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Simple Network Time Protocol server for linux?

Posted on 2006-05-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I like to provide a ntp server for my windows machines.(XP seems to only like sntp protocol)

how can I set up sntp server in linux?
Question by:hulken
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 16616206
Instructions and explanation for ntp:



If your system supports yum, then:

yum install ntp.

Then use chkconfig to ensure that it starts automatically on startup for your linux box.

/etc/init.d/ntp start

to start the daemon.

If yum is not available, then you will need to download the appropriate ntp rpm, then:

rpm -ivh ntp-xx.xx..x.xx-x.rpm

Then chkconfig, and start the daemon.


LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 16616223
Ooops - you may need to change the default time servers in the /etc/ntp.conf file.

Also note that paths/filenames may change slightly depending on linux distribution and version....so you may need to:

man ntp

after installing the rpm to check the exact locations of some of the files (look at related files, or see also towards the end of the man entry)


Author Comment

ID: 16616229
This still dont let me sync using sntp only ntp. (as far as I can see)
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Author Comment

ID: 16616381
I already have a standard ntpd setup (with corect values for server i ntp.conf and step-tickers)

My linux machines can sync against it. The problem is that windows use simple network time protocol
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 16617173
Sorry - my mistake!

There's a nice ntp client for windows here:


Meinberg make atomic clocks and the like!

However, I've just set up ntp, and I can happily get an sntp client to sychronise it with it. I've also checked here:


and a number of other locations which appear to confirm that you should be able to sync your windows setup with an ntp server quite happily. My best guess on this is that you need to edit your /etc/ntp/ntp.cong file and change:

restrict by default is set to
authenticate which is by default set to yes


Author Comment

ID: 16618373
NTP is working and not restricted. I can syncronize with ntp clients or using ntp and XP from command line. However, it don't work if you "click at the watch" and set the time server on the "internet time" tab. (since it use sntp)

That's why I want to use sntp.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 16618890
SNTP is a subset of NTP, and I seem to be able to get so called 'SNTP' clients to work with my server.

I think that I might have got your problem sorted? You are getting the following error?:

"An error occurred while Windows was synchronising with The time sample was rejected because: The peer's stratum is less than the host's stratum."

If you change to:


and synchronise ,then it works!


seems to basically state that the stratum level of a Windows XP system can potentially be 2!!!!!...so I changed the stratum to 1 (from 10) in my ntp.conf + restarted my ntpd..and guess what, it still didnt work. So, restarted my XP client, and suprise, it worked!!!

So, basically, Microsoft have a really horrible method of deciding what strata the system is, and on top of that, if a failure occurs to a specific ntp server, it blacklists that server for about 10 minutes. - Or at least that's my conclusion so far.

I recommend getting ntptime:


or another client as the thought of statum 1 and 2 systems on my network is enough to make me very uncomfortable - If one goes wrong, then there is a mess in the making - spam filters for a start wil lstart having fits with 'good' mail entering the network. Overall - I think that the Windows version is horrible!

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 16619109
Right - now Windows is severely annoying me, and I'd welcome input from anyone else on this. The graphical client on my system appears to have major problems (Windows XP Home), and also on a Windows XP Proffessional system I've booted up. I can't work out what they're doing, as I can sometimes get them to synchronise and other times they wont!

However, my tests have shown that from the command line, even with a stratum of 10 (the default ntpd setting) I can sychronise:

net time \\ /set

works absolutely fine.

If you want it to not ask you to confirm, then add /yes:

net time \\ /set /yes


for definition for command.

Sorry - but my verdict so far on this is that the behavious of the Microsoft code here is bizarre - stick with the recommendation for ntptime.

LVL 22

Accepted Solution

pjedmond earned 2000 total points
ID: 16619152
Microsoft *REALLY* is presumptuos - Apparently, the ntp on a Windows system is advertised as a stratum 0 for a period of time during and after startup:



gives the default location of the registry values for this service:


, and it is possible to alter some of the behaviour - for example the 'blacklisting' of a failed connection by altering these values.

..and guess what, this question is *really* annoying me! - It shouldn't be this difficult, and the MS software shouldn't be this s$£$&d!

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