Arcron clock driver in NTP

Mark Atwood fallenpegasus at
Thu Jun 16 21:18:33 UTC 2016

esr: kill it

nigel: thank you very much


On Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 12:28 PM Eric S. Raymond <esr at> wrote:

> Putting this on the record on the devel list...
> Nigel Roles <nigel at>:
> > On 16/06/2016 12:10, Eric S. Raymond wrote:
> > >You're listed as the last person to touch the Arcron clock driver in
> NTP.
> > >
> > >Does the hardware for which this driver was made still exist?  What,
> > >if anything, can you tell me about it?
> > >
> > >If this driver is a fossil I want to remove it.
> >
> > Eric,
> >
> > There may be hardware around, but you can't buy it, and mine long ago
> went
> > to land-fill.
> >
> > I say remove it.
> >
> > Nigel
> >
> In a followup mail, Nigel adds:
> >Actually you did ask what I could tell you about it.... it was a serially
> >connected MSF/Colorado/DCF receiver. Mine was headless, but you could get
> ones
> >with displays. This is all that is left of the name:
> > It worked very nicely
> in the
> >days when I only had dial up Internet.
> For values of "worked" equaling samples at 300bps and 63ms of jitter,
> heh. The doc page warns: "By default this clock reports itself to be at
> stratum 2 rather than the usual stratum 0 for a refclock, because it
> is not really suited to be used as other than a backup source."  Indeed,
> a $30 GPS can do nearly two orders of magnitude better.
> Internet search does not turn up even the faintest trace of these
> things. (Other than lots of hits in old NTP documentation, that is.)
> I think this tells us they passed out of use before 2006.
> I'm going to say this is 1.5KLOC of dead weight and goes *PLONK*.  Mark,
> this is just a hair more aggressive than our previous policy about
> legacy hardware that might still *conceivably* be running somewhere, but
> the last maintainer just told us to shoot it.
> Nigel: we're NTPsec, a security-focused fork of the Mills
> implementation.  A main thrust of our technical strategy is to strip
> out as much legacy and dead code as possible to reduce attack surface.
> With what you just advised us to drop I think we'll get to 59% of the
> old code removed.
> --
>                 <a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>
> _______________________________________________
> devel mailing list
> devel at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the devel mailing list