Command line confusion

Hal Murray hmurray at
Thu Jun 1 10:23:46 UTC 2017

Context is I'm chasing a bogus free if you start ntpd -u with a number rather 
than a user name.

This is on a Fedora system using systemd

/usr/lib/systemd/system/ntpd.service says
ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/ntpd -u ntp:ntp $OPTIONS

/etc/sysconfig/ntpd says:

systemctl status ntpd says:
  Process: 7392 ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/ntpd -u ntp:ntp $OPTIONS 
   CGroup: /system.slice/ntpd.service
           └─7393 /usr/local/sbin/ntpd -u ntp ntp -g

ps says:
11654 ?        SLs    0:01 /usr/local/sbin/ntpd -u ntp ntp -g

I've seen it do DNS lookups for ntp and -g, but that doesn't happen when 
started via systemd.  I think that happened when I started ntpd by hand and 
copied the "-u ntp ntp -g" from ps.

/var/log/messages says:
Jun  1 00:39:43 fed ntpd[7392]: Command line: /usr/local/sbin/ntpd -u ntp -g

parse_cmdline_opts splits the ntp:ntp into user and group by smashing, in 
place, the : to '\0'

I'm guessing that somebody knows how long each argument string is and is 
translating non-printable characters into a space.

These are my opinions.  I hate spam.

More information about the devel mailing list