We were setting up a check to ensure our time servers were pointed correctly from the firewall, but the standard time query was taking six seconds for each check. With four time servers that’s nearly thirty seconds to make a simple “are you there” sort of check. We didn’t want to do a simple ping test since this would not ensure the machine queried was in fact an actual time server.
After some digging and testing we found that if we limited the packets to a single packet the test was instantaneous. So we added the -p argument and called it good. (In our case we were not concerned with checking the time status but rather only the status of the server as an available time server.)
This is the basics of the command:
## time ntpdate -qp ip.or.host.name ##
And that’s about it. Very much faster with the p in the mix.