Bug 113552 - [request] ntpd(8) driftfile default location inconsistently referenced
Summary: [request] ntpd(8) driftfile default location inconsistently referenced
Status: Closed FIXED
Alias: None
Product: Base System
Classification: Unclassified
Component: conf (show other bugs)
Version: 6.2-STABLE
Hardware: Any Any
: Normal Affects Only Me
Assignee: Ian Lepore
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-06-11 06:20 UTC by Mike Brown
Modified: 2021-05-31 17:34 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:


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Description Mike Brown 2007-06-11 06:20:18 UTC
The ntpd(8) man page says:
     /etc/ntp.conf   the default name of the configuration file
     /etc/ntp.drift  the default name of the drift file
     /etc/ntp.keys   the default name of the key file
(The pidfile isn't mentioned.)

/etc/defaults/rc.conf sets ntpd_config to "/etc/ntp.conf"
which is consistent with the man page, but it sets
ntpd_flags as follows:
    -d /var/db/ntpd.drift    (especially note the "ntpd")
    -p /var/run/ntpd.pid

Meanwhile, /etc/rc.d/ntpd at one point assumes that the driftfile is
/var/db/ntp.drift (no "d").  This assumption is apparently only made in
chroot situations but is wrong, regardless.

On top of that, it's quite common to specify driftfile, if not also
pidfile, in one's ntp.conf. This apparently overrides whatever is given
on the command line, but I don't know if it's safe to assume that it
always will.

The fact that the default driftfile and pidfile locations are confusing
was raised a couple years ago: 



Ideally, stop using the default driftfile name "ntpd.drift"; change
ntpd_flags to refer to ntp.drift.

Alternatively, leave the default driftfile as "ntpd.drift"; change
/etc/rc.d/ntpd to refer to ${name}.drift (perhaps) instead of ntp.drift.

In either case, update the FILES section of the ntpd(8) man page to refer
to the actual default.

Note that /etc/rc.d/ntpd still won't really be very smart about its
symlinking of the driftfile, since it could be overridden by ntpd_flags
or within the $ntpd_config file, so consider making that more robust,
or at least display a warning if the file isn't where it was assumed to be.
Comment 1 wolfgang 2015-05-21 22:46:25 UTC
Situation is still unchanged 8 years later. What I don't understand is why this PR is in status "In Progress" as nobody ever did anything with it according to the History of the PR.
Comment 2 Eitan Adler freebsd_committer freebsd_triage 2018-05-20 23:51:10 UTC
For bugs matching the following conditions:
- Status == In Progress
- Assignee == "bugs@FreeBSD.org"
- Last Modified Year <= 2017

- Set Status to "Open"
Comment 3 Ian Lepore freebsd_committer 2018-06-24 02:57:16 UTC
Unfortunately, the documentation situation is hard to fix. The manpage comes from ntp.org along with the source code, so any local changes we make are replaced on each ntpd update.

For rc.d/ntpd symlinking the wrong driftfile, I've proposed a fix in a phabricator review:

Comment 4 Ian Lepore freebsd_committer 2018-06-28 22:26:43 UTC
It turns out the fix in D15987 was inadequate/inappropriate.  The code cited in the original problem description as the major source of inconsistancy in the driftfile name turned out to be dead code that never gets run; it was left over from the original import of rc.d/ntpd from netbsd in 2002.  The code was used to set up ntpd to run in a chroot with reduced privileges on netbsd, using a device driver and modifications to libc that never existed in freebsd.

To address the chroot issue, the corresponding part of rc.d/ntpd is rewritten to use privilege mechanisms supported by freebsd, see https://reviews.freebsd.org/D16050
Comment 5 commit-hook freebsd_committer 2018-07-20 13:59:54 UTC
A commit references this bug:

Author: ian
Date: Fri Jul 20 13:59:30 UTC 2018
New revision: 336547
URL: https://svnweb.freebsd.org/changeset/base/336547

  Automatically run ntpd as non-root when possible.

  Ntpd needs only a subset of full root privileges to do its job. Specifically
  it needs the ability to manipulate system time, and to re-bind to a
  privileged UDP port after interface changes. The mac_ntpd(4) policy module
  (see r336525) can grant these privs.

  These changes detect the availability of mac_ntpd(4). If enabled, and if the
  ntpd configuration is fairly vanilla, it automatically runs ntpd as the
  non-root user 'ntpd' (uid 123). "Vanilla" means the config doesn't include
  command line or ntp.conf options changing the location of files or using any
  files/dirs likely to be inaccessible to user ntpd.  Ntpd can still run as
  non-root when using such options, but the admin must ensure all required
  files and dirs are accessible, and then set ntpd_user=ntpd in rc.conf.

  Note that these changes also address PR 199127 by using the command_args
  technique suggested in the patch. They also tangentially address PR 113552,
  which is primarily about inconsistent filenames in documentation, but some
  of the inconsistancy was caused by old code in rc.d/ntpd which is leftover
  from the intial import from netbsd. There was code to do chroot setup which
  required the use of the netbsd clockctl(4) device; that code never had any
  effect on freebsd, because we lack that device and don't build ntpd with the
  options that would allow using it.

  PR:		113552 199127
  Relnotes:	yes
  Differential Revision:	https://reviews.freebsd.org/D16050

Comment 6 Oleksandr Tymoshenko freebsd_committer freebsd_triage 2019-01-19 19:29:27 UTC
Ian, can this PR be closed now? Looks like it's fixed in HEAD.
Comment 7 Mark Linimon freebsd_committer freebsd_triage 2021-05-31 17:34:15 UTC
^Triage: apparently overcome by events.