Provided by: ntp_4.2.8p10+dfsg-5ubuntu7_amd64 bug

NAME

     ntpd — NTP daemon program

SYNOPSIS

     ntpd [-flags] [-flag [value]] [--option-name[[=| ]value]] [ <server1> ... <serverN> ]

DESCRIPTION

     The ntpd utility is an operating system daemon which sets and maintains the system time of
     day in synchronism with Internet standard time servers.  It is a complete implementation of
     the Network Time Protocol (NTP) version 4, as defined by RFC-5905, but also retains
     compatibility with version 3, as defined by RFC-1305, and versions 1 and 2, as defined by
     RFC-1059 and RFC-1119, respectively.

     The ntpd utility does most computations in 64-bit floating point arithmetic and does
     relatively clumsy 64-bit fixed point operations only when necessary to preserve the ultimate
     precision, about 232 picoseconds.  While the ultimate precision is not achievable with
     ordinary workstations and networks of today, it may be required with future gigahertz CPU
     clocks and gigabit LANs.

     Ordinarily, ntpd reads the ntp.conf(5) configuration file at startup time in order to
     determine the synchronization sources and operating modes.  It is also possible to specify a
     working, although limited, configuration entirely on the command line, obviating the need
     for a configuration file.  This may be particularly useful when the local host is to be
     configured as a broadcast/multicast client, with all peers being determined by listening to
     broadcasts at run time.

     If NetInfo support is built into ntpd, then ntpd will attempt to read its configuration from
     the NetInfo if the default ntp.conf(5) file cannot be read and no file is specified by the
     -c option.

     Various internal ntpd variables can be displayed and configuration options altered while the
     ntpd is running using the ntpq(1) and ntpdc(1) utility programs.

     When ntpd starts it looks at the value of umask(2), and if zero ntpd will set the umask(2)
     to 022.

OPTIONS

     -4, --ipv4  Force IPv4 DNS name resolution.  This option must not appear in combination with
                 any of the following options: ipv6.

                 Force DNS resolution of following host names on the command line to the IPv4
                 namespace.

     -6, --ipv6  Force IPv6 DNS name resolution.  This option must not appear in combination with
                 any of the following options: ipv4.

                 Force DNS resolution of following host names on the command line to the IPv6
                 namespace.

     -a, --authreq
                 Require crypto authentication.  This option must not appear in combination with
                 any of the following options: authnoreq.

                 Require cryptographic authentication for broadcast client, multicast client and
                 symmetric passive associations.  This is the default.

     -A, --authnoreq
                 Do not require crypto authentication.  This option must not appear in
                 combination with any of the following options: authreq.

                 Do not require cryptographic authentication for broadcast client, multicast
                 client and symmetric passive associations.  This is almost never a good idea.

     -b, --bcastsync
                 Allow us to sync to broadcast servers.

     -c string, --configfile=string
                 configuration file name.

                 The name and path of the configuration file, /etc/ntp.conf by default.

     -d, --debug-level
                 Increase debug verbosity level.  This option may appear an unlimited number of
                 times.

     -D number, --set-debug-level=number
                 Set the debug verbosity level.  This option may appear an unlimited number of
                 times.  This option takes an integer number as its argument.

     -f string, --driftfile=string
                 frequency drift file name.

                 The name and path of the frequency file, /etc/ntp.drift by default.  This is the
                 same operation as the driftfile driftfile configuration specification in the
                 /etc/ntp.conf file.

     -g, --panicgate
                 Allow the first adjustment to be Big.  This option may appear an unlimited
                 number of times.

                 Normally, ntpd exits with a message to the system log if the offset exceeds the
                 panic threshold, which is 1000 s by default. This option allows the time to be
                 set to any value without restriction; however, this can happen only once. If the
                 threshold is exceeded after that, ntpd will exit with a message to the system
                 log. This option can be used with the -q and -x options.  See the tinker
                 configuration file directive for other options.

     -G, --force-step-once
                 Step any initial offset correction..

