Chapter 18. Configuring NTP Using the chrony Suite
NTPprotocol is implemented by a daemon running in user space.
chronyd, available from the repositories in the ntp and chrony packages respectively.
18.1. Introduction to the chrony Suite
- to synchronize the system clock with
- to synchronize the system clock with a reference clock, for example a GPS receiver,
- to synchronize the system clock with a manual time input,
- as an
NTPv4(RFC 5905)server or peer to provide a time service to other computers in the network.
chronyd, a daemon that runs in user space, and chronyc, a command line program which can be used to monitor the performance of
chronydand to change various operating parameters when it is running.
18.1.1. Differences Between ntpd and chronyd
chronydcan do better than
chronydcan work well in an environment where access to the time reference is intermittent, whereas
ntpdneeds regular polling of time reference to work well.
chronydcan perform well even when the network is congested for longer periods of time.
chronydcan usually synchronize the clock faster and with better accuracy.
chronydquickly adapts to sudden changes in the rate of the clock, for example, due to changes in the temperature of the crystal oscillator, whereas
ntpdmay need a long time to settle down again.
- In the default configuration,
chronydnever steps the time after the clock has been synchronized at system start, in order not to upset other running programs.
ntpdcan be configured to never step the time too, but it has to use a different means of adjusting the clock, which has some disadvantages including negative effect on accuracy of the clock.
chronydcan adjust the rate of the clock on a Linux system in a larger range, which allows it to operate even on machines with a broken or unstable clock. For example, on some virtual machines.
chronydis smaller, it uses less memory and it wakes up the CPU only when necessary, which is better for power saving.
chronydcan do that
chronydprovides support for isolated networks where the only method of time correction is manual entry. For example, by the administrator looking at a clock.
chronydcan examine the errors corrected at different updates to estimate the rate at which the computer gains or loses time, and use this estimate to adjust the computer clock subsequently.
chronydprovides support to work out the rate of gain or loss of the real-time clock, for example the clock that maintains the time when the computer is turned off. It can use this data when the system boots to set the system time using an adapted value of time taken from the real-time clock. These real-time clock facilities are currently only available on Linux systems.
chronydsupports hardware timestamping on Linux, which allows extremely accurate synchronization on local networks.
ntpdcan do that
ntpdsupports all operating modes from
NTPversion 4 (RFC 5905), including broadcast, multicast and manycast clients and servers. Note that the broadcast and multicast modes are, even with authentication, inherently less accurate and less secure than the ordinary server and client mode, and should generally be avoided.
ntpdsupports the Autokey protocol (RFC 5906) to authenticate servers with public-key cryptography. Note that the protocol has proven to be insecure and will be probably replaced with an implementation of the Network Time Security (NTS) specification.
ntpdincludes drivers for many reference clocks, whereas
chronydrelies on other programs, for example gpsd, to access the data from the reference clocks using shared memory (SHM) or Unix domain socket (SOCK).
18.1.2. Choosing Between NTP Daemons
Autokeyprotocol, can only be used with
chronyddoes not support this protocol. The
Autokeyprotocol has serious security issues, and thus using this protocol should be avoided. Instead of
Autokey, use authentication with symmetric keys, which is supported by both
ntpd. Chrony supports stronger hash functions like SHA256 and SHA512, while
ntpdcan use only MD5 and SHA1.