problem with Time in Dapper

Daniel Pittman daniel at
Wed Oct 25 04:30:01 UTC 2006

"Howard Coles Jr." <dhcolesj at> writes:
> On Tuesday 24 October 2006 1:05 am, Daniel Pittman wrote:
>> "Howard Coles Jr." <dhcolesj at> writes:
>> >
>> > Well, I'm kinda stumped.  I would have thought that the ntp daemon
>> > would have checked the time sources every so often and kept itself in
>> > time, adjusting the drift file accordingly.  However, it appears that
>> > the ntpd that comes with Kubuntu is merely for other machines to sync
>> > with it, and it doesn't check other time sources.
>> Unless you installed an NTP daemon yourself Ubuntu and friends only ship
>> 'ntpdate' -- a one-shot tool to set the date at boot time.
> I did.
>> If you did install an ntp daemon it will, by default, use
>> as the sole time source; add more in /etc/ntp.conf to taste.
> I did.

Well, the power cable is plugged in and the machine switched on. ;)

>> > I'm still trying to figure out how to make it check the time sources I
>> > have setup in the /etc/ntp.conf file.
>> It almost certainly is.  What is the output of 'ntpq -c peers' on your
>> machine?
>     remote           refid      st t when poll reach   delay   offset  jitter
> ==============================================================================
> *   .ACTS.   1 u   24   64  377  121.646  -1800.5   390.095
> +fiordland.ubunt    2 u   20   64  377  113.241  -1950.7 512.593
> +Time1.Stupi.SE   2 u   28   64  177  146.240  -1690.7 352.934

Which shows that your NTP server has achieved synchronisation.
Specifically, has been selected as the active peer, with and both remaining on the list as
suitable candidates in the event that fails.

So, your NTP server is correctly communicating with peers, but shows a
*huge* offset value -- 1800.5 seconds, 1950.78 seconds and 1690.7
seconds away respectively.

That is indicative of non-trivial problems, and ntpd will have trouble
correcting a time offset that big.

One way to help that is to stop ntpd, run ntpdate to set your time
correctly from the peer and then restart ntpd.  You should then show a
tiny offset and have ntpd keep your time in sync.

What timezone is your machine set to?  
Do you store UTC in the hardware?
Do you get messages about time source or clock errors in the kernel log?

Do you have another time adjustment tool installed such as chrony,
openntpd or adjtimex?  If so, did you disable it?

In short: NTP is working, but your timekeeping has significant enough
problems that ntpd alone is going to have trouble ever getting back into

Take drastic action to correct that, then depend on ntpd, and things
should improve.

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