HOW TO INSTALL NTP ON FREEBSD. NETWORK TIME PROTOCOL INSTALLATION PRIMER FOR FREEBSD OS. PROCEDURE LIST FOR BEGINNERS, CHEAT SHEET FOR FREEBSD / NTP NEWBIES, INSTALL NETWORK TIME PROTOCOL TIME SERVER / FREEBSD CHEATSHEET FOR NEWBIE * FREEBSD NTP INSTALLATION PRIMER FOR BEGINNERS * SETUP NTP 4.2.0 / FREEBSD 4.9 PROCEDURE LIST. CONFIGURE TIMESERVER ON FBSD OPERATING SYSTEM. SET UP, CONFIGURATION, TUTORIAL, HOWTO, ADMINISTRATOR'S SETUP GUIDE, TIPS AND TRICKS CHEETSHEET, STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS TO INSTALL NTP TIME SERVER ON FREEBSD


How to Install NTP on FreeBSD.  Network Time Protocol Installation Primer for FreeBSD OS.  Procedure List for Beginners, Cheat Sheet for FreeBSD / NTP Newbies, Install Network Time Protocol Time Server / FreeBSD Cheatsheet for Newbie * FreeBSD NTP Installation Primer for Beginners * Setup NTP 4.2.0 / FreeBSD 4.9 Procedure List. Configure Timeserver on FBSD Operating System. Set Up, Configuration, Tutorial, Howto, Administrator's Setup Guide, Tips and Tricks Cheetsheet, Step by Step Instructions to install NTP Time Server on FreeBSD
How to Install NTP (Network Time Protocol) on FreeBSD(TM)

HOW TO INSTALL NTP ON FREEBSD


    ASSUMPTIONS:

  1. You are familiar with computers, and probably know either Windows or Linux fairly well.

  2. You have already installed FreeBSD.  If not, then click here: How to Install FreeBSD

  3. You have configured the FreeBSD shell.  If not, then click here: How to Configure the FreeBSD Shell

  4. Your 'ports tree' is up to date.  If you don't know, then it probably isn't.  Update the ports tree by issuing one of these commands: Update the Ports Tree Using CVSup

  5. Here is how to configure your computer so that CVSup is run on a regular basis


    NOTE WELL:

  6. In the NTP configuration file /etc/ntp.conf, (as is true with many Unix type files), a hash/pound sign '#', and a semi-colon ';' at the beginning of a line means that the computer should ignore the rest of the line.  Typically, these 'ignore' characters are for your benefit--they usually contain comments about what is taking place.  Hence, when a line begins with # or ; it is 'commented out'.  Sometimes double slashes '//' have the same 'ignore' effect--it just depends on what type of program is reading the file.


    WHAT IS NTP?

  7. NTP stands for Network Time Protocol.  It is a set of software programs that are used to keep accurate time on computers.  It accomplishes this by referring to other time sources and then using some intelligent algorithms and taking into consideration transmission delays, and other factors arrives at very precise time keeping.

  8. There are all sorts of reasons for having accurate time on computers--if you are reading this you probably have your own.  If you want to find out more about how NTP works, click here.  If you want to find out about the history of NTP, click here.  The purpose of this page, however, is to get it installed and working quickly for you.


    WHAT KIND OF HARDWARE?

  9. NTP works best on a computer that is not loaded heavily.  A heavily loaded file server, or any other computer that has a heavy CPU load will interfere with NTP's time-sensitive algorithms, and make it more difficult to keep accurate time.

    Ideally, a completely separate computer used exclusively as a time server is best.  Even an old 486 computer will be able to maintain excellent accuracy.

    All other computers should be able to listen to NTP broadcasts that the time server puts out with minimal load on the CPU.  The procedure to do this is listed below.


    BEGIN INSTALLATION

  10. You can find NTP in the this directory:

    /usr/ports/net/ntp
    At the present time (2004 October) the current version is 4.2.0.  If your ports tree is current (see above), you can find out what the current, stable version is by doing the following:

    cd /usr/ports/net/ntp/
    more distinfo
    From this you should see the file name of the current version.  You should see a file name like this:

    ntp-4.2.0.tar.gz
  11. To begin the installation process, enter:

    make install
  12. The computer will look for the file and download it from an FTP server if the file doesn't happen to be already in /usr/ports/distfiles/.

