Ubuntu 10.10 SBS (Small Business Server) Setup: Part 2 – NTP

This is part of a guide to setting up an Ubuntu server for a small/medium business. The server will provide DHCP, DNS, LDAP, Kerberos and NFS services such that users can login to any machine on the network and all their files and settings will be the same across the entire network.

Your server will automatically request the time from the Ubuntu NTP servers on every boot… but hopefully you’re not going to reboot it very often. It is useful for the server time to be correct when debugging and it is ESSENTIAL for the server and all the clients on the network to have the same time (+-5mins by default) for Kerberos to work.

Fortunately, this is a very easy thing to configure on Ubuntu. Simply install ntpd with:

sudo apt-get install ntp

As previously mentioned, by default ntp.ubunut.com will be used. However you can change this by editing /etc/ntp.conf:

server ntp.ubuntu.com
server uk.pool.ntp.org

Using ntp.org’s pool system will return random servers from your location. You can see a complete list of the pools (or even the individual servers) here: http://support.ntp.org/bin/view/Servers/NTPPoolServers

Try to chose a pool near you geographically for the best results.