Nikolas Britton wrote:

On 8/2/06, Alex Zbyslaw <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:


But the question then goes back to: can you make any kind of count out
of cvsup servers?  Someone already said they thought you couldn't.

At the end of the day, I think that unique IP address is as close as
it's possible to get to host count.  It will undercount NATed hosts and
networks with single cvsup/portsnap distribution points, and will
overcount variable IP addresses.  The latter, I think matters the least
as long as you do your stats over a short enough period (e.g. 1 month).
That wouldn't overcount much and deliberate faking would be hard and
limited (how many IP addresses can one faker get access to?).


The problem with cvsup (I use cvsup.) is the error margin. The closer
we get to release dates the more I use cvsup, It's a side effect of
running -STABLE. anyways... back to the fakers...

Lets think about the usage patterns of a "typical" faker vs NAT:

Faker:
* All from one IP address.
* Sequential requests.
* Scripted, so each request should be timed perfectly with the one
before and the one after it.
* Thousands of requests.

NATed Boxes:
* All from one IP address.
* Parallel requests.
* Not scripted, requests should be more random.
* Hundreds of requests?

But if what you are counting is IP addresses then you faker has achieved nothing. You're not counting connections, but IP addresses. Yes, you undercount NATed and yes you undercount when distribution points are used, but I don't see any easy way to fake, at least not on the scale of a URL. Yes, if you happen to have 200 IP addresses, you could probably assign each in turn to your BSD box and cvsup, but this seems less likely to me, and is inherently limited.

Sometimes I cvsup three times a day - in which case all are likely to come from same IP. Sometimes I cvsup once a month or less, in which case looking at statistics only over the last month will tend to flatten any effect from variable IPs.

It's far from perfect, but unless you want each installation to have its own license number and a "GenuineFreeBSD" program which enforces unique license numbers somehow, I don't think there is a perfect answer. I'm guessing no-one in their right might does want this kind of enforcement ;-)

--Alex


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