In the early 1980s the Internet was very young, and it didn’t have many services running on it. David L. Mills, Ph.D. decided to tackle the problem of distributing “time” on the Internet. By the spring of 1981 he had written the software and specification for the first clock service on the Internet, and by the fall of 1985 he had refined this effort into the first specification and publication of the Network Time Protocol (NTP), with the NTP Version 1 code written by Dennis Ferguson. The NTP Version 3 code was mostly written by Lars H. Mathiesen. Over these many years, a growing number of people have contributed a tremendous amount of effort and attention to this surprisingly intricate and complicated problem. To this day, the NTP Project continues to work on both the development of the Protocol Standard that is used to communicate time between systems, and the software reference implementation of that Standard. The software and protocol specifications produced by the NTP Project keep the clocks right on tens of millions of computers around the world.
Join and participate in Network Time Foundation’s NTP Consortium — Support the ongoing development with a membership or donation to the NTP Project!
If you have a question about the protocol or operations on NTP, please ask the community via our mailing list: questions (at) lists (dot) ntp (dot) org.
Network Time Security (NTS)
Read more about NTS which will be integrated into NTP to improve its security and replace autokey.