16.4. Setting Up chrony for Different Environments

16.4.1. Setting Up chrony for a System in an Isolated Network

For a network that is never connected to the Internet, one computer is selected to be the master timeserver. The other computers are either direct clients of the master, or clients of clients. On the master, the drift file must be manually set with the average rate of drift of the system clock. If the master is rebooted, it will obtain the time from surrounding systems and calculate an average to set its system clock. Thereafter it resumes applying adjustments based on the drift file. The drift file will be updated automatically when the settime command is used.
On the system selected to be the master, using a text editor running as root, edit the /etc/chrony.conf as follows:
driftfile /var/lib/chrony/drift
commandkey 1
keyfile /etc/chrony.keys
initstepslew 10 client1 client3 client6
local stratum 8
manual
allow 192.0.2.0
Where 192.0.2.0 is the network or subnet address from which the clients are allowed to connect.
On the systems selected to be direct clients of the master, using a text editor running as root, edit the /etc/chrony.conf as follows:
server master
driftfile /var/lib/chrony/drift
logdir /var/log/chrony
log measurements statistics tracking
keyfile /etc/chrony.keys
commandkey 24
local stratum 10
initstepslew 20 master
allow 192.0.2.123
Where 192.0.2.123 is the address of the master, and master is the host name of the master. Clients with this configuration will resynchronize the master if it restarts.
On the client systems which are not to be direct clients of the master, the /etc/chrony.conf file should be the same except that the local and allow directives should be omitted.
In an Isolated Network, you can also use the local directive that enables a local reference mode, which allows chronyd operating as an NTP server to appear synchronized to real time, even when it was never synchronized or the last update of the clock happened a long time ago.
To allow multiple servers in the network to use the same local configuration and to be synchronized to one another, without confusing clients that poll more than one server, use the orphan option of the local directive which enables the orphan mode. Each server needs to be configured to poll all other servers with local. This ensures that only the server with the smallest reference ID has the local reference active and other servers are synchronized to it. When the server fails, another one will take over.