NTP Client configuration

To configure a AIX box as a NTP client first set the correct time zone using `smitty chtz_date`. Also set the system time manually as accurate as possible, if the system time would be way out of the reality, the xntpd daemon will not handle this and end with the following error in the error log:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
LABEL:          SRC_SVKO
IDENTIFIER:     BC3BE5A3
Sequence Number: 4298
Class:           S
Type:            PERM
WPAR:            Global
Resource Name:   SRC
escription
SOFTWARE PROGRAM ERROR

Probable Causes
APPLICATION PROGRAM

Failure Causes
SOFTWARE PROGRAM

        Recommended Actions
        MANUALLY RESTART SUBSYSTEM IF NEEDED

Detail Data
SYMPTOM CODE
         256
SOFTWARE ERROR CODE
       -9017
ERROR CODE
           0
DETECTING MODULE
'srchevn.c'@line:'376'
FAILING MODULE
xntpd

Also there will be no error recorded in the syslog, nor will there be any error if xntpd will be run manually with the debug option enabled.

Back to the configuration. This is how my /etc/ntp.conf file looks like:

server 93.184.71.155 prefer
server 176.28.8.111
driftfile /etc/ntp.drift
tracefile /etc/ntp.trace

Now we start the xntpd daemon:

# lssrc -s xntpd
Subsystem         Group            PID          Status
 xntpd            tcpip                         inoperative
# startsrc -s xntpd
0513-059 The xntpd Subsystem has been started. Subsystem PID is 3997772.
# lssrc -s xntpd
Subsystem         Group            PID          Status
 xntpd            tcpip            3997772      active

The time synchronization may take some time. So don’t worry to wait for 15 min. to check the synchronization status using ntpq.

# ntpq -p
     remote           refid      st t when poll reach   delay   offset    disp
==============================================================================
*dns2.vnet.sk    ntp.bts.sk       2 u   62   64  377    39.51    4.800    0.98
+176.28.8.111    187.95.28.233.n  3 u   42   64  357    60.24   -0.091    0.64

Ntpq output explained

Now in order to let xntpd start each time the system boots edit /etc/rc.tcpip and uncomment the ntp entry as follows:

# Start up Network Time Protocol (NTP) daemon
start /usr/sbin/xntpd "$src_running"
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2 comments
  1. Washington said:

    One question. With the AIX xntpd automatically sync right?. How often perform this synchronization? This time is configurable, if so how I do it?. Thank you very much. Excellent blog!.

  2. JJ said:

    Thanks for your comment Washington. The default interval is 64 seconds, at least on the version I have installed, this is represented as “poll” in the ntpq -p command output.
    The configuration can be done using the minpoll and maxpoll parameters in /etc/ntp.conf.
    Please search for “minpoll” and “maxpoll” on the below page for detailed information.

    http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/pseries/v5r3/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.aix.files/doc/aixfiles/ntp.conf.htm

    Have a nice day.

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