  13. It will then go on showing lots of lines of messages as it builds.  It will also download any program or file that it depends on.

  14. It is possible that the 'make install' process will not complete successfully.  If this happens, go to: 'make install' fails on FreeBSD before returning here.

  15. After NTP has been installed, you should see something like this:

    /bin/sh ../mkinstalldirs /usr/local/bin
    Making install in clockstuff
    Making install in kernel
    Making install in sys
    Making install in util
    /bin/sh ../mkinstalldirs /usr/local/bin
      Install -c -s -o root -g wheel -m 555 ntptime /usr/local/bin/ntptime
      Install -c -s -o root -g wheel -m 555 tickadj /usr/local/bin/tickadj
      Install -c -s -o root -g wheel -m 555 ntp-keygen /usr/local/bin/ntp-keygen
    ===>   Registering installation for ntp-4.2.0_1
    ===> SECURITY REPORT:
          This port has installed the following files which may act as network
          servers and may therefore pose a remote security risk to the system.
    /usr/local/bin/ntpdate
    /usr/local/bin/ntpd

          If there are vulnerabilities in these programs there may be a security
          risk to the system. FreeBSD makes no guarantee about the security of
          ports included in the Ports Collection. Please type 'make deinstall'
          to deinstall the port if this is a concern.
          
          For more information, and contact details about the security
          status of this software, see the following webpage:
    http://www.ntp.org/

    Whether you see the above or not, in any case, you shouldn't see any 'error code' messages if NTP has installed successfully.



    CHECK FOR BROADCASTCLIENT FIX

  16. As of this writing, (2004 October), there was a bug in the broadcast client part of the software that has been fixed, but hasn't made it into the software 'tarball' (compressed set of files).  In order to find out whether the fix has been included, enter something similar to the following, based on your version of the software:

    cd /usr/ports/net/ntp/

    cp -p /usr/ports/distfiles/ntp-4.2.0.tar.gz /usr/ports/net/ntp/

    tar xvzf ntp-4.2.0.tar.gz

    cd ntp-4.2.0

    cd libisc

    ls -lt
  17. You should see a file named ifiter_ioctl.c.  If the date of that file is 2004 March or newer, then you have the fix and can skip to the next section.

  18. If the date of that file is before 2004 March then we need to replace it.  First rename the existing file:

    mv ifiter_ioctl.c ifiter_ioctl.c.old
  19. Now download the following file:

    http://www.US-Webmasters.com/Temp/ifiter_ioctl.c.txt
  20. Place this file in the same directory as the old ifiter_ioctl.c.old

  21. Copy the file like this:

    cp -p ifiter_ioctl.c.txt ifiter_ioctl.c

    RECOMPILE

  22. Change to the NTP directory:

    cd /usr/ports/net/ntp/
  23. Change to directory of the current version.  Change ntp-4.2.0 to whatever is appropiate for your version:

    cd ntp-4.2.0
  24. Configure, compile and install:

    mkdir work

    cd work

    ../configure

    make install
  25. It will then go on showing lots of lines of messages as it builds.  It will also download any program or file that it depends on.  Most likely it will compile within 5 minutes.

  26. It is possible that the 'make install' process will not complete successfully.  If this happens, go to: 'make install' fails on FreeBSD before returning here.

  27. If it has compiled and installed, you will see a screen similar to the one above that contains something similar to:

    Registering installation for ntp-4.2.0_1
    In any case, if it has compiled successfully, there should be an absence of 'error code' messages.

  28. The version that we just compiled should end up in the following directory.  Go there and take a look at the file dates to confirm this:

    /usr/local/bin/
    You might see a precompiled version of NTP here:

    /usr/sbin/
    Or if you do a custom compilation you might find a version here:

    /usr/local/sbin/

    CHOOSING WHICH TIME SERVERS TO USE AS REFERENCES

  29. For NTP to work properly, it must have accurate sources of time to refer to.  Generally, the best source (outside of having your own GPS or radio receiver) is a Stratum 1 time server.  This link shows a list of Stratum 1 servers:

    http://ntp.isc.org/bin/view/Servers/StratumOneTimeServers

    Here are some other links:
    http://ntp.isc.org/bin/view/Servers/StratumTwoTimeServers
    http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/clock1a.html
    http://www.boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/service/time-servers.html
    http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/ntp.html
    http://www.ativapro.com/timeservers.htm
    http://www.Google.com/search?q=NTP+time+servers+stratum+list

  30. It is important to note that just because these time servers exist, it doesn't mean that it is proper for you to use them.  Each time server has 'rules of engagement' that you need to adhere to.  Unless a time server has an 'open access' policy, you need to contact the operator of the time server.

