LJ Archive

Focus on Software

David A. Bandel

Issue #63, July 1999

netsaint, UdmSearch, phpgen and more.

Last month, I had just installed Caldera's OpenLinux Beta 2.2 and was having problems with ssh. Following the suggestions of Stephan Seyboth (sseyboth@linuxland.de) and Erik Ratcliffe (erik@caldera.com), I finally got a working ssh. Stephan suggested I add -D_GNU_SOURCE to the top-level Makefile, and Erik suggested I comment out any offending HAVE_SYMBOLS in the config.h file. The define Stephan suggested is not a silver bullet, but it did make a difference in some cases.

I also ended up commenting out HAVE_UTMPX in the sshconfig.h, and ssh compiled fine. I am now running egcs, which is a bit different from gcc. Apparently, OpenLinux is much happier being told it is working with GNU source. OpenLinux uses glibc-2.1, and utmpx exists in glibc-2.1. However, somewhere between glibc-2.1, egcs and ssh, this symbol just isn't recognized (or not handled properly) during the build.

This month's packages were all compiled and installed on Caldera 2.2. I haven't seen Red Hat 6.0 yet, but I will guess it will have egcs, glibc-2.1 and a 2.2.x kernel. So, Red Hat users will likely see the same things I have. Since these applications were built on my system, they will most likely build on Red Hat, the new Slackware system when it is released, SuSE and Debian. I no longer offer any assurances about packages compiling on glibc-2.0.7 systems, since I no longer test them on that system.


netsaint is a network monitoring tool that can monitor network services and notify administrators of problems via e-mail or page. Unlike the “Big Brother” package (http://maclawran.ca/bb-dnld/), netsaint doesn't require any client-side installations. Initial installation and configuration can be difficult and would be enhanced by a web configuration tool. Once installed, you can review (but not change) the configuration from a web browser. The current status is also monitored from the web browser. It requires glibc, Apache (or another web server) and a (preferably graphical) frames-capable web browser.


UdmSearch is a web indexing tool that uses MySQL to store words and references found on web pages. It is extremely easy to configure and use. Searches are quite fast, and common words to exclude can easily be added to the package's list. It is also simple to embed the search function into your own pages. The search function can use either php3 or a CGI program (both included). Some preliminary results from large sites suggest that, once indexed, this search tool offers a faster search engine for a large web site than most native web sites have. It requires MySQL, Apache with php3 compiled with MySQL support, glibc, libm, libnsl, mysqlclient and a web browser.


phpgen looks like a good start toward automating the creation of php web pages. Since much of this type of code is repetitive and subject to error, phpgen could be a welcome addition to your toolkit. It could use a few more instructions on the web page where creation takes place, and maybe a few more Themefiles, but the code is usable. It requires MySQL, Apache with php3 compiled with MySQL support and a web browser.


stamos (some things about my operating system) will display certain statistics about your system, including OS version, RAM, load average, bogomips, uptime (requires uptimed) and hard drive usage. When run, stamos creates a web page with this information nicely formatted. This Perl script reads uptimed and some /proc files. It could easily be extended to provide more information, and optimally, a way for root to change some of the proc files via the web interface. It requires uptimed and Perl 5.


quicklist is a working, finished-looking start on a list maker. You can concoct address books or phone lists and quickly be entering data. The lists are saved as ASCII text files. Standard quicklist format is backslash-separated data. You can also specify tab-separated, comma-separated or HTML format for the file. The only annoying thing I noticed was that the file extension used the abbreviated “.htm” rather than the standard “.html”. Quicklist also had trouble reading an .html file it wrote, although other file types could be read just fine. A number of options remain to be completed, but this package looks very promising. It requires gtk+-1.2 (including gdk and glib), dl, Xext, X11, libm and glibc.


In the beginning was ssh, and ssh took care of secure TELNET and FTP sessions. Now we have stunnel, which is meant to complement ssh. The stunnel program does not do TELNET or FTP, but it does permit secure communications with SMTP servers, POP servers and others. Note that the home page and FTP site are located in Poland, so there is no hassle with US ITAR laws. When you build stunnel, you can build it with either the ssleay library or the openssl library. If you want stunnel to read your hosts.allow file, you can also build it with libwrap, the tcp wrappers library. It requires glibc, nsl, pthread, ssleay or openssl, and optionally, libwrap.

David A. Bandel (dbandel@ix.netcom.com) is a Computer Network Consultant specializing in Linux. When he's not working, he can be found hacking his own system or enjoying the view of Seattle from an airplane.

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