[Samba] Re: Time server

Malcolm Baldridge google at paypc.com
Wed Apr 28 00:26:42 GMT 2004

> This will not automatically work against Samba, as we mimic NT4, which
> didn't know about NTP.  
> But you can manually configure the NTP server on the client, and run an
> NTP server on your PDC if you wish. 

The Microsoft time services are substandard and do not implement a full NTP
time management protocol.  It's best to leave that to a real implementation
like the xntpd-4 (or equivalent commercialised NT/2000 products built on
similar technology).

If you want to use the W32Time services, use them as clients.  The default
(under 2000) is to resync the time periodically in increasing intervals,
settling in at about 3 syncs/day, I believe.

Simple recipe to configure Windows servers to use it:

net stop w32time
net time /setsntp: dns-name-of-real-ntp-server (or it's ip#)
w32time -s (hit Control-C if it doesn't return after 4 or 5 seconds)
w32time -s
(yes, sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get the time locked down)
net start w32time

Then make sure in the Services control panel that the Windows Time Service
is configured to auto-start.  Thereafter, it will resync every 45 minutes
until the error is under 1 second, and then resync every 8 hours from that
point forward.  No clock-skew adjustments or other time conditioning is
attempted, unlike a real NTP implementation.

The MS W32time service seems to only care about one-second accuracy.  Be
aware of this if you "chain" time services as this jitter will accumulate.


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