NTP on Debian reporting 95 years in the future – Part 1

Here’s one for the “I’d pull out my hair if I had some” files…

I have a wee SBC (a Pine A64+) I’m porting NEMS to, and everything was sweet for a day… working fine, all looks good. So I left it running.

Next day, while the system clock shows the correct date and time, the UTC and Local time are off by 95 years!

[email protected]:/home/nemsadmin# systemctl status ntp
● ntp.service - LSB: Start NTP daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/ntp; generated; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (exited) since Sun 2113-08-27 20:46:11 EDT; 1min 37s ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
  Process: 1823 ExecStop=/etc/init.d/ntp stop (code=exited, status=0/SUCCE
  Process: 1834 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/ntp start (code=exited, status=0/SUC
    Tasks: 0 (limit: 4915)
   CGroup: /system.slice/ntp.service

Aug 27 20:46:16 nems ntpd[1844]: Soliciting pool server 209.115.181.102
Aug 27 20:46:17 nems ntpd[1844]: Soliciting pool server 144.217.245.233
Aug 27 20:46:17 nems ntpd[1844]: Soliciting pool server 209.115.181.107
Aug 27 20:46:18 nems ntpd[1844]: Soliciting pool server 198.100.148.213
Aug 27 20:46:18 nems ntpd[1844]: Soliciting pool server 2607:4100:2:ff::2
Aug 27 20:46:22 nems ntpd[1844]: step-systime: Invalid argument
Aug 27 20:46:22 nems ntpd[1844]: receive: Unexpected origin timestamp 0x91
Aug 27 20:46:22 nems ntpd[1844]: receive: Unexpected origin timestamp 0x91
Aug 27 20:46:22 nems ntpd[1844]: receive: Unexpected origin timestamp 0x91
Aug 27 20:46:22 nems ntpd[1844]: receive: Unexpected origin timestamp 0x91

[email protected]:/home/nemsadmin# timedatectl status
      Local time: Sun 2113-08-27 20:47:55 EDT
  Universal time: Mon 2113-08-28 00:47:55 UTC
        RTC time: Thu 2018-07-05 14:20:36
       Time zone: America/New_York (EDT, -0400)
 Network time on: yes
NTP synchronized: no
 RTC in local TZ: no

[email protected]:/home/nemsadmin# ntpdate -d 0.debian.pool.ntp.org | sed -n '$s/.*offset //p'
1292443255.246538 sec

Now, I admit, it’s nice seeing a NEMS server that’s been up for that long 😛 but it’s very curious.

Logging into NEMS Linux, I find another oddity…Apparently my last login was in 1977.

Here is a picture of how that might have looked:

I’m pretty confident that my little Pine A64+ has more power and capacity than the supercomputer shown. Chances are good it also cost a bit less.

So it’s time to start digging… where did NTP get this ridiculous 1292443255.246538 second offset from, and why? And how to correct it?

What’s next? Read Part 2:

NTP on Debian reporting 95 years in the future – Part 2: The Time Traveler

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