Subject: Re: misc/23283: ntp.conf: workaround for bad nameservers / finding more volounteers
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: Adrian 'Dagurashibanipal' von Bidder <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 10/27/2003 21:02:24
Hash: SHA1

Hi fred & all lurkers!

On Monday 27 October 2003 16:07, you wrote:
> In article <>,

> "" is very neat. Thanks for that!


> >  - as some nameservers don't do a proper round robin (Sun nscd and
> > apparently some M$ resolvers), you might end up getting the same
> > timeserver address repeatedly. I have introduced {0,1,2}
> > to work around this. (Currently, this is done with CNAMES as a temporary
> > hack. I will do this properly, and also document it when I get time).
> What "host" tells me now, is that is an
> alias for, is an alias for
>, while 0... is an alias for,
> so it'll still get some of the same hosts as 1 and 2, won't it?

Yes, at the moment. As I've said: this is a crude hack because I don't have=
enough time to code it up properly.

But the goal is, in any case, to make {0,1,2}.pool disjunct, and also to of=
{0,1,2} for all zones. (zones with too few servers will of course not be=20

> What about the country domains: "", "",
> and so on? Shouldn't those be preferred? How about listing some of
> those, but commented out, listing some of the continents, but
> commented out, and finally, for Satellites, Lunar and Antartic
> colonists, and others who don't know what continent they're on,
> "{0,1,2}"?

Yes, as soon as I reach the next few milestones I've set myself. Currently,=
the available continent and country zones can only be guessed by trial and=
error (or by fetching a zone transfer from the nameserver). I plan to offer=
all country and continental zones, and then properly document this fact.=20
Zones without servers, or with fewer than x servers (x=3D=3D 3 or 5 or so) =
be CNAMEd to the continental/global zone.

As soon as this is in place, ntp.conf can be autogenerated from the system=
configuration (assuming the country is available from the language config),=
if distributors wish to do so - or people can just blindly add their countr=
{0,1,2} as servers.

As I've said, a bit of time is about the only thing I need to get this all=
going. It will come.

> Also, in comp.protocols.time.ntp, aspersions have been cast on
> "maxpoll 12". How do you feel about leaving that off?

What 'maxpoll 12'? I don't know what you're talking about. Doesn't say=20
anything on the web site, does it?


The discussion on the newsgroup wasn't the first time this has come up, so =
giving up here. I just thought that it's an easy way to lessen the load on=
the network (which isn't a problem right now), and that it wouldn't matter=
since the quality of the timeservers is unknown anyway.

> >  - would it be possible to add something like 'if your computer has
> > a static IP address, please consider joining the timeserver pool' to
> > the ntp.conf file? I see you already provide the URL to the project,
> > and mention that it is a volounteer project, so perhaps this is
> > sufficient, but I feel an explicit invitation would be clearer.
> Sure. Shouldn't it be made clear that you need other sources
> of time besides consumers (reference clocks and
> those with good relations with other time servers), lest you
> be flooded with well-meaning but non-helpful volunteers? tells people to use statically configured=20
timeservers. It doesn't worry me if they are all using other timeservers fr=
the pool - ntp is a very good protocol, even if we get to providing stratum=
timeservers, we won't have more than a couple of 10ths of a second offset=20
from the 'true' time - and for just syncing a computer or network to an=20
outside time source, this is good enough. Computers where relative time=20
offsets matter (NFS mounted home dirs, data logging, ...) should be syncing=
internally anyway, and anybody who really cares about the quality of his ti=
service shouldn't be using the pool anyway.

(Oh, and: yes, the redirection from to on=
the web page will disappear in the future, too.)

=2D -- vbi

=2D --=20
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