Installing and using NTP server on CentOS8

Install NTP Server on CentOS8

In this article, we will review network time protocol (NTP) installation and configuration on a CentOS8 or RHEL8 operating system. As part of this process, we will focus on both the server-side and client-side setups for NTP.

Table of Contents


Although chronyd has replaced ntpd as the default time service on RHEL8 and CentOS8 systems, there may be environments that still require an ntpd configuration–which is what this article deals with. However, if you haven’t already, look into migrating to chrony as it is the preferred and default standard in the latest versions of RHEL and CentOS.

Install NTP Server on CentOS8: Step-by-Step

Here’s a step-by-step process for installing, configuring, and using NTP on a CentOS 8 machine.

Step 1: Install the NTP package

					$ sudo dnf install ntp

Once the installation is complete, start and enable the NTP service to ensure that it starts automatically on system boot.

					$ sudo systemctl start ntpd
$ sudo systemctl enable ntpd

Step 2: Verify that the NTP service is running

					$ sudo systemctl status ntpd

If the service is not running, check the NTP configuration file located at /etc/ntp.conf. By default, it should contain the following server lines:

					server iburst 
server iburst 
server iburst 
server iburst

If you want to use different NTP servers, replace the default servers with your own::


Step 3: Restart the NTP service to apply the changes

					$ sudo systemctl restart ntpd

Verify that the NTP service is synchronized with the configured NTP servers using the ntpq command:

					$ ntpq -p

The output should list the NTP servers that are currently being used, along with their reachability, delay, offset, and jitter values:

					remote              refid      st  t when poll reach delay  offset jitter 
==============================================================================   3   u 734  1024 377   1.234  -0.123 0.456   2   u 804  1024 377   1.345   0.123 0.567

Once the NTP service is running and synchronized with the configured servers, you can use the date command to check the system time:

					$ date

If the system time is incorrect, you can manually synchronize it with the NTP servers using the ntpdate command:

					$ sudo ntpdate

Alternatively, you can configure the system to automatically synchronize the time with the NTP servers by adding the following line to the /etc/crontab file:

					*/15 * * * * root /usr/sbin/ntpdate > /dev/null 2>&1

This will synchronize the system time with the NTP server every 15 minutes.


That’s it! Now your CentOS 8 machine is configured to use NTP for accurate time synchronization. Was this article helpful to you? If so, leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you!

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