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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Projects
how about a configuration reporting tool
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2007, 12:49    Post subject:  how about a configuration reporting tool  

I was thinking about Dougal's hardware reporting dotpup and wondering how useful something a bit more joined up would be.

I envisaged:
cataloging all the hardware on a machine
also configuration stuff such as partition information.
generating a report
showing it to the user (this is important so that they know what they are submitting)
automatic uploading to a webserver
webserver stores in a database

It could ask users to input their murga-linux username or an email address so that they could be contacted in the future to conduct particular tests.

I realise that such a system would never get integrated into puppy as compulsory, if at all. Having a completely automated tool that made life easy for users would keep data in a standard format. Eventually it might work as a tool for providing support as well. ie:

download the report tool
run it
give the report id on the forum
this might avoid some of the backwards and forwards of asking questions though this might be a bad thing as it would cut out some of the teaching that goes on

Any suggestions/extensions?

Bad/Good Idea?
Would you submit data to it?
Would you search the results?

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Last edited by HairyWill on Tue 12 Jun 2007, 04:52; edited 1 time in total
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2007, 17:02    Post subject:  

First blush answers:

1 - Neither - it's excellent!
2 - Yes.
3 - Yes.

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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 11782
Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Mon 11 Jun 2007, 18:05    Post subject:  

Like Alienjeff
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gdemonta


Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 190
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun 2007, 03:48    Post subject:  

I woud certainly send data to it, itseems important to me to have a database which allows to know the setup of an average puppy user.
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Gekko


Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 445
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

PostPosted: Tue 12 Jun 2007, 04:34    Post subject:  

I'd take part in it, but wouldn't want to be the one who is put up to code it. I wash my hands of it Smile
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 05:35    Post subject:  

Gekko wrote:
I'd take part in it, but wouldn't want to be the one who is put up to code it. I wash my hands of it Smile
The reason I suggested it was that I was happy to create and host it myself as a contribution to the community. I have done a fair bit of programing using jsp/webservices/mysql and have enough understanding to create the infrastructure. In this case I would use php because hosting is cheaper. My php experience is small but jsp is a very similar paradigm.

180 views and 4 comments so the general response seems less than enthusiastic. I can think of two possible reasons:
1) Its not a very good idea and would have only a small benefit to the community.
2) Nobody wanted to imply that they would get involved in creating it.

I'm considering what information to collect. The start of this list is inspired by xproc advanced

dmesg
lsmod
export
ps
(not sure what the command is that displays the libraries)
(not sure how I should call setserial)
ifconfig -a (should blank IP addresses here though probably not masks)
probepart
probdisk
elspci -l
cat /proc/bus/usb/devices
find /sys/devices/ -name specifier_id -exec cat {} \; (gets ids for connected firewire devices)
fdisk -l
parted /dev/hdx print (for every dev found by probedisk, I am cautious that parted might block waiting for user input if /dev/hdx isn't valid
ls /proc
cat /proc/devices
cat /proc/cpu/info
cat /proc/iomem
free
df -k
mount
cat /etc/puppyversion
cat /etc/rc.d/PUPSTATE
ls -l
find /usr -name X -ls (to work out which Xserver is set to run)
cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
(where does Xvesa store its config)


Any additional requests?

I will probably background some of these calls so that if they block they can't hang the program.

I anticipate that the web interface will ask for a reference number and then display a number of tabs to access related chunks of the log.

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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 11782
Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 06:49    Post subject:  

HairyWill, don't be disappointed.
I think people come here to have their little problems solved and then go away. They are not interested in following the ongoings of the product as such.

Now if you expected reaction from what I call the 'heavy baritons', I can understand your disappointment.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10927
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 10:32    Post subject: Re: how about a configuration reporting tool  

HairyWill wrote:
...I envisaged:
cataloging all the hardware on a machine
also configuration stuff such as partition information.
generating a report
showing it to the user (this is important so that they know what they are submitting)
automatic uploading to a webserver

It seems to me that a small bootable utility something like your idea might also make several other ideas work:
    1.) Puppy a la carte, where only the appropriate kernel, modules, drivers, applications, libraries and so forth are downloaded to make a Puppy iso that is customized for your computer. (I know this idea has been discussed several times in the forum but I can't find an example at the moment. Sad )
    2.) Netbooting Puppy from the internet.
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Greystar

Joined: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 18 Jun 2007, 19:05    Post subject:  

It is an excellent idea ......Especially the specific Hardware testing idea. It just seems to me some of the "problems" people have with puppy seem just that mostly a particular hardware problem not software problem per say.

