Browse Prior Art Database

Time server (RFC0738)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003785D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Oct-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 1 page(s) / 2K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

K. Harrenstien: AUTHOR

Abstract

This note describes the Time Server protocol, as currently implemented on ITS hosts (i.e. MIT-(AI/ML/MC/DMS)). The idea is to provide a site-independent, machine readable date and time in as efficient and swift a manner as possible; its motivation arises from the fact that not all systems have a date/time clock, and all are subject to occasional human or machine error. The use of time-servers makes it possible to quickly confirm or correct a system's idea of the time, by making a brief poll of several independent sites on the network.

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NWG/RFC# 738 KLH 31 Oct 77 42218

Network Working Group K. Harrenstien

Request for Comments: 738 SRI-KL

NIC: 42218 31 October 1977

Time Server

This note describes the Time Server protocol, as currently implemented

on ITS hosts (i.e. MIT-(AI/ML/MC/DMS)). The idea is to provide a

site-independent, machine readable date and time in as efficient and

swift a manner as possible; its motivation arises from the fact that not

all systems have a date/time clock, and all are subject to occasional

human or machine error. The use of time-servers makes it possible to

quickly confirm or correct a system's idea of the time, by making a

brief poll of several independent sites on the network.

In particular the network time server works as follows:

S: Listen on socket 37 (45 octal).

U: Connect to socket 37 [not ICP].

S: Send the time as a 32 bit binary number.

U: Close the connection.

S: Close the connection.

Note that this is not a normal ICP sequence. Rather, instead of sending

a 32-bit socket number to reconnect to, the server returns a 32-bit time

value and closes the connection. If the server is unable to determine

the time at its site, it should either refuse the connection or close it

without sending anything.

The time is the number of seconds since 0000 (midnight) 1 January 1900

GMT, such that the time 1 is 12:00:01 am on 1 January 1900 GMT; this

base will serve until the year 2036. As a further example, the most

recent leap year as of this writing began from the time 2,398,291,200

which corresponds to 0000 1 Jan 1976 GMT.

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