  31. The best time servers to use as references are those that are 'closest' to you on the Internet.  Generally speaking, 'closest' will those that are geographically close to your location.  In order to find out which of the various time servers are closest to you on the Internet, use the ping command:

    ping -c 10 ntp0.SomeTimeServer.edu
    For each of the time servers, take the 'avg' figure for each ping listing, and create a list with the servers with the shortest ping times on the top of your list.

  32. After you have contacted the server operators and gained permission to use these servers, or the server is 'open access', put these servers on your final list.  You will need to include them in the ntp.conf file which we will describe next.


    EDITING THE CONFIGURATION FILE: /etc/ntp.conf

  33. The file ntp.conf located in the /etc directory is the configuration file that the NTP programs rely on for operation.  This file probably doesn't exist on your computer right now, but to see if it does, enter the following:

    cd /etc

    ls -lt n*.conf
  34. If it does exist, do a back up:

    cp -p ntp.conf ntp.conf.1.bak
  35. If it doesn't, create it:

    touch ntp.conf
  36. Now open it up with Pico and edit it:

    pico ntp.conf
  37. Here is a sample ntp.conf file with fake timeservers:

    # This is the configuration file for NTP
    # (Network Time Protocol). More info at
    # www.NTP.org

    # This computer will act as a stratum 2 time
    # server, by referencing the following 4 or
    # more stratum 1 time servers:

    server clock.wotsamata-u.edu     iburst    # Wotsamata Univ, Somecity, ST
    server time.militarybranch.gov   iburst    # USNO, Gaithersburg, MD
    server tick.ivyleaguecollege.edu iburst    # Uppity Univ., Cambridge, MA
    server tock.somegovagency.org    iburst    # NIST, Boulder, CO
    server ntp2.colorado.edu         iburst    # Univ. of Colo., Boulder, CO


    # Since the clock on most PCs drifts around
    # significantly, let's use a file to
    # keep track of that drift and compensate
    # for it:

    driftfile /etc/ntp.drift


    # This server will broadcast NTP timing signals
    # over the Local Area Network (LAN)

    broadcast 192.168.2.255


    # Let's setup a log file for NTP:

    logfile /var/log/ntp.log


    Here is that file in a text format: ntp.conf.txt

  38. Much of this file is self-explanatory.  However, here are some items to understand:

    The server commmand tells NTP that this is a server to be used as a reference.  Replace the fake server names with the names of time servers from your list that you compiled.  You should have at least 3, but probably not more than 5 server lines.

    The iburst argument allows for a quick synch-up when you reboot your time server.

    Note that the 'hash' marks '#' on the server lines are comments about the geographic location of the server.  The NTP program ignores them, but they are useful for your future reference.

    The broadcast line indicates which IP address on your internal Local Area Network that you want the NTP signals directed towards.  You will need to consult your router manual to determine this address.

  39. Once you have edited ntp.conf, save the file and exit pico by:

    Ctrl-O

    Enter

    Ctrl-X


    CONFIGURING NTP TO START ON BOOT UP

  40. First, let's travel to the directory where the startup file rc.conf exists:

    cd /etc

    ls -lt rc.c*
  41. Next, let's back it up:

    cp -p rc.conf rc.conf.1.bak

    ls -lt rc.c*
  42. Now fire up pico so we can edit it:

    pico rc.conf
  43. Go down to the end of the file and add on the following:

    # Make sure that we don't use 'ntpdate'.  It is obsolete.
    ntpdate_enable="NO"

    # NTP (Network Time Protocol) time-keeping program
    # to set time on boot-up and adjust time while
    # operating.
    xntpd_enable="YES"