                 Normally, ntpd steps the time if the time offset exceeds the step threshold,
                 which is 128 ms by default, and otherwise slews the time.  This option forces
                 the initial offset correction to be stepped, so the highest time accuracy can be
                 achieved quickly.  However, this may also cause the time to be stepped back so
                 this option must not be used if applications requiring monotonic time are
                 running.  See the tinker configuration file directive for other options.

     -i string, --jaildir=string
                 Jail directory.

                 Chroot the server to the directory jaildir This option also implies that the
                 server attempts to drop root privileges at startup.  You may need to also
                 specify a -u option.  This option is only available if the OS supports adjusting
                 the clock without full root privileges.  This option is supported under NetBSD
                 (configure with --enable-clockctl) or Linux (configure with --enable-linuxcaps)
                 or Solaris (configure with --enable-solarisprivs).

     -I iface, --interface=iface
                 Listen on an interface name or address.  This option may appear an unlimited
                 number of times.

                 Open the network address given, or all the addresses associated with the given
                 interface name.  This option may appear multiple times.  This option also
                 implies not opening other addresses, except wildcard and localhost.  This option
                 is deprecated. Please consider using the configuration file interface command,
                 which is more versatile.

     -k string, --keyfile=string
                 path to symmetric keys.

                 Specify the name and path of the symmetric key file.  /etc/ntp.keys is the
                 default.  This is the same operation as the keys keyfile configuration file
                 directive.

     -l string, --logfile=string
                 path to the log file.

                 Specify the name and path of the log file.  The default is the system log file.
                 This is the same operation as the logfile logfile configuration file directive.

     -L, --novirtualips
                 Do not listen to virtual interfaces.

                 Do not listen to virtual interfaces, defined as those with names containing a
                 colon.  This option is deprecated.  Please consider using the configuration file
                 interface command, which is more versatile.

     -M, --modifymmtimer
                 Modify Multimedia Timer (Windows only).

                 Set the Windows Multimedia Timer to highest resolution.  This ensures the
                 resolution does not change while ntpd is running, avoiding timekeeping glitches
                 associated with changes.

     -n, --nofork
                 Do not fork.  This option must not appear in combination with any of the
                 following options: wait-sync.

     -N, --nice  Run at high priority.

                 To the extent permitted by the operating system, run ntpd at the highest
                 priority.

     -p string, --pidfile=string
                 path to the PID file.

                 Specify the name and path of the file used to record ntpd's process ID.  This is
                 the same operation as the pidfile pidfile configuration file directive.

     -P number, --priority=number
                 Process priority.  This option takes an integer number as its argument.

                 To the extent permitted by the operating system, run ntpd at the specified
                 sched_setscheduler(SCHED_FIFO) priority.

     -q, --quit  Set the time and quit.  This option must not appear in combination with any of
                 the following options: saveconfigquit, wait-sync.

                 ntpd will not daemonize and will exit after the clock is first synchronized.
                 This behavior mimics that of the ntpdate program, which will soon be replaced
                 with a shell script.  The -g and -x options can be used with this option.  Note:
                 The kernel time discipline is disabled with this option.

     -r string, --propagationdelay=string
                 Broadcast/propagation delay.

                 Specify the default propagation delay from the broadcast/multicast server to
                 this client. This is necessary only if the delay cannot be computed
                 automatically by the protocol.

     --saveconfigquit=string
                 Save parsed configuration and quit.  This option must not appear in combination
                 with any of the following options: quit, wait-sync.

                 Cause ntpd to parse its startup configuration file and save an equivalent to the
                 given filename and exit.  This option was designed for automated testing.

     -s string, --statsdir=string
                 Statistics file location.

                 Specify the directory path for files created by the statistics facility.  This
                 is the same operation as the statsdir statsdir configuration file directive.

     -t tkey, --trustedkey=tkey
                 Trusted key number.  This option may appear an unlimited number of times.

                 Add the specified key number to the trusted key list.

     -u string, --user=string
                 Run as userid (or userid:groupid).

                 Specify a user, and optionally a group, to switch to.  This option is only
                 available if the OS supports adjusting the clock without full root privileges.
                 This option is supported under NetBSD (configure with --enable-clockctl) or
                 Linux (configure with --enable-linuxcaps) or Solaris (configure with
                 --enable-solarisprivs).

