I am a newbie, so please bear with me.

I have a network of around 10 computers for which I want to synchronize their time up to millisecond precision. The computers do not have Internet connection. The number of computes that is on the network varies from time to time. It is therefore not possible to set up one computer as an NTP server.

I understand that NTP has the option to synchronize time between peers, I believe it's called symmetric synchronization. My idea is to apply this such that the time is synchronized to an average time of the computers on the network. If a computer would shut down the remaining computers would do the averaging. Another approach would be setting a server dynamically depending on the number of computers on the network.

So far I have tried the first approach with 2 computers by modifying the ntp.conf file in Ubuntu as follows:

peer 192.168.1.x

where one computers points to the other. This doesn't work and I am stuck with this.

How could I solve this problem? Is there another protocol that would work better?


Some managed switches and routers can actually be used as NTP time servers that might be worth exploring if you don't have a server running 24x7.

If you don't have an internet connection the best method is to get an external time source that sets time from a Radio Clock or GPS. Some searching will find dedicated devices in various price ranges or do a little bit of DIY with a Raspberry Pi.

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