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= The Secure Network Time Protocol (NTPsec) Distribution
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{millshome}pictures.html['P.T. Bridgeport Bear'; from 'Pogo', Walt Kelly]
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Pleased to meet you.

|==============================

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== Related Links
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* A list of all links is on the link:sitemap.html[Site Map] page.

'''''

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== Table of Contents
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* link:#intro[Introduction]
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* link:#platforms[Supported Platforms]
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* link:#build[Building and Installing NTP]
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* link:#man[Manual Pages]
* link:#hand[The Handbook]
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* link:#prob[Resolving Problems]
* link:#info[Further Information]

[[intro]]
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== Introduction
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The Network Time Protocol software contained in this
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distribution is available without charge under the conditions set
forth in the link:copyright.html[Copyright Notice].
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This distribution is an implementation of RFC 5905 "Network Time
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Protocol Version 4: Protocol and Algorithms Specification".  NTP is
widely used to synchronize a computer to Internet time servers or
other sources, such as a radio or satellite receiver or telephone
modem service. It can also be used as a server for dependent
clients. It provides accuracies typically less than a millisecond on
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LANs and up to a few tens of milliseconds on WANs. Typical NTP
configurations utilize multiple redundant servers and diverse network
paths in order to achieve high accuracy and reliability.
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For background on the problems NTP solves, see
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http://www.catb.org/gpsd/time-service-intro.html[Introduction to
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Time Service].  This white paper discusses time source types, relative
accuracy, relative cost, and how those figures of merit have changed
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in recent decades.
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The link:ntpspeak.html[Glossary of NTP-speak] might also be a helpful
guide for the perplexed.
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Use caution when employing search engines to dig up NTP material.
There are many, many copies of the NTP documentation out there, often
referring to very old versions and carrying stale information. It's
best to use only the HTML and manpages that come with your
distribution.

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For differences between NTPsec and legacy versions, see
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link:ntpsec.html[this summary].  For details on relevant
RFCs and standards, see link:standards.html[here].
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[[platforms]]
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== Supported platforms
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NTPsec supports all operating systems conforming to POSIX.1-2001 and
ISO/IEC 9899:1999 (aka C99).  The POSIX.1-2008 clock calls
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clock_gettime(2) and clock_settime(2) must also be present.  Primary
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platforms include Linux and the *BSD family; any reasonably modern
proprietary Unix will also serve.  The OS must have either a
Linux-like adjtimex(2) call or a BSD-like ntp_adjtime(2) call.
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Legacy Windows support has been removed from the NTPsec
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codebase. Future Windows support will be conditional on the quality
of POSIX/C99 emulation environments such as Cygwin and/or the support
for Linux binary execution in Windows 10 and later.

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If you have a requirement for time service on an OS we don't support,
and its API is reasonably close to our POSIX/C99 conformance baseline,
we'll try to meet you halfway. We're open to development partnerships
with individuals and organizations who have special needs and can
contribute either engineering time or money to meet our costs of
development; our only hard condition is that all joint results must be
redistributable as open source.

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[[hand]]
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== The Handbook
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A good deal of tutorial and directive information is available in the
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handbook pages. These should be read in conjunction with the command and
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option information available on the pages listed on the
link:sitemap.html[Site Map] page.
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link:quick.html[Quick start for client configurations]::
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  Basic configuration for 99% of client installations.  Introduces
  concepts used later in the Handbook.
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link:assoc.html[Association Management]::
  Describes how to configure servers and peers and manage the various
  options. Includes automatic server discovery schemes.
link:discover.html[Automatic Server Discovery Schemes]::
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  Describes automatic server discovery using broadcast
  and server pool schemes.
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link:access.html[Access Control Support]::
  Describes the access control mechanisms that can be used to limit
  client access to various time and management functions.
link:authentic.html[Authentication Support]::
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  Describes the cryptographic authentication mechanisms.
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link:rate.html[Rate Management]::
  Describes the principles of rate management to minimize network load
  and defend against DoS attacks.
link:refclock.html[Reference Clock Support]::
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  Describes the collection of clocks and devices used to synchronize primary
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  servers.
link:warp.html[How NTP Works]::
  Gives an overview of the NTP daemon architecture and how it works.
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link:outside-tools.html[Outside Tools]::
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  A variety of tools not directly maintained by the NTPsec project
  that can be useful for administering and monitoring NTP. This page
  collects some references and links.
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[[build]]
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== Building and Installing NTP
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The link:build.html[Building and Installing the Distribution] page
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gives an overview of the procedures for building and installing NTPsec
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on a typical system.  For more details, see the INSTALL file in the
distribution root.
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[[man]]
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[[prob]]
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== Resolving Problems
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Like other things in modern Internet life, NTP problems can be
devilishly intricate. This distribution includes a number of utilities
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designed to identify and resolve problems using an integrated management
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protocol supported by the link:ntpq.html[+ntpq+] utility program.
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The link:debug.html[NTP Debugging Techniques] page contains useful
information for identifying problems and devising solutions. Additional
information on reference clock driver construction and debugging is
in the link:rdebug.html[Debugging Hints for Reference Clock Drivers] page.
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Users are invited to report bugs and offer suggestions via the
link:bugs.html[NTP Bug Reporting Procedures] page.

[[info]]
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== Further Information
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The link:sitemap.html[Site Map] page contains a list of document
collections arranged by topic. The Program Manual Pages collection may
be the best place to start. The link:comdex.html[Command Index]
collection contains a list of all configuration file commands together
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with a short function description. There is a
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link:ntpspeak.html[glossary of NTP-speak]. A great wealth of
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additional information is available via the External Links collection,
including a book and numerous background papers and briefing
presentations.
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Background information on computer network time synchronization is on
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the {millshome}exec.html[Executive Summary -
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Computer Network Time Synchronization] page. Background information,
bibliography and briefing slides suitable for presentations are on the
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{millshome}ntp.html[Network Time
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Synchronization Research Project] page. Additional information is at
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the NTPsec web site {project-weblink}.
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You can also read a brief link:history.html[history of NTP].

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'''''

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