     -U number, --updateinterval=number
                 interval in seconds between scans for new or dropped interfaces.  This option
                 takes an integer number as its argument.

                 Give the time in seconds between two scans for new or dropped interfaces.  For
                 systems with routing socket support the scans will be performed shortly after
                 the interface change has been detected by the system.  Use 0 to disable
                 scanning. 60 seconds is the minimum time between scans.

     --var=nvar  make ARG an ntp variable (RW).  This option may appear an unlimited number of
                 times.

     --dvar=ndvar
                 make ARG an ntp variable (RW|DEF).  This option may appear an unlimited number
                 of times.

     -w number, --wait-sync=number
                 Seconds to wait for first clock sync.  This option must not appear in
                 combination with any of the following options: nofork, quit, saveconfigquit.
                 This option takes an integer number as its argument.

                 If greater than zero, alters ntpd's behavior when forking to daemonize.  Instead
                 of exiting with status 0 immediately after the fork, the parent waits up to the
                 specified number of seconds for the child to first synchronize the clock.  The
                 exit status is zero (success) if the clock was synchronized, otherwise it is
                 ETIMEDOUT.  This provides the option for a script starting ntpd to easily wait
                 for the first set of the clock before proceeding.

     -x, --slew  Slew up to 600 seconds.

                 Normally, the time is slewed if the offset is less than the step threshold,
                 which is 128 ms by default, and stepped if above the threshold.  This option
                 sets the threshold to 600 s, which is well within the accuracy window to set the
                 clock manually.  Note: Since the slew rate of typical Unix kernels is limited to
                 0.5 ms/s, each second of adjustment requires an amortization interval of 2000 s.
                 Thus, an adjustment as much as 600 s will take almost 14 days to complete.  This
                 option can be used with the -g and -q options.  See the tinker configuration
                 file directive for other options.  Note: The kernel time discipline is disabled
                 with this option.

     --usepcc    Use CPU cycle counter (Windows only).

                 Attempt to substitute the CPU counter for QueryPerformanceCounter.  The CPU
                 counter and QueryPerformanceCounter are compared, and if they have the same
                 frequency, the CPU counter (RDTSC on x86) is used directly, saving the overhead
                 of a system call.

     --pccfreq=string
                 Force CPU cycle counter use (Windows only).

                 Force substitution the CPU counter for QueryPerformanceCounter.  The CPU counter
                 (RDTSC on x86) is used unconditionally with the given frequency (in Hz).

     -m, --mdns  Register with mDNS as a NTP server.

                 Registers as an NTP server with the local mDNS server which allows the server to
                 be discovered via mDNS client lookup.

     -?, --help  Display usage information and exit.

     -!, --more-help
                 Pass the extended usage information through a pager.

     --version [{v|c|n}]
                 Output version of program and exit.  The default mode is `v', a simple version.
                 The `c' mode will print copyright information and `n' will print the full
                 copyright notice.

OPTION PRESETS

     Any option that is not marked as not presettable may be preset by loading values from
     environment variables named:
       NTPD_<option-name> or NTPD

USAGE

   How NTP Operates
     The ntpd utility operates by exchanging messages with one or more configured servers over a
     range of designated poll intervals.  When started, whether for the first or subsequent
     times, the program requires several exchanges from the majority of these servers so the
     signal processing and mitigation algorithms can accumulate and groom the data and set the
     clock.  In order to protect the network from bursts, the initial poll interval for each
     server is delayed an interval randomized over a few seconds.  At the default initial poll
     interval of 64s, several minutes can elapse before the clock is set.  This initial delay to
     set the clock can be safely and dramatically reduced using the iburst keyword with the
     server configuration command, as described in ntp.conf(5).