    # The NTP program is located here:
    xntpd_program="/usr/local/bin/ntpd"

    # We want to run the NTP program with some options (flags).
    #
    # This is what they mean:
    #
    #    -A                    = Disable authentication mode
    #
    #    -c /etc/ntp.conf      = The configuration file's location
    #
    #    -g                    = Grab the correct time at startup
    #
    #    -N                    = Notable Priority.  The OS should
    #                            give ntpd highest permitted
    #                            priority when scheduling tasks
    #
    #    -p /var/run/ntpd.pid  = The Process ID will be found here
    #
    #    -l /var/log/ntpd.log  = This where we will Log activities
    #
    #   Here's the command line:
    #
    xntpd_flags="-A -g -N -c /etc/ntp.conf -p /var/run/ntpd.pid -l /var/log/ntpd.log"


    (Note that the above 'xntpd_flags' line is all on one line--even if your browser wraps it.)

    Here are the above lines in text format: rc.conf.ntp.txt

  44. Be absolutely certain that you have triple checked your typing.  If you leave off a quote mark, or similar typo, when you reboot you could be in big trouble.  If you do, you may get an error message like:

    Read only file system

    If you do, you will need to carefully use the work around for this problem:

    How To Fix The 'Read Only File System' Problem When rc.conf is Corrupted on Freebsd


    MANUALLY SYNCHRONIZE YOUR COMPUTER WITH AN ACCURATE TIME SERVER

  45. Enter the following command:

    /usr/local/bin/ntpdate tick.usno.navy.mil


    REBOOT COMPUTER SO THAT NTP LOADS AND RUNS ON BOOT UP

  46. Reboot by entering the following:

    shutdown -r +2


    MONITOR NTP'S OPERATION USING DEBUGGING COMMANDS

  47. There are number of commands and tools that let you monitor the operation of NTP.  A few are below.  The new commands are located:

    /usr/local/bin/
    Here are the commands.  You can find out more about them by typing man nameofcommand at a command prompt.

    ntpdc -c kerninfo

    ntpdc
    ntpdc> monlist
    ntpq
    ntpq> pe

    ntpq> rv
    ntptime

    ntptrace -v

    ifconfig -a


  48. Information can also be garnered from the logs:

    cd /var/log/

    more ntp.log

    more ntpd.log
  49. The driftfile shows how many parts per million the computer's clock needs to be adjusted in order to keep proper time:

    cd /etc

    more ntp.drift
  50. This completes the procedure for setting up a time server running NTP.  Since all computers don't need to be running as a time server, the next section describes how to set up a computer to listen to the time 'broadcasts' on your Local Area Network.



    HOW TO SETUP A FREEBSD COMPUTER TO LISTEN TO NTP BROADCASTS AS A BROADCAST CLIENT

  51. Setting up a computer to listen to NTP time broadcasts over the LAN is very similar to setting up a computer as a time server-- just a bit more simplified.

  52. Follow the steps in the above sections called:

    BEGIN INSTALLATION

    CHECK FOR BROADCASTCLIENT FIX

    RECOMPILE

  53. Skip the above section called:

    CHOOSING WHICH TIME SERVERS TO USE AS REFERENCES


    EDITING THE CONFIGURATION FILE: /etc/ntp.conf FOR BROADCAST CLIENTS

  54. The file ntp.conf located in the /etc directory is the configuration file that the NTP programs rely on for operation.  This file probably doesn't exist on your computer right now, but to see if it does, enter the following:

    cd /etc

    ls -lt n*.conf
  55. If it does exist, do a back up:

    cp -p ntp.conf ntp.conf.1.bak
  56. If it doesn't, create it:

    touch ntp.conf
  57. Now open it up with Pico and edit it:

    pico ntp.conf
  58. Here is a sample ntp.conf file for broadcast clients:

    # This is the configuration file for NTP
    # (Network Time Protocol). More info at
    # www.NTP.org

    # This computer will act as a passive
    # NTP broadcast client

    # Because the computer clock drifts,
    # let's define a place to store
    # this information:
    driftfile /etc/ntp.drift

    # This line shows that we are just
    # a client that listens to NTP
    # broadcasts on the LAN:
    broadcastclient

    # Let's setup a log file for NTP:
    logfile /var/log/ntp.log
    Here is that file in a text format: ntp.conf.bcclient.txt

