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Woman Blames Dell and Ubuntu For Missing Online School Classes

Another clueless woman has claimed that Dell computer and Ubuntu Linux have kept her from going back to school via online classes. According to a story - a woman bought a Dell computer and realized she ordered it with the Ubuntu Operating System rather than MS-Windows. She tried to change OS to Windows but Dell refused. Her Verizon High-Speed Internet CD won't load, so she can't access the internet. She also can't install Microsoft Word, which she says is a requirement for MATC's online classes. As a result, with no internet and no Microsoft Word, Schubert dropped out of MATC's fall and spring semesters. The full story is here including followup.

Now, I've no idea about Verizon's modem and DSL connection but most A/DSL provider modem (router) comes with an Ethernet port. There is no need to use wizard or CD based installer. Other software such as MS-Word can be replaced with OO (I submitted all my school work using OO office writer and no one even noticed the difference... ). Further both Verizon and MATC ready to help:

Verizon says it will dispatch a technician to try to assist her accessing the internet without using the Windows-only installation disk.

MATC also says it promises to accept any of Schubert's papers or class documents using whatever software she has installed.

So what is the problem here?

How do I synchronise my single Debian Linux desktop clock to network?

You will find lots of tutorials about how to setup NTP server. However if you just wanna synchronize single Linux desktop connected via A/DSL Internet connection use ntpdate command. It is very easy to configure and install ntp client. Following instructions are only compatible with Debian / Ubuntu Linux.

ntpdate client

ntpdate sets the local date and time by polling the Network Time Protocol (NTP) server(s) given as the server arguments to determine the correct time. It must be run as root on the local host. A number of samples are obtained from each of the servers specified and a subset of the NTP clock filter and selection algorithms are applied to select the best of these. Note that the accuracy and reliability of ntpdate depends on the number of servers, the number of polls each time it is run and the interval between runs.

Install ntpdate utility

ntpdate command sets the local date and time by polling the Network Time Protocol (NTP) server(s).

# apt-get install ntpdate

You are done by default /etc/default/ntpdate file is use to point pool.ntp.org server .

Allow access to NTP client via Iptables firewall

NTP client uses the udp port 123 to communicate with NTP server. Following rule opens/allows NTP client outgoing request:

# NTP outgoing client request
iptables -A output -p udp -s --sport 1024:65535 -d 0/0  --dport 123 -m state --state NEW,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
iptables -A input -p udp -s 0/0 --sport 123 -d  --dport 1024:65535 -m state --state ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT

Add above rules to your existing iptables script. Please note if you have more than 2-3 computers, then it is better idea to setup your own NTP server. I will write on ntpserver configuration later on.

For more information visit public ntp time server for everyone NTP pool website and read ntpdate man page.