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Some sort of time travel: Leap second smearing

1 min read

Hello time travelers,

the most difficult moments for clocks are the leap seconds. Additional to leap years we also have seconds that are injected into our time system from time to time (pun intended :P). This weeks paper looks into the evolution of the leap second smearing in NTP and informs you how this leap seconds are handled in NTP.


The NTP network is an important part of the Internet’s infrastructure, and one of the most challenging times for the NTP network is around leap seconds. In this paper we look at the behavior of public servers in the NTP network in 2005 and over the period from 2008 to present, focusing on leap seconds.We review the evolution of the NTP reference implementation with respect to leap seconds and show how the behavior of the network has changed since 2005. Our results show that although the network’s performance has certain problems, these seem to be reducing over time.

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With much love,

Simon Frey