I can’t find from where I leaned this "trick", but if you look at the stock RH 5.6 startup script for ntpd you'll see it: If you put an IP address (not hostname but numeric address) in the file /etc/ntp/step-tickers, the startup script takes that to mean the following: "Run ntpdate against the server(s) in /etc/ntp/step-tickers before you establish yourself as ntp client". I point it at my very same ntp server (just by address, name resolution isn't necessarily up yet). This way the local clock gets "normalised" before it really tries to properly sync via ntpd and that subsequent time sync isn't problematic.
More importantly, in one datacenter I have clusters serving GFS2 which take so long to establish client-server with the NTP servers that they'll startup inquorate almost every time _without_ doing this.
US Cellular/Kforce Inc
e. Nicholas Geovanis uscellular com