The /etc/ntp/ directory.

Andre Guibert de Bruet andy at
Sun Dec 11 13:25:04 PST 2005

On Sun, 11 Dec 2005, Sten Spans wrote:

> On Sun, 11 Dec 2005, Andre Guibert de Bruet wrote:
>> I have a 7.0-CURRENT machine that I have upgraded time and time again, 
>> since the 5.3-CURRENT days. While looking into setting up ntpd, I came 
>> across the empty /etc/ntp/ directory. After perusing the man file, and the 
>> rcNG startup scripts, I don't see anything that makes a reference to this 
>> directory. The locations that I do find are:
>> ntpd.conf: /etc/ntpd.conf
>> ntp.drift: /var/db/ntpd.drift
>>  /var/run/
>> Docs:      /usr/share/doc/ntp
>> I checked a fresh install of 6.0-RELEASE and this directory appears there 
>> too but again, without any references. On 4.11-STABLE, it does not exist. 
>> Is there any use at all for this directory?
> The most common usage is with an ntpd running as user ntp.
> This user normally can't write to /var/db/ ( ntpd renames
> a temporary ntpd.drift.XXXX to ntpd.drift ).
> So ntpd.drift is moved to /etc/ntp where user ntp
> does have write permissions.
> Not that FreeBSD supports non-root ntpd (afaik).

Thanks for the insight. FreeBSD does not ship with an ntp user. I do 
however, see the facilities in place in the rcNG script for chrooting.

So if ntpd is running as root because clock_settime(2) and friends require 
the effective user ID of the super-user, what is the functional purpose of 
this directory?


/*  Andre Guibert de Bruet  * 6f43 6564 7020 656f 2e74 4220 7469 6a20 */
/*   Code poet / Sysadmin   * 636f 656b 2e79 5320 7379 6461 696d 2e6e */
/*   GSM: +1 734 846 8758   * 5520 494e 2058 6c73 7565 6874 002e 0000 */
/* WWW: *      Tormenting bytes since 1980.       */

More information about the freebsd-current mailing list