I would pass along info this way.

just one question i'm not sure on ....is this a program with in puppy or a website that scans your computer.(i only ask due to you mention dougals hardware pup and then php)
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun 2007, 03:29    Post subject:  

@Beem
I'm not disappointed. Just doing requirements analysis.
Not all ideas are good.
It will be a lot of work.
I can't force anyone to use it.
It would be useful as a support tool but I am much more interested in building a database of installed hardware/configuration. This second use will only work if it gets a significant number of reports.

@Flash/Greystar
I'm not suggesting another puppy spin-off, just a program to file a configuration log to a special website.

I want to make it easier to help newbies with their problems.

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Béèm


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 11782
Location: Brussels IBM Thinkpad R40, 256MB, 20GB, WiFi ipw2100. Frugal Lin'N'Win

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun 2007, 03:44    Post subject:  

If you have the time, I would say, go for it, but I still would seek coöperation of the developers, so that your efforts aren't in vain.
That database idea is certainly interesting and thus a reporting should be the base. This reporting tool should be included in every Puppy release, so that people giving support can request to 'push' that button to have the base information of the installation. Indeed often some posts are needed first to get the correct hw/sw info to be able to continue the diagnosis.

As for me I will use the concept.

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Dougal


Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 2505
Location: Hell more grotesque than any medieval woodcut

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun 2007, 07:58    Post subject:  

HairyWill wrote:
It will be a lot of work.


That can be avoided...

My HW-test contains most of the test you want and I can put make something out of it in no time.

All that leavs you is the part of uploading the results -- which you could possibly change to make it easier to set up (maybe open a browser window to the right URL, then let the user do the upload? maybe open one of the other apps for uploading -- FTP maybe?).

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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10927
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun 2007, 10:12    Post subject:  

HairyWill wrote:
@Flash/Greystar
I'm not suggesting another puppy spin-off, just a program to file a configuration log to a special website.

I want to make it easier to help newbies with their problems.

I know, Hairy. I just wanted to mention that it looked to me like the idea could have other uses. Smile
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HairyWill


Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 2949
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun 2007, 11:13    Post subject:  

@Dougal
You are right it doesn't have to be a lot of work.
The program on puppy is relatively straight forward, including the integrated web posting of the log.
Implementating a basic log viewer on the website also isn't too difficult. I will start with this goal in mind, making sure I record enough data to allow the stuff below.

The clever stuff would be being able to parse the log and populate a database and also providing a web interface to the data in the database. The parsing could be done offline so at least I wouldn't have to code all of that in php.

This would allow you to do things like search by pci id and find users with a certain piece of hardware that might be able to test some code or provide an example configuration for someone with a problem.

You could even use it to make users aware of new drivers or functionality for their hardware.

Of course these notifications would need to have some notion of opt-in permission attached to them.

@Flash
I realised this morning that a number of the support requests concern no X working server or no network connectivity. I am thinking about these problems and may allow a default basic CLI interface that would include an option to save the log to disk or USB to allow it to be posted from another machine or rebooting into an OS with working network.

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Gekko


Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 445
Location: Sydney, New South Wales

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun 2007, 03:09    Post subject: Re: how about a configuration reporting tool  

Flash wrote:
1.) Puppy a la carte, where only the appropriate kernel, modules, drivers, applications, libraries and so forth are downloaded to make a Puppy iso that is customized for your computer. (I know this idea has been discussed several times in the forum but I can't find an example at the moment. Sad )

This is one major advantage if I got my slackware repo set up, you could simply get a 20mb iso with the kernel in it and slapt-get, or if you fear slapt-get, a larger iso with just JWM and gslapt Smile
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