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Re: Intent to package BigBrother network monitor

> 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.

Offensively restrictive, IMHO. Apparently he restricted the distribution
because some people were repackaging it and calling it theirs, but that's no
reason for the new wording. 

In fact, the policy bothered me so much, that even though we have an installed
base of BigBrother I'm phasing it out in favor of PIKT.

> - 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)?

I run it as a user, with no problems.

Running it at bootup as somebody non root requires some game playing. I use

> - 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 ?)

I believe so, but I really (reallyreallyreallyreally) wish there was some sort
of config option I could place this information in /etc where the install
scripts could move the files. I invariably compile my own apache, to have 
everything in one place (/usr/local/apache) instead of all spread around. 
This also means I end up having to move /var/www stuff after installs.

In fact though this would probably be done best (in Apache at least) as an
Alias, but that requires modification of configuration files. 

> - 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.

the bbclient.sh script will package up the subset of files needed for a
client. The only restriction being that the machine which makes the package
has to be the same system type as the master.

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