     Most operating systems and hardware of today incorporate a time-of-year (TOY) chip to
     maintain the time during periods when the power is off.  When the machine is booted, the
     chip is used to initialize the operating system time.  After the machine has synchronized to
     a NTP server, the operating system corrects the chip from time to time.  In the default
     case, if ntpd detects that the time on the host is more than 1000s from the server time,
     ntpd assumes something must be terribly wrong and the only reliable action is for the
     operator to intervene and set the clock by hand.  (Reasons for this include there is no TOY
     chip, or its battery is dead, or that the TOY chip is just of poor quality.)  This causes
     ntpd to exit with a panic message to the system log.  The -g option overrides this check and
     the clock will be set to the server time regardless of the chip time (up to 68 years in the
     past or future — this is a limitation of the NTPv4 protocol).  However, and to protect
     against broken hardware, such as when the CMOS battery fails or the clock counter becomes
     defective, once the clock has been set an error greater than 1000s will cause ntpd to exit
     anyway.

     Under ordinary conditions, ntpd adjusts the clock in small steps so that the timescale is
     effectively continuous and without discontinuities.  Under conditions of extreme network
     congestion, the roundtrip delay jitter can exceed three seconds and the synchronization
     distance, which is equal to one-half the roundtrip delay plus error budget terms, can become
     very large.  The ntpd algorithms discard sample offsets exceeding 128 ms, unless the
     interval during which no sample offset is less than 128 ms exceeds 900s.  The first sample
     after that, no matter what the offset, steps the clock to the indicated time.  In practice
     this reduces the false alarm rate where the clock is stepped in error to a vanishingly low
     incidence.

     As the result of this behavior, once the clock has been set it very rarely strays more than
     128 ms even under extreme cases of network path congestion and jitter.  Sometimes, in
     particular when ntpd is first started without a valid drift file on a system with a large
     intrinsic drift the error might grow to exceed 128 ms, which would cause the clock to be set
     backwards if the local clock time is more than 128 s in the future relative to the server.
     In some applications, this behavior may be unacceptable.  There are several solutions,
     however.  If the -x option is included on the command line, the clock will never be stepped
     and only slew corrections will be used.  But this choice comes with a cost that should be
     carefully explored before deciding to use the -x option.  The maximum slew rate possible is
     limited to 500 parts-per-million (PPM) as a consequence of the correctness principles on
     which the NTP protocol and algorithm design are based.  As a result, the local clock can
     take a long time to converge to an acceptable offset, about 2,000 s for each second the
     clock is outside the acceptable range.  During this interval the local clock will not be
     consistent with any other network clock and the system cannot be used for distributed
     applications that require correctly synchronized network time.

     In spite of the above precautions, sometimes when large frequency errors are present the
     resulting time offsets stray outside the 128-ms range and an eventual step or slew time
     correction is required.  If following such a correction the frequency error is so large that
     the first sample is outside the acceptable range, ntpd enters the same state as when the
     ntp.drift file is not present.  The intent of this behavior is to quickly correct the
     frequency and restore operation to the normal tracking mode.  In the most extreme cases (the
     host time.ien.it comes to mind), there may be occasional step/slew corrections and
     subsequent frequency corrections.  It helps in these cases to use the burst keyword when
     configuring the server, but ONLY when you have permission to do so from the owner of the
     target host.

     Finally, in the past many startup scripts would run ntpdate(8) or sntp(1) to get the system
     clock close to correct before starting ntpd(8), but this was never more than a mediocre hack
     and is no longer needed.  If you are following the instructions in Starting NTP (Best
     Current Practice) and you still need to set the system time before starting ntpd, please
     open a bug report and document what is going on, and then look at using sntp(1) if you
     really need to set the clock before starting ntpd.

     There is a way to start ntpd(8) that often addresses all of the problems mentioned above.

   Starting NTP (Best Current Practice)
     First, use the iburst option on your server entries.

     If you can also keep a good ntp.drift file then ntpd(8) will effectively "warm-start" and
     your system's clock will be stable in under 11 seconds' time.

     As soon as possible in the startup sequence, start ntpd(8) with at least the -g and perhaps
     the -N options.  Then, start the rest of your "normal" processes.  This will give ntpd(8) as
     much time as possible to get the system's clock synchronized and stable.

     Finally, if you have processes like dovecot or database servers that require
     monotonically-increasing time, run ntp-wait(1ntp-waitmdoc) as late as possible in the boot
     sequence (perhaps with the -v flag) and after ntp-wait(1ntp-waitmdoc) exits successfully it
     is as safe as it will ever be to start any process that require stable time.

