Tester please?

Joel Newkirk freerunner at newkirk.us
Thu Aug 21 07:38:18 CEST 2008

I've packaged up the dnscache and daemontools programs by Dan J Bernstein
(djbdns) and would like someone to test the ipk for me.  I've got the full
thing installed on my Freerunner now, including unnecessary files and
additional files used for testing and unused services, so installing the
package on my Freerunner would really only be a valid test if I reflashed

daemontools is simply a daemon/service management system, and dnscache is
the caching-only DNS server binary from the djbdns package.  (which
includes full DNS server, email RBL blackhole server, client and testing
tools, etc)  The effect of having them installed and running on the
Freerunner is that any DNS lookups (like the tangoGPS lookup for every
single map tile downloaded!!) are cached locally, so that repeat lookups
are nearly instant - a big difference when using GPRS in particular.  It
starts several tasks, which normally consume about 1% of RAM and 0% of CPU,
and about 300k on disk.  I've been running it on 2008.08 (regularly 'opkg
update'd) for a week now with no ill effects, only benefits.  (well, apart
from having to putz with /etc/resolv.conf frequently, which I've overcome
personally but not yet in the ipk)

I'm hoping someone can try to install it and let me know if all works well.
 There are a few things as yet incomplete:  if uninstalled, the package
removes the files, folders, and created user, but doesn't presently remove
the startup line from /etc/inittab.  Also, it's currently up to the user to
cause their /etc/resolv.conf to always read 'nameserver' - more
properly the installation should short-circuit ifup and so on so that they
do not overwrite resolv.conf.  I'm working out the best approach for that
right now.  (again it works on my Freerunner, but I want it simpler and
more 'proper')  It would be easier if all Freerunner networking utilized

So the package is NOT ready for public consumption, though the programs it
installs work as expected on my system.  It is presently configured largely
as it would be on a server in a network center, with modified paths,
including logging all queries. (though logging is severely limited, I plan
to eliminate it entirely for final release ipk)

Any takers can download the ipk at
http://newkirk.us/om/dnscache_2.1.5_armv4t.ipk and let me know of any
problems encountered.  

NOTE: the installer does modify /etc/inittab, by adding the line
at the end, and it does NOT yet remove that line when uninstalled.  

Once installed, make sure you have a working internet connection from the
Freerunner, then check "cat /etc/resolv.conf" and invoke "echo 'nameserver' >/etc/resolv.conf", then try hitting a FQDN, like "ping
google.com" and see if it resolves the IP from the FQDN.

If you remove it you will need to manually remove the svcscanboot
startup/respawn line from /etc/inittab, then reboot, then uninstall. 
(polish on the install/uninstall scripts will eliminate the need for that
when released, but for now uninstall just uninstalls and removes created
folders, links, and user 'dnscache')

Separately, I had a query:  Since this is technically two programs, from
two separate packages of sourcecode, should it be distributed as two ipks? 
dnscache depends on daemontools, and packaging separately would be pretty
simple, but I don't presently see the usefulness.


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