Bug 146490 - (IT#60030) ntp sometimes changes the time in violation of the sanity limit
ntp sometimes changes the time in violation of the sanity limit
Product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1
Classification: Red Hat
Component: ntp (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Jiri Ryska
Brian Brock
Depends On:
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Reported: 2005-01-28 15:07 EST by Steve Conklin
Modified: 2007-11-30 17:06 EST (History)
2 users (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Last Closed: 2005-03-11 12:10:28 EST
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Steve Conklin 2005-01-28 15:07:09 EST
Description of problem:
When the time is changed by a large amount on the ntp server, the
client sometimes changes time in violation of the sanity limit. This
has been replicated on a RHEL2.1 machine in-house, but it doesn't seem
to happen on all machines. I will attach ntpd debug logs that
demonstrate the problem.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Step the time on the ntp server by more than 1000 seconds
2. Observe the client

Actual Results:  Client changes time to match server

Expected Results:  Client should exit with error message 
Jan 28 08:45:23 hostnamehere ntpd[2972]: time correction of 3595
seconds exceeds sanity limit (1000); set clock manually to the correct
UTC time.

Additional info:

This doesn't happen on every client machine, but if it does happen, it
happens consistently. The customer has deleted the step-tickers config
file to prevent ntpdate from running at daemon startup, but that
shouldn't affect this.
Comment 3 Steve Conklin 2005-01-28 15:14:01 EST
Given that the RHEL2.1 and RHEL3 ntp code is virtually identical, I
tried to also reproduce this under RHEL 3. I did see the problem twice
out of around 15 clock changes. An identical RHEL 2.1 box (both Dell
rpecision 420s) with the same network path to the server (same hub)
repeatably showed the problem.
Comment 5 Harald Hoyer 2005-02-03 06:17:31 EST
OK, some comments:

1. If no steptickers are found and "-x" is not in defined in
/etc/sysconfig/ntpd the server is started with "-g", which allows the
server to break the sanity limit once at the beginning.

2. After starting the server, it has to synchronize with the other
server, so it first obeys the local clock for about 5 minutes. Without
"-x" ntpd is allow to "step", which means it can make a time jump. And
if the "-g" option is added (no step-tickers, no -g) by the
initscript, it can once break the sanity limit!
Comment 6 Johnray Fuller 2005-03-11 12:10:28 EST
The above analysis reflects the behavior and resolves the issue. The
ntpd daemon never stepped more than once without the steptickers file
as expected.


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