An eye on the clock

Recently I was trying to make sane a system clock that, for some reason, suddenly slowed down to a crawl. I started to fiddle with adjtimex, and I needed a way to verify the reaction of the clock itself, and ntpd’s. On one window, I had a watch ntpq -c pe -c as running. On another, there was an ntpdate -q in a loop. In a third one, I wanted to monitor the changes in frequency (set by ntpd) and ticks (set by me). I found this one-liner pretty useful:

# while true ; do adjtimex -p | perl -alne '/frequency/ and $f=sprintf("%3.2f%%",100*$F[1]/32768000) ; /tick/ and $t=$F[1]-10000 ; END { print scalar(localtime),"\tf=$f\tt=$t" }' ; sleep 30 ; done

This snippet assumes that the frequency tolerance of the clock is 32768000, and that the normal value for ticks is 10000. Check the output of adjtimex -p and the man page to verify this fits your system, too.

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