Introduction to time synchronization


Maciek Machnikowski


Nuts and Bolts

Session Type




Now that we learned about the theoretical side of PTP on the previous NetDev - let’s get more practical!

Every year the demand for precise time synchronization grows. From 5G to data centers - everyone wants to get down from milliseconds to microseconds and beyond.

This tutorial introduces the practical side of time synchronization in Linux. It goes over the tools in the linuxptp, chrony, and other helpful software that makes the deployment of time synchronization easy and convenient.

It will start with a basic Leader-Follower setup, show the easiest way to bring it up, and introduce different profiles and where to use them.

Then it will show how to deploy the basic GNSS-synchronized grandmaster setup that anyone can build at home to start experimenting with time synchronization.

The talk will cover common pitfalls when deploying follower clocks (like mixing link speeds that could result in an undetectable clock skew) along the way.

It will also show how to use PTP as a time source for the local NTP server using chrony to show how existing NTP deployments can benefit from the much more precise PTP.

In the end - it will also go over the latest improvement that enables monitoring of a working PTP service.