10.2: ntp update breaks DCF77 clock

Christian Weisgerber naddy at mips.inka.de
Sat Aug 15 15:50:08 UTC 2015

I have a little Soekris box whose ONLY task is to get the time from
a simple DCF77 time signal receiver and redistribute it with NTP.
The update from 10.1 to 10.2 has broken this functionality.

The relevant ntp.conf configuration...

server mode 14
fudge time1 0.235

... now results in the obscure error message:

PARSE receiver #0: parse_start: parse_setfmt() FAILED.

The ntp code is not very transparent, but I think the root cause
are the ntp/config.h changes that came with the 4.2.8p3 update.  A
number of previously disabled obscure clock drivers were enabled,
but crucially CLOCK_RAWDCF was disabled, and this is the PARSE
subdriver needed to use the popular DCF77 serial receivers.

Frankly, it looks like we used to have a carefully considered
selection of clock drivers which has been blindly splattered with
the upstream defaults in the last update.

I don't know how to proceed here.  The system ntpd is broken.  The
ntpd in ports also doesn't enable this clock type by default, so
no package.  The whole raison d'être for this setup was to have a
maintenance-free NTP server that does not require custom compiling
ntpd.  *sigh*

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          naddy at mips.inka.de

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