or figure out a solution,
although it may be a few weeks. I am a novice linux administrator for a
small company, but have full time responsibilities as an ecologist. Thanks
again folks.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Boyce"
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 12:58 PM
Subject: Simple ntp setup, but I must be doing something wrong

> Greetings -
> Over the last several weeks I have been trying to get the NTP service
> running properly on my company linux file server, but am not having much
> success. My objective is to synchronize my linux server with a secondary
> time server or one of the ntp pools, then synchronize a handfull of
> desktop windows systems with the file server. My reason for doing this is
> that the timekeeping on the PCs are all over the place, and the server
> seems to lose anywhere from 1-2 minutes per month. I don't need anything
> super accurate, just something that is reasonably close and stays
> consistent. I have read everything I can find on setting this up (the
> link between the PC's and the file server is working properly) and have
> been following discussions on this list for about a month, but haven't
> been able to solve it yet. Below is my config file, the output of ntpq -p
> and ntpq -pn, and the log messages from the last restart of ntp that
> matches the configuration file shown below.
> [root@Bison root]# ntpq -p
> remote refid st t when poll reach delay offset
> jitter
> ================================================== ============================
> rainforest.neor 16 u - 1024 0 0.000 0.000
> 4000.00
> *LOCAL(0) LOCAL(0) 10 l 21 64 377 0.000 0.000
> 0.008
> [root@Bison root]# ntpq -pn
> remote refid st t when poll reach delay offset
> jitter
> ================================================== ============================
> 16 u - 1024 0 0.000 0.000
> 4000.00
> * 10 l 53 64 377 0.000 0.000
> 0.008
> [root@Bison root]# grep --invert-match ^\# /etc/ntp.conf
> restrict
> server
> server # local clock
> fudge stratum 10
> driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift
> broadcastdelay 0.008
> /var/log/messages
> Aug 24 08:26:31 bison ntpd[26341]: ntpd exiting on signal 15
> Aug 24 08:26:31 bison ntpd: ntpd shutdown succeeded
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpdate[27483]: no server suitable for
> synchronization found
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpd: failed
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpd[27487]: ntpd 4.1.2@1.892 Tue Feb 24 06:32:25
> EST 2004 (1)
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpd: ntpd startup succeeded
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpd[27487]: precision = 9 usec
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpd[27487]: kernel time discipline status 0040
> Aug 24 08:26:56 bison ntpd[27487]: frequency initialized 0.000 from
> /var/lib/ntp/drift
> Aug 24 08:28:28 bison sshd(pam_unix)[27593]: session opened for user root
> by (uid=0)
> Aug 24 08:28:51 bison sshd(pam_unix)[27593]: session closed for user root
> Aug 24 08:30:10 bison ntpd[27487]: kernel time discipline status change 41
> Aug 24 08:31:15 bison ntpd[27487]: kernel time discipline status change 1
> I previously thought the problem was firewall related. I have since
> turned off the firewall of my linux box, and the firewall application on
> my DSL router/gateway is set to allow both incoming and outgoing ntp
> communication. My linux box is a Dell PE 2600 with RHEL 3 fully up to date
> (U8). Therefore my current version of NTP is 4.1.2-4.EL3.1. The
> secondary time server listed in my config is from the stratum two time
> server list on This time server is located in the Seattle area
> (near my location) and is listed as having an open access policy. It is
> interesting to note that in my ntpq query this time server provides a
> listing of stratum 16, which I assume is why ntp is falling back to the
> local time clock. When I have substituted the ntp pool servers into my
> config file, then my ntp query shows that nothing is connecting (i.e., no
> astrix listed before any of the server names). Have I made a simple
> mistake somewhere in my config file? I thought I had it stripped down to
> the minimum. Can someone give me another diagnostic avenue to go down, I
> am running out of ideas here? Thanks.
> Jeff Boyce

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