Is OpenNTPD better than the included NTPD?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Wed Oct 11 13:10:24 PDT 2006

On Oct 11, 2006, at 12:31 PM, Rob wrote:
> I don't plan on allowing anyone to connect to my machine or use it as
> a NTPD server.  I see that OpenNTPD (OpenBSD's version) by default
> doesn't listen on any IP/port and seems a little more secure.

OpenNTPD doesn't work-- ie, synchronize your clock-- unless you let  
it talk to higher-stratum timeservers, or unless you provide a local  
stratum-1 reference clock via GPS or the like, and provide the  
"timedelta sensor" that it needs to actually figure out what to do,  
versus the much more complete refclock support in the official NTPd  

> Is this a good one to use over the included one in FreeBSD, or is  
> there something better?

No-- the stock ntpd which ships with FreeBSD works just fine.

The experience of people using or offering NTP services for the NTP  
pool is that OpenNTPD experiences much wider variations from real  
time (offsets in the hundreds of milliseconds rather than a few to  
perhaps tens of milliseconds with ntpd).  From http://

"Use the standard ntpd

We are all for software diversity, but a significant percentage of  
the "it's not working" questions that come in are for software other  
than ntpd.  You can use the pool with any program speaking NTP, but  
if you are going to join the pool we recommend you use ntpd."


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