Tipsheet: How to run NTP on F5 BigIP

If you feel you’ve added your ntp servers correctly via the GUI (System|Configuration|Device|NTP), and yet you get an output like this:

# ntpq -p

     remote           refid      st t when poll reach   delay   offset  jitter
==============================================================================
 ntp1.drj        .INIT.          16 -    - 1024    0    0.000    0.000   0.000
 ntp2.drj        .INIT.          16 -    - 1024    0    0.000    0.000   0.000

and you observe the time is off by seconds or even minutes, then you may have made the mistake I made. I used fully-qualified domain names (FQDN) for the ntp servers.

Switch from FQDNs to IP addresses and it will work fine:

# ntpq -p

     remote           refid      st t when poll reach   delay   offset  jitter
==============================================================================
*ntp1.drj         10.23.34.1     3 u  783 1024  377    0.951   -8.830   0.775
+ntp2.drj         10.23.35.1     3 u  120 1024  377   20.963   -8.051   5.705

The date command will now give the correct time.

Having correct time is useful for the logging, especially if you are using ASM and are trying to correlate known activity against the reported errors.

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