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Last updated August 9, 2001

Network Time Protocol (NTP) is used to synchronize the clocks of one or more computers to each other as well as to external non-computer time sources. Synchronized computer clocks make debugging and auditing much easier in a heterogeneous distributed computing environment. Please note that "NTP" refers to both a protocol and a particular reference implementation of that protocol.

This distribution is unsupported freeware that has been ported and packaged by HP for use on MPE/iX. This software has been minimally tested. HP does not guarantee updates or problem fixes for this freeware. The complete terms and conditions regarding this software are listed in the freeware agreement.

This software comes with MPE installation scripts, MPE installation instructions, binaries, additional files needed to run the software, and MPE-specific documentation.


Prerequisites

The following prerequisites apply to this distribution of NTP:


Downloading the software

  1. Complete the freeware agreement.
  2. Download the software from the resulting list of links.
  3. Upload the software to your HP e3000 as a POSIX bytestream file named /tmp/ntp.tar.Z.

Installing the software

  1. :HELLO MANAGER.SYS
  2. :XEQ SH.HPBIN.SYS -L
  3. cd /tmp
  4. tar xvfopz /tmp/ntp.tar.Z INSTALL
  5. Optionally edit the /tmp/INSTALL script to choose a non-random account password, non-system volume set, etc.
  6. /tmp/INSTALL (i.e. run the INSTALL script)
  7. The software will be installed into the NTP account.
  8. You MUST set your PDC hardware clock to the correct UTC time, either by rebooting and running ISL CLKUTIL, or by using the :SETCLOCK command. Afterwards, verify that the :SHOWCLOCK command reports the correct timezone.
  9. Modify your system logon UDC to :SETVAR TZ "time-zone-spec". The California time-zone-spec is PST8PDT. Valid time zones are listed in TZTAB.LIB.SYS.
  10. Add an "ntp 123/udp" entry to SERVICES.NET.SYS and make sure that /etc/services is a symbolic link pointing to /SYS/NET/SERVICES.

Distribution highlights

All files reside in the NTP account in a version-specific group named Vvvuuffp. A symbolic link named CURRENT points to the active version-specific group. If you install a newer version of this distribution on top of an existing installation, a new version-specific group will be created and the CURRENT symbolic link will be adjusted to point to the new group. The old version-specific group will NOT be purged by the INSTALL script, so once you are satisfied the new version is working OK, you will have to manually :PURGEGROUP the old version if you wish to free up its disk space.

Applications that require a specific version of NTP should reference files and directories using a pathname prefix of /NTP/Vvvuuffp. Applications that don't have any version dependencies should use a pathname prefix of /NTP/CURRENT.

The main files and directories of this distribution are as follows:

/NTP/CURRENT/JSERVER.sample
Sample job stream for running a time server on your e3000.
/NTP/CURRENT/NTPxxxxx
The NTP program file NMPRGs which must all reside in MPE namespace because they use PM capability.
/NTP/CURRENT/bin
Directory containing the true NTP program file names as symlinks pointing to the NMPRGs in MPE namespace. When running NTP programs, you should use the names in this directory:
ntpd
Server daemon used to turn your e3000 into an NTP time server.
ntpdate
Client used to set your clock from one or more external NTP time servers.
ntpdc
Client capable of read/write control over a local or external NTP daemon.
ntpq
Client for performing read-only queries from a local or external NTP daemon.
ntptimeset
Client similar to ntpdate with an alternative algorithm for setting your clock from three or more external NTP time servers. However, ntpdate is preferred because it can perform a gradual time adjustment rather than the immediate time jump of ntptimeset.
ntptrace
A traceroute for timeserver relationships.
/NTP/CURRENT/etc
Directory containing the sample NTP configuration files.
/NTP/CURRENT/mpebin
Directory containing various support files for compiling and packaging this distribution on MPE.
/NTP/CURRENT/public_html
Symbolic link pointing to extensive NTP HTML documentation.
/NTP/CURRENT/src
Directory containing the NTP source code. All changes required for MPE have been submitted back to the NTP developers for inclusion into a future release of NTP. Any MPE changes not yet available from ntp.org are included in a diff file in this same directory.
/NTP/PUB
Directory where you should store any user-modified NTP job streams.
/NTP/PUB/etc
Directory where you should store your NTP configuration files. This directory will also contain POSIX PID files when certain NTP programs are running.
/NTP/PUB/public_html
Directory that enables you to access extensive NTP documentation via http://your.host.name/~MGR.NTP/.

Compiling the software

This distribution contains pre-compiled binaries that are ready to run, so compiling is not required. However, if you would like to compile it yourself, just follow these steps:

  1. Obtain and install the latest version of the GNU gcc bundle from http://jazz.external.hp.com/src/gnu/gnuframe.html
  2. :HELLO MGR.NTP,Vvvuuffp
  3. :XEQ SH.HPBIN.SYS -L
  4. cd src/ntp-*
  5. configure.mpe
  6. make
  7. make install
  8. cd ../..
  9. relink

How to run the time server

Perform the following steps to turn your e3000 into a time server capable of providing the current time to other networked machines:

  1. :HELLO MGR.NTP
  2. Copy /NTP/CURRENT/etc/server.conf.sample to /NTP/PUB/etc/server.conf. Edit the new file and decide if you want to enable broadcast NTP.
  3. Copy /NTP/CURRENT/JSERVER.sample to /NTP/PUB/JSERVER and edit the new file to make any locally required changes.
  4. Start the time server via :STREAM JSERVER.PUB.NTP.
  5. Stop the time server via POSIX kill $(cat /NTP/PUB/etc/server.pid).

The following syslog messages will be generated during normal initialization of the time server:

ntpd 4.1.0 Tue Aug 7 15:07:09 PDT 2001 (1)
precision = 20 usec
setsockopt SO_REUSEADDR on fails: Operation not supported on socket
setsockopt SO_REUSEADDR on fails: Operation not supported on socket
bind() fd 12, family 2, port 123, addr 127.0.0.1, in_classd=0 flags=0 fails: Address already in use
setsockopt SO_REUSEADDR on fails: Operation not supported on socket
bind() fd 12, family 2, port 123, addr www.xxx.yyy.zzz, in_classd=0 flags=1 fails: Can't assign requested address
create_sockets: setsockopt(SO_REUSEADDR,off) failed: Operation not supported on socket


How to set your e3000 clock from an external NTP server

Perform the following steps to set your e3000 clock with the time obtained from one or more external NTP servers:

  1. Select an intranet time server, or visit http://www.ntp.org/ and select one or more public NTP time servers.
  2. :HELLO MGR.NTP or MANAGER.SYS
  3. /NTP/CURRENT/bin/ntpdate -B ntpserver1 [ntpserver2 ntpserver3 ...]

Important limitations

There is a bug in the MPE clock adjustment code (SR 5003462838) which prevents ntpd from accurately making hundreds of tiny adjustments to the e3000 clock. At best, this prevents ntpd from maintaining clock synch, but at worst, the offset between the MPE and PDC clocks will slowly increase over time which will result in a very inaccurate date/time prompt the next time you boot your e3000.

This bug only applies when ntpd is allowed to adjust your local e3000 clock. It does NOT apply to ntpdate, ntptimeset, or when ntpd is used to make your e3000 into a time server without adjusting your clock.

For additional information about this bug, please see http://www.bixby.org/mark/xntpix.html.


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