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 Forum index » House Training » Bugs ( Submit bugs )
Is ROX-Filer spying on you? NOT! [SOLVED]
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4229
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 02:35    Post subject:  Is ROX-Filer spying on you? NOT! [SOLVED]
Subject description: Look at your modem lights while launching a ROX pane or panel...
 

Hello, all.

I thought I'd report on a stange behaviour from ROX-Filer. And perhaps exchange notes, if you've experienced the same.

My ISP was down for 3 days and as you can see I am back online. So this is not my focus here. That situation simply allowed me to observe the following:

1) All the time the line was down, I noticed that calling any ROX-Filer function took from 8 to 13 seconds to complete, no matter which Puppy I was using (my "dogs" were dpup 4.85 or Lupu 5.25 retro).

2) Now that the ISP service is back up, everytime I call a ROX-Filer pan or panel, the lights of my cable modem wiggle, even if I am not using the line -- such as for browsing or for downloading.

Any thoughts? Obviously, the infamous "legal" spying by Windows ME comes to mind. Would ROX-Filer be monitoring your use of it? The directory where the ROX-Filer parameters reside is called "rox.sourceforge.net": is that a not so subtle announcement of what it is doing?

It's a bit scary, but for the time being I consider it strange only. I won't jump to any conclusion until further validation by other Puppy forum members.

The question is : why would a Linux file manager that is not known for its FTP capacity -- and not needing any, really -- 1) send some signal to your modem and 2) be so slowed down by the absence of an Internet connection?

Thanks in advance for any input or insight.

Best.

musher0

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"Logical entities must not be multiplied needlessly." / "Il ne faut pas multiplier les êtres logiques inutilement." (Ockham)

Last edited by musher0 on Fri 15 Feb 2013, 13:14; edited 2 times in total
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amigo

Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 2221

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 03:06    Post subject:  

This has been discussed before -not as having to do with spying, etc., but as rox taling a long time to start. It happens because of its attempts to resolve HOSTNAME. In the case of the newer rox used by puppy, it may be trying to check if it is up-to-date (because of zero-install elements). The rox.sourceforge.net is not really relevant -that's its freedesktop.org domain name under ~/.config
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2407
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 03:59    Post subject:  

I seem to recall this thread here:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=70427
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 04:11    Post subject:  

Amigo, I trust that musher0 would get what you say
but I am not that intelligent. so if you don't mind
can you suggest something to do or test?

Should I pull the Wan cable and then look at
some log or what.

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not an ideal solution though
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4229
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 15:00    Post subject:  

@all: thanks for the link and comments.

@amigo:
I love the way you concluded the thread mentioned above:
> "BTW, I don't think anyone ever explained why the hostname would make rox slow. It's because rox can transparently handle NFS-mounts (and maybe other network mounts) -FWIW."

Ah, simple logic is a beautiful thing, isn't ?! Smile

You, I understand. I'll have to give my linguistically-biased mind some rest before I try to follow gcmartin's and other tekkies meanderings and roadmap to a solution. Phew...

At least now I know it's not dangerous. Just very annoying : 13 seconds for a file manager panel to show up in Puppy if you're not on line? Wow! Add "patience" to your c.v.!

BFN.

musher0

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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4229
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 15:08    Post subject:  

nooby wrote:
Amigo, I trust that musher0 would get what you say
but I am not that intelligent. (...)


Thanks for the compliment, nooby, but don't overestimate the power of my little grey cells. As Dostoievsky predicted about me Smile : " I am just intelligent enough to know that I am not intelligent enough..." (hehe)

BFN.

musher0

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"Logical entities must not be multiplied needlessly." / "Il ne faut pas multiplier les êtres logiques inutilement." (Ockham)
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8909
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 15:30    Post subject:  

I have run lots of Puppies that did NOT have a network connection and ROX worked fine.

In situations like this, my first test would be to boot off a Live CD in safe mode and see if I can reproduce the problem.

What happens if you just unplug your network connection?
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4229
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 17:08    Post subject:  

@rcrsn51 :
lupu 5.25-retro, cable unplugged, not rebooted : no delay in ROX-Filer operations. Repluggied, ROX creates no problem either.

m0

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npierce

Joined: 28 Dec 2009
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 17:21    Post subject:  

musher0,

Something may have changed in one of these configuration files. What output do you get from these commands:
Code:
cat /etc/hostname
cat /etc/host.conf
cat /etc/hosts
hostname

ROX-Filer sometimes needs to get the hostname, for various reasons, such as determining if it is being run from a remote X server. To do this it calls a couple of GNU C library functions: gethostname() and gethostbyname().