   Frequency Discipline
     The ntpd behavior at startup depends on whether the frequency file, usually ntp.drift,
     exists.  This file contains the latest estimate of clock frequency error.  When the ntpd is
     started and the file does not exist, the ntpd enters a special mode designed to quickly
     adapt to the particular system clock oscillator time and frequency error.  This takes
     approximately 15 minutes, after which the time and frequency are set to nominal values and
     the ntpd enters normal mode, where the time and frequency are continuously tracked relative
     to the server.  After one hour the frequency file is created and the current frequency
     offset written to it.  When the ntpd is started and the file does exist, the ntpd frequency
     is initialized from the file and enters normal mode immediately.  After that the current
     frequency offset is written to the file at hourly intervals.

   Operating Modes
     The ntpd utility can operate in any of several modes, including symmetric active/passive,
     client/server broadcast/multicast and manycast, as described in the "Association Management"
     page (available as part of the HTML documentation provided in /usr/share/doc/ntp).  It
     normally operates continuously while monitoring for small changes in frequency and trimming
     the clock for the ultimate precision.  However, it can operate in a one-time mode where the
     time is set from an external server and frequency is set from a previously recorded
     frequency file.  A broadcast/multicast or manycast client can discover remote servers,
     compute server-client propagation delay correction factors and configure itself
     automatically.  This makes it possible to deploy a fleet of workstations without specifying
     configuration details specific to the local environment.

     By default, ntpd runs in continuous mode where each of possibly several external servers is
     polled at intervals determined by an intricate state machine.  The state machine measures
     the incidental roundtrip delay jitter and oscillator frequency wander and determines the
     best poll interval using a heuristic algorithm.  Ordinarily, and in most operating
     environments, the state machine will start with 64s intervals and eventually increase in
     steps to 1024s.  A small amount of random variation is introduced in order to avoid bunching
     at the servers.  In addition, should a server become unreachable for some time, the poll
     interval is increased in steps to 1024s in order to reduce network overhead.

     In some cases it may not be practical for ntpd to run continuously.  A common workaround has
     been to run the ntpdate(8) or sntp(1) programs from a cron(8) job at designated times.
     However, these programs do not have the crafted signal processing, error checking or
     mitigation algorithms of ntpd.  The -q option is intended for this purpose.  Setting this
     option will cause ntpd to exit just after setting the clock for the first time.  The
     procedure for initially setting the clock is the same as in continuous mode; most
     applications will probably want to specify the iburst keyword with the server configuration
     command.  With this keyword a volley of messages are exchanged to groom the data and the
     clock is set in about 10 s.  If nothing is heard after a couple of minutes, the daemon times
     out and exits.  After a suitable period of mourning, the ntpdate(8) program will be retired.

     When kernel support is available to discipline the clock frequency, which is the case for
     stock Solaris, Tru64, Linux and FreeBSD, a useful feature is available to discipline the
     clock frequency.  First, ntpd is run in continuous mode with selected servers in order to
     measure and record the intrinsic clock frequency offset in the frequency file.  It may take
     some hours for the frequency and offset to settle down.  Then the ntpd is stopped and run in
     one-time mode as required.  At each startup, the frequency is read from the file and
     initializes the kernel frequency.

   Poll Interval Control
     This version of NTP includes an intricate state machine to reduce the network load while
     maintaining a quality of synchronization consistent with the observed jitter and wander.
     There are a number of ways to tailor the operation in order enhance accuracy by reducing the
     interval or to reduce network overhead by increasing it.  However, the user is advised to
     carefully consider the consequences of changing the poll adjustment range from the default
     minimum of 64 s to the default maximum of 1,024 s.  The default minimum can be changed with
     the tinker minpoll command to a value not less than 16 s.  This value is used for all
     configured associations, unless overridden by the minpoll option on the configuration
     command.  Note that most device drivers will not operate properly if the poll interval is
     less than 64 s and that the broadcast server and manycast client associations will also use
     the default, unless overridden.

