the djb way


serving time

The clockspeed package also provides a set of basic client/server utilities, allowing you to set up your own master time server to synchronize the clocks of all hosts running on a local network.

Note that we will set up this master time server properly with the daemontools utilities as described in the clockspeed service daemons section later on. For now we will illustrate the basics of manual operation.

For your time server, first get its clock calibrated with a running clockspeed installation as described in marking time. Then simply run the taiclockd utility as a background process:

# taiclockd &

Behold! An instant timeserver, responding to TAICLOCK protocol requests on UDP port 4014.

For the examples that follow, we will assume this server has been assigned an IP address of

Client hosts on the network can now be set up to query this time server by using the taiclock utility. Note that taiclock is analogous to the sntpclock utility, only used when querying a TAICLOCK server.

Set up the client computer with a clockspeed installation. Now everywhere sntpclock is used in the marking time procedure, just substitute taiclock. For example, rather than using an external NTP server, synchronize the client with the master time server now running on your own network:

# taiclock | clockadd

Calibrate the attoseconds for a running clockspeed daemon on the client with:

# taiclock > /usr/local/clockspeed/adjust

As on the master server, repeat this calibration step periodically.

Within no time at all, all the hosts on your network will be keeping perfect time, ticking together in happy synchronicity.

Copyright © 2002, 2003, Wayne Marshall.
All rights reserved.

Last edit 2003.12.31, wcm.