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When I run ntpdate on its own, I get the following output:

8 Jun 15:47:46 ntpdate[31251]: no servers can be used, exiting

If I run it with the -q switch, it seems to query just fine.

I have been hunting through many files and the most relevant one I have found is /etc/default/ntpdate, however, even with NTPDATE_USE_CONF set to no, I just can't understand/see how this error is occurring

Any ideas?


It appears that ntpdate-debianworks fine and is the actual command that makes use of /etc/default/ntpdate, but this doesn't answer the main question and I still can't find it...

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Unresolved in: – david6 Jan 2 '13 at 2:09
up vote 20 down vote accepted

After mucking around for most of the day, I have come to the following conclusion:

ntpdate-debian is the version to use if you want to use a config script, and in that case, you would edit the /etc/default/ntupdate file.

ntpdate cannot be used without arguments nor does it have a config file. If you want to use this to update, you have to state the ntp server in an argument, such as ntpdate

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I have two days left to accept my own answer... If no one else replies, I will accept this, but will happily switch over if you have anything better to add! – wilhil Jun 8 '12 at 20:30

NTPDATE_USE_NTP_CONF refers to /etc/ntp.conf file as defined:

Set to "yes" to take the server list from /etc/ntp.conf, from package ntp, so you only have to keep it in one place.

Your error seems to be something temporary.

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I am getting that error all the time, and, the file /etc/ntp.conf doesn't exist - I have tried a few different configs with the same result – wilhil Jun 8 '12 at 15:09

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