OpenNTPD (part of the OpenBSD project) is a daemon that can be used to synchronize the system clock to internet time servers using the Network Time Protocol, and can also act as a time server itself if needed.
- 1 Installation
- 2 Making openntpd dependent upon network access
- 3 Troubleshooting
- 4 See also
- 5 External links
OpenNTPD can be installed from [community]:
# pacman -S openntpd
The default configuration is actually usable if all you want is to sync the time of the local computer. For more detailed settings, the
/etc/ntpd.conf file must be edited:
To sync to a particular server, uncomment and edit the "server" directive. You can find the server's URL in your area at www.pool.ntp.org/zone/@.
The "servers" directive works the same as the "server" directive, however, if the DNS name resolves to multiple IP address, ALL of them will be synced to. The default, "pool.ntp.org" is working and should be acceptable in most cases.
Any number of "server" or "servers" directives may be used.
If you want the computer you run OpenNTPD on to also be a time server, simply uncomment and edit the "listen" directive.
listen on *
will listen on all interfaces, and
listen on 127.0.0.1
will only listen on the loopback interface.
Your time server will only begin to serve time after it has synchronized itself to a high resolution. This may take hours, or days, depending on the accuracy of your system.
If you would like to run OpenNTPD at boot, add
openntpd the DAEMONS variable in your
/etc/rc.conf following your network daemon.
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network openntpd ...)
If openntpd is being used to set local system time only, it may be safely backgrounded.
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network @openntpd ...)
To see the status of NTP syncing, visit
/var/log/daemon.log and look for entries with "ntpd".
OpenNTPD adjusts the clock by small amounts at a time. It is designed this way to prevent sudden, large time fluctuations in your system, which could adversely affect system services (e.g., cron jobs). Thus, it can take some time to correct the time.
If your clock is off by more than 180 seconds you can try "
ntpd -s -d" in the console. If ntpd is already running, you can simply restart it with
sudo /etc/rc.d/openntpd restart, as the Arch openntpd package uses the "-s" flag by default. See
man ntpd for more info. You can also set the system clock to as close to possible to the actual time and then let OpenNTPD fine tune the time.
Enable OpenNTPD through systemd
If you are using systemd init instead, you must enable the service related to OpenNTPD as follows:
# systemctl enable openntpd
Alternatively start manually without autostart on boot:
# systemctl start openntpd
Making openntpd dependent upon network access
If you have intermittent network access (you roam around on a laptop, you use dial-up, etc), it does not make sense to have
openntpd running as a system daemon on start up. Here are a few ways you can control
openntpd based on the presence of a network connection. These instructions should also work for
ntpd found further below.
If you are using netcfg, you can also start/stop openntpd as a POST_UP/PRE_DOWN command in your network profile:
POST_UP="/etc/rc.d/openntpd start || true" PRE_DOWN="/etc/rc.d/openntpd stop || true"
Of course, you will have to specify this manually for each network profile.
Using NetworkManager dispatcher
OpenNTPD can be brought up/down along with a network connection through the use of NetworkManager's dispatcher scripts. You can install the needed script from [community]:
# pacman -S networkmanager-dispatcher-openntpd
These instructions require wicd 1.7.0 or later, which is available in the standard Arch repository.
You will also need write access to
Make one shell script inside
/etc/wicd/scripts/postconnect/openntpd-start.sh with the following:
#!/bin/sh /etc/rc.d/openntpd start
Similarly, make another shell script inside
/etc/wicd/scripts/predisconnect/openntpd-stop.sh with the following:
#!/bin/sh /etc/rc.d/openntpd stop
Using dhclient hooks
Another possibility is to use dhclient hooks to start and stop openntpd. When dhclient detects a change in state it will run the following scripts:
The following example uses
/etc/dhclient-exit-hooks to start and stop openntpd depending on dhcp status:
[ "$interface" != "eth0" ] && exit 0 if $if_up; then pgrep ntpd &> /dev/null || /etc/rc.d/openntpd start elif $if_down; then pgrep ntpd &> /dev/null && /etc/rc.d/openntpd stop fi
Using dhcpcd hooks
Error adjusting time
If you find your time set incorrectly and in log you see:
openntpd adjtime failed: Invalid argument
ntpd -s -d
This is also how you would manually sync your system.
Increasing time shift
Starting openntpd in the background could lead to synchronization errors between the actual time and the time stored on your computer. If you recognize an increasing time difference between your desktop clock and the actual time, try to start the openntpd daemon normal and not in the background.
Openntpd may fail to initialize properly if it is started before the network is fully configured. In some cases you may want to remove
openntpd from the DAEMONS array in
/etc/rc.conf and add the following line to
(sleep 300 && /etc/rc.d/openntpd start) &
This will wait 5 minutes before starting openntpd, which should give the system sufficient time to set up the network properly. If your network settings change often, you may also consider restarting the daemon regularly with cron.