Intent to package BigBrother network monitor
I intent to package BigBrother, which is a system and network monitor which
tests various services (basic connectivity, DNS server, Web server, etc) and
produces nice Web pages which can be displayed to check at a glance that the
network runs well. The reference server is <http://MacLawran.ca/bb-dnld/>.
The licence is very restrictive. It does not even authorize redistribution
(you need a special clearance). I'm discussing it with the author. He will
probably grant the clearance for the Debian project (FreeSD already has one).
Once the distribution clearance is granted, the package will be put in
non-free because the author does not want to accept commercial use gratis.
Technically, I had the following problems (the package is almost ready):
- BigBrother typically runs as root. It seems dangerous to me (the BigBrother
daemon listens on the network, port 1984 of course) and I would like to run it
as another user. It works fine as nobody, except for the log files which it
tries to read. Is there a predefined user which can read log files (i.e. is a
member of adm)? It doesn't seem so. Should/can I create one in postinst? Or
register a predefined user (see the FSP/qmail discussion)?
- BigBrother typically runs under the name "bb". I intent to name the package
that way. Is it too short or not enough descriptive for someone?
- BigBrother produces pages for the Web server. But I cannot hard code the
place where it puts Web files since there is no Debian standard? (Is /var/www
for every HTTP daemon or just for Apache ?)
- BigBrother can be a manager (watching the network) or an agent (gathering
information on *one* machine, to be queried by the manager later). But it is
the same programs, there is only a difference in the configuration file. So I
have to make one package, which depends on dnsutils (because BigBrother
manager uses it) even if the agents do not need it.