     In some cases involving dial up or toll services, it may be useful to increase the minimum
     interval to a few tens of minutes and maximum interval to a day or so.  Under normal
     operation conditions, once the clock discipline loop has stabilized the interval will be
     increased in steps from the minimum to the maximum.  However, this assumes the intrinsic
     clock frequency error is small enough for the discipline loop correct it.  The capture range
     of the loop is 500 PPM at an interval of 64s decreasing by a factor of two for each doubling
     of interval.  At a minimum of 1,024 s, for example, the capture range is only 31 PPM.  If
     the intrinsic error is greater than this, the drift file ntp.drift will have to be specially
     tailored to reduce the residual error below this limit.  Once this is done, the drift file
     is automatically updated once per hour and is available to initialize the frequency on
     subsequent daemon restarts.

   The huff-n'-puff Filter
     In scenarios where a considerable amount of data are to be downloaded or uploaded over
     telephone modems, timekeeping quality can be seriously degraded.  This occurs because the
     differential delays on the two directions of transmission can be quite large.  In many cases
     the apparent time errors are so large as to exceed the step threshold and a step correction
     can occur during and after the data transfer is in progress.

     The huff-n'-puff filter is designed to correct the apparent time offset in these cases.  It
     depends on knowledge of the propagation delay when no other traffic is present.  In common
     scenarios this occurs during other than work hours.  The filter maintains a shift register
     that remembers the minimum delay over the most recent interval measured usually in hours.
     Under conditions of severe delay, the filter corrects the apparent offset using the sign of
     the offset and the difference between the apparent delay and minimum delay.  The name of the
     filter reflects the negative (huff) and positive (puff) correction, which depends on the
     sign of the offset.

     The filter is activated by the tinker command and huffpuff keyword, as described in
     ntp.conf(5).

ENVIRONMENT

     See OPTION PRESETS for configuration environment variables.

FILES

     /etc/ntp.conf   the default name of the configuration file
     /etc/ntp.drift  the default name of the drift file
     /etc/ntp.keys   the default name of the key file

EXIT STATUS

     One of the following exit values will be returned:

     0  (EXIT_SUCCESS)
                   Successful program execution.

     1  (EXIT_FAILURE)
                   The operation failed or the command syntax was not valid.

     70  (EX_SOFTWARE)
                   libopts had an internal operational error.  Please report it to
                   autogen-users@lists.sourceforge.net.  Thank you.

SEE ALSO

     ntp.conf(5), ntpdate(8), ntpdc(1), ntpq(1), sntp(1)

     In addition to the manual pages provided, comprehensive documentation is available on the
     world wide web at http://www.ntp.org/.  A snapshot of this documentation is available in
     HTML format in /usr/share/doc/ntp.

     David L. Mills, Network Time Protocol (Version 1), RFC1059.

     David L. Mills, Network Time Protocol (Version 2), RFC1119.

     David L. Mills, Network Time Protocol (Version 3), RFC1305.

     David L. Mills, J. Martin, Ed., J. Burbank, and W. Kasch, Network Time Protocol Version 4:
     Protocol and Algorithms Specification, RFC5905.

     David L. Mills and B. Haberman, Ed., Network Time Protocol Version 4: Autokey Specification,
     RFC5906.

     H. Gerstung, C. Elliott, and B. Haberman, Ed., Definitions of Managed Objects for Network
     Time Protocol Version 4: (NTPv4), RFC5907.

     R. Gayraud and B. Lourdelet, Network Time Protocol (NTP) Server Option for DHCPv6, RFC5908.

AUTHORS

     The University of Delaware and Network Time Foundation

COPYRIGHT

     Copyright (C) 1992-2017 The University of Delaware and Network Time Foundation all rights
     reserved.  This program is released under the terms of the NTP license,
     <http://ntp.org/license>.

BUGS

     The ntpd utility has gotten rather fat.  While not huge, it has gotten larger than might be
     desirable for an elevated-priority ntpd running on a workstation, particularly since many of
     the fancy features which consume the space were designed more with a busy primary server,
     rather than a high stratum workstation in mind.

     Please send bug reports to: http://bugs.ntp.org, bugs@ntp.org

NOTES

     Portions of this document came from FreeBSD.

     This manual page was AutoGen-erated from the ntpd option definitions.