User Freebsd wrote:

On Mon, 31 Jul 2006, Svein Halvor Halvorsen wrote:

Colin Percival wrote:

There are still a lot of people (particularly on pre-6.0 systems) who
are using CVSup rather than portsnap for updating their ports trees.


Also, I would guess that some people who run multiple FreeBSD systems,
use some sort of local propagation of either the entire ports tree, or
locally compiled packages.

I work as a sysadmin at the students computer lab at the mathematics
department at the Norwegian university of science and technology, and we
take this approach. Not that the maths department is a large one, but we
have fifty-some workstations and a couple of servers running FreeBSD.
Only one or two of which would show up in the portsnap stats.


Ya, that is the part that throws the #s out completely ... its those 'ghost machines' that would be nice to see counted somehow ...

How about something as innoculous as:

fetch http://statsserver.domain/aliveping.php?version=`uname -mr`&hostname=`hostname`

run as part of periodic daily ... ? uname -mr would have to be properly formatted for a URL, but that would give a distinct IP / hostname for indexing, and OS version, take neglible bandwidth to run, and, I believe, doesn't give out any *sensitive* information ...

Then have a daily_statistics_enable="YES" in /etc/defaults/perodic.conf, so that ppl can opt out of it ...

But this will then only count from the first version(s) of FreeBSD which contain the periodic job. Then every machine running an earlier release would be a ghost.

I think the bottom line I see is that whatever you do, you cannot count everything. *If* some kind of counting could be done *now* using portsnap and cvsup servers that are amenable, then you reasonably quickly start getting some kind of count.

The some kind of optional periodic job can also be rolled out and many months down the line it would start to produce potentially more reliable (i.e. higher :-)) figures, assuming ppl were amenable to running it. But if you have to wait for 6.3 or 7.0 or whatever, and then wait for the majority to adopt it, that's longer than I think you want to wait for some kind of answer.

--Alex


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