Linux NTP server configuration, NTP server configuration in Linux

Posted by admin | | Monday 22 October 2012 11:00 am

Network Time Protocol (NTP) is an Internet protocol basically implemented for the transfer of accurate time; NTP server configuration in Linux or windows provides accurate time information so that a precise time can be obtained and maintained on the network.

Most Linux and UNIX operating systems provide built-in time synchronization functionality with its NTP (Network Time Protocol) daemon. If the NTP server is not available on your version of Linux, NTP version 4 is open source and can easily be downloaded and configured, and installed from the website http://www.ntp.org

The Network Time Protocol is the standard service for time dissemination across TCP/IP networks. It provides accuracies of 1-50 milliseconds, liable to the characteristics of the synchronization source and network paths.

Linux NTP server configuration:

The configuration file for the NTP daemon is named ntp.conf and contains a list of reference clocks that it can synchronize too. The command ‘server’ specifies the reference clock, any characters after the ‘#’ symbol are comments, example:
server time-a.nist.gov # Public NTP server: NIST
driftfile /var/lib/ntp/ntp.drift

The drift file command identifies the location where the drift is recorded (sometimes referred to as a ‘frequency error). This value can be offset by NTP to ensure of increased accuracy. When configured, NTP can be controlled using the commands ‘ntpd start’ ‘ntpd stop’ ‘ ntpq -p’ (displays status)

The Linux NTP server configuration also authenticates timing resources, it’s important to note that if you configure a time server with a hardware source rather than from the internet where there is no authentication. Authentication codes are specified in the ‘ntp.keys’ file.

red hat linux server

Specialist NTP servers are available that can receive transmissions from either GPS or national time reference broadcasts. They are relatively cheap, and the signal is authenticated providing a secure time reference.

Authentication allows passwords to be specified by the NTP server and its clients. NTP passwords or keys are stored in the ntp.keys file in the following format: number M (The M stands for MD5 encryption), password:

1 M mypassword

3 M my2ndpassword

5 M my3rdpassword

Authentication for NTP server configuration in Linux has been developed to prevent malicious tampering with system synchronization just as firewalls have been developed to protect networks from attack but as with any system of security, it only works if it is utilized.

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