setting up ntpd, I find that its default location for the drift file is /etc/ntp.drift.
Right, and that is probably the best location, too.
In a way it is part of the configuration an may well belong in /etc, on the other hand I'd rather just have files in /etc which _I_ modify.
At one point (15 years ago :-), some people used to modify the contents of ntp.drift by hand.
This was for machines which were not connected to a network; by keeping track of the system time drift against an external time reference source over the course of a few weeks, one could compute the right value for ntp.drift and then run ntpd to correct that drift.
I would expect the content of ntpd.drift to vary over time,
ntp.drift normally converges and stabilizes after a while (a few days to a few weeks), unless the hardware clock is bad.
and somehow I would have expected it to belong in the /var part of the hierarchy, but 'man hier' does not offer any serious evidence (should it be
Hmm. Well, ntpd predates the notion of /var, but you could put the drift file under there if you wanted to. I think keeping DNS zone files under /var/named makes a lot more sense than under /etc/named, for instance, but I wouldn't move ntp.drift out of /etc myself.
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