I want to set up a server (hosted on aws/or a running system in some part of the world) as an NTP server that can be queried globally.

Currently, I have modified the ntp.conf file on the node to be made the server as server . But the problem is, on using an NTP client if I try to query time from this server, or rather on using sudo ntpdate it says no suitable server found.

However, if I replicate the same on my local network (the server, as well as the querying node, are all on the local network) then this works perfectly fine.

I think the problem might lie in the ntp.conf file. Do I need to put some specific restrict lines for this to work publically as well? And no I cannot list the server on public ntp pages. Is it at all possible?

  • 1
    Check your firewall. Jun 16, 2019 at 6:35
  • You were asked to provide some diagnostic output at askubuntu.com/q/1150187 (strikingly similar to John Mahowald's answer...). If you want further help, providing the output requested is important.
    – Paul Gear
    Jun 26, 2019 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


Start a packet capture. NTP protocol is simple on the wire, you can see if the packets were sent and got a response.

Add the server to ntp.conf, and restart ntpd when it is safe to do so. Run ntpq -p to see peer status, in particular reach.

The equivalent for chrony is chrony.conf and chronyc sources.

Do not use ntpdate. Requires a server argument even if you have configured ntp.conf, in other words you needed to do ntpdate ntp1.example.net. It is duplicated NTP code from forever ago, maintainers have been trying to get rid of it for at least 12 years.

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