NTP is a networking protocol for clock synchronization between computer systems over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. In operation since before 1985, NTP is one of the oldest Internet protocols in current use.

NTP is intended to synchronize all participating computers to within a few milliseconds of UTC. It uses the intersection algorithm, a modified version of Marzullo’s algorithm, to select accurate time servers and is designed to mitigate the effects of variable network latency. NTP can usually maintain time to within tens of milliseconds over the public Internet, and can achieve better than one millisecond accuracy in local area networks under ideal conditions. Asymmetric routes and network congestion can cause errors of 100 ms or more.

The protocol is usually described in terms of a client-server model, but can as easily be used in peer-to-peer relationships where both peers consider the other to be a potential time source. Implementations send and receive timestamps using UDP on port number 123.

NTP supplies a warning of any impending leap second adjustment, but no information about local time zones or daylight saving time is transmitted.

The current protocol is version 4 (NTPv4), which is a proposed standard as documented in RFC 5905. It is backward compatible with version 3, specified in RFC 1305.


set system ntp server <address>

Configure one or more servers for synchronisation. Server name can be either an IP address or FQDN.

There are 3 default NTP server set. You are able to change them.

  • 0.pool.ntp.org

  • 1.pool.ntp.org

  • 2.pool.ntp.org

set system ntp server <address> <noselect | pool | preempt | prefer>

Configure one or more attributes to the given NTP server.

  • noselect marks the server as unused, except for display purposes. The server is discarded by the selection algorithm.

  • pool mobilizes persistent client mode association with a number of remote servers.

  • preempt a preemptable association is expendable.

  • prefer marks the server as preferred. All other things being equal, this host will be chosen for synchronization among a set of correctly operating hosts.

set system ntp listen-address <address>

NTP process will only listen on the specified IP address. You must specify the <address> and optionally the permitted clients. Multiple listen addresses can be configured.

set system ntp interface <interface>

NTP process will listen on the specified interface. Multiple listen interfaces can be configured.

set system ntp allow-clients address <address>

List of networks or client addresses permitted to contact this NTP server.

Multiple networks can be configured.

set system ntp vrf <name>

Specify name of the VRF instance.