Zero-configuration ntpd

Gary E. Miller gem at
Sun Jul 3 19:06:26 UTC 2016

Yo Eric!

On Sun, 3 Jul 2016 07:51:49 -0400
"Eric S. Raymond" <esr at> wrote:

> I think ntpd should choose sane defaults and be able to run without
> an ntp.conf.  Just because that's good hygiene for every program.


> Default servers should be the global NTP pool.

You should ask the pool people first.
> Default for statistics can be no stats gathering.

Agreed.  They just grow forever.  Ditto ntp.log that should default
to the system syslog.

Off-topic: ntpd should have a max number of saved logs.  ntpd can not
use any system log roller until it sanely does a SIGHUP or can start

> Default restrictions can be none.  Suboptimal, but we expect this to
> change when and if Daniel's restriction redesign lands.

I would suggest ntpd run in client only mode by default.  Very few
will run ntpd as a real server.

> There is currently no default drift file location.  This is where
> I am not sure of my ground - should there be one?  If not, why not?  

Judging from Gentoo, agreeing on file locations is always a mess.  The
simplest thing, but unlikely to get majority vote, is to put everything
in the statsdir.  I'd select /var/log/ntpstats, but once again I
doubt there would ever be a consensus location.

ntpd has always started up perversely.  The driftfile is an initial
attempt to fixing that.  Chronyd goes further with starting up nicely,
ntpd needs to emulate chronyd and improve on chronyd.  No driftfile is a
step backward.

Off-topic: check out the chronyd -r -R and -s options for some startup 

I would propose that ntpd option -N be on by default.  Possibly also -g
should be on by default.

Gary E. Miller Rellim 109 NW Wilmington Ave., Suite E, Bend, OR 97703
	gem at  Tel:+1 541 382 8588
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