It gets the hostname that was set when booting by calling gethostname(), but since that name may not contain the domain (i.e., the hostname might not be a "fully qualified domain name"), ROX-Filer passes that name in a call to gethostbyname() in hopes of getting a name which also contains the domain name, and so should be unique. (That way it can distinguish host1.mydomain.com from host1.yourdomain.com.)

By default in the Puppies I have seen, no fully qualified domain name is configured. This doesn't matter as long as you are not using ROX-Filer on a remote PC, or, if you are, the remote PC has a different hostname (e.g., one PC is puppypc1234 and the other is puppypc4321).

When booting, the hostname is set to the value in /etc/hostname. If nothing has changed it, the value in /etc/hostname should be the same as the output from the hostname command. The latter is the value that ROX-Filer gets when calling gethostname(), and is the value it passes to gethostbyname().

The first line of /etc/host.conf in the Puppies I've seen is:
Code:
order hosts, bind

This determines where to look, and in what order, when trying to resolve a hostname. In this case it says to first look in /etc/hosts, then ask the nameservers (as defined in /etc/resolv.conf).

[EDIT: CORRECTION: Whoops, the above paragraph is wrong. Actually this order is now determined by the /etc/nsswitch file. I experimented with that line in /etc/host.conf by swapping the order, but the behavior did not change. It turns out that that line in /etc/host.conf is a relic from a previous century. I don't know about other lines in that file, but the GNU C Library has replaced the order line in /etc/host.conf with the hosts: line in /etc/nsswitch.conf. This is what that line looks like in Racy 5.2.2 (and currently in Woof):
Code:
hosts:          files dns

This is equivalent to the old order line shown above. It says to first look in /etc/hosts, then ask the nameservers.]

So if the hostname is found in /etc/hosts, there is no need to talk to the nameserver. But if the hostname is not found, a nameserver will be consulted, and your network LED will blink.

If your hostname is not in /etc/hosts, you can fix this by simply adding your hostname to the end of the line in /etc/hosts that contains "127.0.0.1 localhost". Alternatively, you could change /etc/hostname to match the name currently in /etc/hosts then reboot. (Instead of rebooting, you could run "hostname -F /etc/hostname", but I'm not sure how that would affect applications that are currently running, so rebooting may be safer.)

Last edited by npierce on Sat 02 Feb 2013, 00:14; edited 1 time in total
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2407
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 20:35    Post subject:  

musher0 wrote:
@rcrsn51 :
lupu 5.25-retro, cable unplugged, not rebooted : no delay in ROX-Filer operations. Repluggied, ROX creates no problem either.

If you turn off the router do you still have the same 'delay' symptom as originally?
(I guess what I am asking is whether the delay problem occurs when you are NOT connected to the router, or if it occurs when you ARE connected to the router but the router is NOT connected to the internet).
.
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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4229
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 21:11    Post subject:  

npierce said:
>If your hostname is not in /etc/hosts, you can fix this by simply adding your hostname to the end of the line in /etc/hosts that contains "127.0.0.1 localhost". Alternatively, you could change /etc/hostname to match the name currently in /etc/hosts then reboot. (Instead of rebooting, you could run "hostname -F /etc/hostname", but I'm not sure how that would affect applications that are currently running, so rebooting may be safer.)

I think I got it. I'm using the hosts file from http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm.
And there is not mention of a "puppypc" anywhere (obviously, that hosts file is developed for / on windows).

I'll restore "puppypc" at the end of the "127.0.0.1 localhost" line and see what happens.

Many thanks.

m0

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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4229
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb 2013, 21:20    Post subject:  

@npierce and all:
Correct form seems to be:
Code:
127.0.0.1  localhost
127.0.0.1  puppypc

The above allows normal behaviour /operations of ROX, and no signal is sent to the modem (the lights don't flash at all).

Code:
127.0.0.1  localhost puppypc
, on the same line, interferes with ROX bar behaviour. If on, the ROX bar refuses to shut down through a script (but it shuts down the usual way); if the ROX bar is off, it flashes on screen but doesn't stay / stick. Regular file manager panels pop up correctly though, with that line.

Sincere thanks to all. If there are no more comments in the next little while (say, a couple of days), I'll mark the thread as "SOLVED".

m0

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npierce

Joined: 28 Dec 2009
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Sat 02 Feb 2013, 00:36    Post subject:  

Hi musher0,

You're welcome.

It is odd that the single line form of listing your host in /etc/hosts would interfere with your ROX-Filer panels, but as long as you have got it working, great.

Note that I have made a correction to my previous post regarding /etc/host.conf -- although in your case this was apparently not an issue.
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