  59. Once you have edited ntp.conf, save the file and exit pico by:

    Ctrl-O

    Enter

    Ctrl-X


    CONFIGURING NTP TO START ON BOOT UP--FOR BROADCAST CLIENTS

  60. First, let's travel to the directory where the startup file rc.conf exists:

    cd /etc

    ls -lt rc.c*
  61. Next, let's back it up:

    cp -p rc.conf rc.conf.1.bak

    ls -lt rc.c*
  62. Now fire up pico so we can edit it:

    pico rc.conf
  63. Go down to the end of the file and add on the following:

    # Make sure that we don't use 'ntpdate'. It is obsolete.
    ntpdate_enable="NO"

    # The NTP program is located here:
    xntpd_program="/usr/local/bin/ntpd"

    # NTP (Network Time Protocol) time-keeping program
    # to set time on boot-up and adjust time while
    # operating.
    xntpd_enable="YES"

    # We want to run the NTP program with some options (flags).
    #
    # This is what they mean:
    #
    #    -A                    = Disable authentication mode
    #
    #    -c /etc/ntp.conf      = The configuration file's location
    #
    #    -N                    = Notable priority. The OS should
    #                             give ntpd highest permitted
    #                             priority when scheduling tasks
    #
    #    -p /var/run/ntpd.pid  = The Process ID will be found here
    #
    #    -l /var/log/ntpd.log  = This is where we will Log activities
    #
    # Here's the command line:
    #
    xntpd_flags="-A -N -c /etc/ntp.conf -p /var/run/ntpd.pid -l /var/log/ntpd.log"


    (Note that the above 'xntpd_flags' line is all on one line--even if your browser wraps it.)

    Here are the above lines in text format: rc.conf.bcclient.txt

  64. Be absolutely certain that you have triple checked your typing.  If you leave off a quote mark, or similar typo, when you reboot you could be in big trouble.  If you do, you may get an error message like:

    Read only file system

    If you do, you will need to carefully use the work around for this problem:

    How To Fix The 'Read Only File System' Problem When rc.conf is Corrupted on Freebsd


  65. Follow the steps in the above sections called:

    MANUALLY SYNCHRONIZE YOUR COMPUTER WITH AN ACCURATE TIME SERVER

    REBOOT COMPUTER SO THAT NTP LOADS AND RUNS ON BOOT UP

    MONITOR NTP'S OPERATION USING DEBUGGING COMMANDS

  66. That's it!





Here are some other FreeBSD related links:
How to Install FreeBSD

Shell Configuration

FreeBSD Device List

Hardware Burn-In Test Using FreeBSD

FreeBSD Commands Cheat Sheet

'make install' fails on FreeBSD

The FreeBSD 'Handbook' online

Search for Answers to Questions about FreeBSD

How to Install NTP (Network Time Protocol) software on FreeBSD

How to Install Samba file server software on FreeBSD

Mounting and Using the Floppy Drive in FreeBSD

Mounting and Using the CD-ROM Drive in FreeBSD

How to Find or Search for a Directory or a file

How to Preserve the Date and Time Stamp When Copying Files

How to Copy Files, and Directories recursively in FreeBSD / unix

How To Fix The 'Read Only File System' Problem When rc.conf is Corrupted on Freebsd

Random Passwords Generator

URL Decoder / Link Maker


AT YOUR OWN RISK: These instructions have no guarantee or warrantee of fitness for any purpose whatsoever--and none shall be implied or inferred.  If you use these and incur any kind of damage--it is your responsibility.




















How to Install NTP (Network Time Protocol) on FreeBSD. Time Server Software for millisecond, microsecond, accuracy. Time Server for FreeBSD, Linux, Windows, Win XP 2000 2K NT, 98, 9x, 95 clients. Timeserver time server. Set up setup configure port installation. Timeserving serving time service browsing. Primer procedure list newbies beginner. Howto synchronize sync synch Unix machines Linux options. Broadcastclient directions steps step-by-step instructions. Cheat Sheet for FreeBSD NTP Installation. Primer for Beginners to Load NTP on FreeBSD. Newbies Installing NTP broadcast client on FreeBSD Guide. Sysadmin: Install and setup NTP on the FreeBSD flavor of UNIX / Linux


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