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[gpsd-dev] Updated docs on NTP segment management

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: [gpsd-dev] Updated docs on NTP segment management
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:49:34 -0500 (EST)

Gary and other NTP experts:

I have attempted to update the big comment on NTP egment management in
ntpshm.c for the change that gpsd now allocates two segments for each
device it can drive, rather than a fixed set of 4. Of course this is
only relevant if more than two devices are attached.

I am not certain of the assertions I am making about NTP here, as
its documentation of this feature is scanty and I have to go by memories
of mailing-list traffic. Please chrck against your knowledge and correct.

/* Note: you can start gpsd as non-root, and have it work with ntpd.
 * However, it will then only use the ntpshm segments 2 3, and higher.
 * Ntpd always runs as root (to be able to control the system clock).
 * Its rules for the creation of ntpshm segments are:
 * Segments 0 and 1: permissions 0600, i.e. other programs can only
 *                   read and write as root.
 * Segments 2, 3, and higher: 
 *                   permissions 0666, i.e. other programs can read
 *                   and write as any user.  I.e.: if ntpd has been
 *                   configured to use these segments, any
 *                   unprivileged user is allowed to provide data
 *                   for synchronisation.
 * By default ntpd creates only 4 segments.  It can be configured to
 * create up to 217.  gpsd creates two segments for each device it can
 * drive; by default this is 8 segments for 4 devices,but can be higher
 * if it was compiled with a larger value of MAX_DEVICES. 
 * Started as root, gpsd does as ntpd when attaching (creating) the
 * segments.  In contrast to ntpd, which only attaches (creates)
 * configured segments, gpsd creates all segments.  Thus a gpsd will
 * bve default create two segments 4 and 5 that an ntpd with default
 * configuration does not watch.
 * Started as non-root, gpsd will only attach (create) segments 2-n with
 * permissions 0666.  As the permissions are for any user, the creator
 * does not matter.
 * For each GPS module gpsd controls, it will use the attached ntpshm
 * segments in pairs (for coarse clock and pps source, respectively)
 * starting from the first found segments.  I.e. started as root, one
 * GPS will deliver data on segments 0 and 1, and as non-root data
 * will be delivered on segments 2 and higher.
 * Segments are allocated to activated devices on a first-come-first-served
 * basis. A device's segment is deallocated when the device is closed and
 * may be re-used by devices connected later.
 * To debug, try looking at the live segments this way
 *  ipcs -m
 * results  should look like this:
 * ------ Shared Memory Segments --------
 *  key        shmid      owner      perms      bytes      nattch     status
 *  0x4e545030 0          root       700        96         2
 *  0x4e545031 32769      root       700        96         2
 *  0x4e545032 163842     root       666        96         1
 *  0x4e545033 196611     root       666        96         1
 *  0x4e545034 253555     root       666        96         1
 *  0x4e545035 367311     root       666        96         1
 * For a bit more data try this:
 *  cat /proc/sysvipc/shm
 * If gpsd can not open the segments be sure you are not running SELinux
 * or apparmor.
 * if you see the shared segments (keys 1314148400 -- 1314148405), and
 * no gpsd or ntpd is running then try removing them like this:
 * ipcrm  -M 0x4e545030
 * ipcrm  -M 0x4e545031
 * ipcrm  -M 0x4e545032
 * ipcrm  -M 0x4e545033
 * ipcrm  -M 0x4e545034
 * ipcrm  -M 0x4e545035

                <a href="";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

It is the assumption of this book that a work of art is a gift, not a
commodity.  Or, to state the modern case with more precision, that works of
art exist simultaneously in two "economies," a market economy and a gift
economy.  Only one of these is essential, however: a work of art can survive
without the market, but where there is no gift there is no art.
        -- Lewis Hyde, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property

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