I built ntpd from source, which process put it in /usr/local/sbin. Of course, the ntp service points to /usr/sbin. So, I thought I could just change the path in the init.d configuration file like this:

# Provides:        ntp
# Required-Start:  $network $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop:   $network $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start:   2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:
# Short-Description: Start NTP daemon


. /lib/lsb/init-functions


I changed the line starting with "DAEMON" to point to the location of the new binary. However, when I try to restart the service I get the error:

[ ok ] Stopping NTP server: ntpd.
[....] Starting NTP server: ntpd/usr/local/sbin/ntpd: The 'user' option has been disabled. -- built without --enable-clockctl or --enable-linuxcaps or --enable-solarisprivs
ntpd - NTP daemon program - Ver. 4.2.7p475
Usage:  ntpd [ -<flag> [<val>] | --<name>[{=| }<val>] ]... \
                [ <server1> ... <serverN> ]
Try 'ntpd --help' for more information.

How can I have the service run from /usr/local/sbin instead of /usr/sbin?

Solution (based on accepted answer):

Apparently when building on Linux you need to use the switch --enable-linuxcaps when building on Linux. Here are the steps necessary on Debian Wheezy:

cd ~/install/ntp-dev-4.2.7p475     # or wherever you have the source unpacked
make clean                         # clean out the previous build
sudo apt-get install libcap-dev    # this library is required by linuxcaps
./configure --enable-linuxcaps     # this is the critical switch
sudo make install
sudo /etc/init.d/ntp restart       # restart ntp
ntpq -c "rv 0 version"             # make sure you are running the right version

The only line you have change in /etc/init.d/ntp is the DAEMON line, as said above.

  • What distro are you running?
    – eyoung100
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


You've built ntpd without the --enable-linuxcaps option. Without this, ntpd won't recognise the user option -u.

Your options are:

  • Recompile with the correct option

  • Remove the -u $UGID from the NTPD_OPTS line in /etc/init.d/ntp

  • That worked. I updated the question. Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 19:35
  • Congrats on getting to 5k. Keep up the good work!
    – slm
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 13:25

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