Requests for new features for version 5 of NTP

This page compiles possible features for a new version of NTP that are currently not available with NTPv4.


  1. Stronger modularity regarding the different building blocks (on-wire protocol / measurement collection & evaluation / clock disciplining)
    • Would enable better tailoring to specific use-cases, for example those where only a single time source is desired and all the selection and weighing algorithms of NTP are superfluous
  1. Clearer specification work, specifically a specification that is a ground-up design rather than a description of a historically grown programming effort.
    • Would reduce complexity and counteract issues such as hard-coded outdated values or parts of the protocol that are "untouchable" because nobody knows how to remove or change them

Enhancements to the on-wire-protocol

  1. Security
    • Security treatment (or abandonment) of Broadcast mode
      • Would close a security hole
    • Tracking levels of security (accuracy) per association
      • Would enable informed decisions of the measurement collection & evaluation module
    • Definition of minimal „core“ vs. „extension(s)“
      • Would reduce complexity and enable nice features such as two-step time transfer
    • Integrated system to manage Extension Fields
      • Would enable the use of arbitrarily many/large extensions and facilitate future-proofing
    • Fixing MAC/better symmetric authentication

2: Feature parity with PTP

3: Worst-case error bounds ala TrueTime?

  • Useful for distributed transactions

4: Bindings to both UDP+security and QUIC transports

Last modified 22 months ago Last modified on 06/04/20 16:18:17