DIP questions: setup, timeout and cleanup DIP process

DIP questions: setup, timeout and cleanup DIP process

Post by Joel M. Hoffm » Wed, 25 Oct 1995 04:00:00

>  I am using DIP to connect to my slip account. I want to setup
>DIP as transparent as possible, say, I can invoke DIP whenever  a network
>program is launched. Then I would like to kill the DIP process whenever
>the connection has idle time more than some certain amount, say 10 minutes.
>  Since I have several users having cron jobs involving the DIP, I
>would like to let each user has the ability to kill the DIP process
>launched by others in the case of timeout is reached.

I did exactly this with "term," but with PPP it's a bit more
difficult.  The basic idea is to move all network programs to a
special directory (say /usr/local/network-bin), and then write a shell
script along the lines of:

  # run any network program -- call this ppp.any
  WHATAMI=`basename $0`
  if [ -f /etc/ppp.is.up]
    echo $0:  waiting for PPP connection....
  # end of ppp.any

Put ppp.any in /usr/local/network-bin, and then link ppp.any to each
real network program (e.g., "ln /usr/local/network-bin/ppp.any
/usr/bin/telnet").  You'll also have to write a script for
"bring-PPP-up," which probably invokes dip.  With this setup, when you
run, say, /usr/bin/netscape, you are really running the above script,
which checks to make sure the PPP link is up, and then runs the real

To bring the PPP link down after a certain delay, you need a watchdog
daemon that monitors the output of /proc/net/dev, specifially, the
ppp0 line.  Something like:

  #watchdog daemon for PPP.  Run this from bring-PPP-up

  TIMEOUT=540 # 9 minutes

  while : ; do
    sleep 60 # the maximum idle time is roughly $TIMEOUT + 60
    #get the current time
    NOW=`cut -f1 -d" " < /dev/uptime | cut -f1 -d.`
    #if no ppp stats have changed...
    if test "$LASTPPP" == "`grep ppp0 < /proc/net/dev`" ; then
      #...and $TIMEOUT minutes have passed, then:
      if test $[$NOW-$THEN] -gt $TIMEOUT ; then
        kill-ppp #write a script to do this
      #store the time and the ppp stats
      THEN=`grep ppp0 < /proc/net/dev`
      LASTPPP="`grep ppp0 < /proc/net/dev`"
  #end of watchdog daemon

One problem with this is that it only watches for PPP activity.  So if
you have a dozen xterms open on a remote host, with lots of
interesting things happening, but you leave for 10 minutes, you lose.
A second problem is that some programs are both local and network
programs, like "telnet."  You will need a "telnet" and a
"local-telnet," the latter just runs /usr/local/network-bin/telnet

The third problem is one of care of implementation.  You need to make
sure that you don't have two users trying to bring ppp up at the same
time, and you want to make sure that you don't have one person trying
to bring ppp up even as the daemon is killing ppp.  The way to do this
is via files such as /tmp/.ppp.is.coming.up, /tmp/.ppp.is.up, and so
forth.  To do this right is a bit tricky (see any book on concurrent
programming and semaphores), but to do it almost right is a piece of

Don't forget to write a script that restarts everything.  Sooner or
later, your modem connection will hang, so you'll want to make sure
you have a "kill-ppp-for-real" that not only over-rides bring-PPP-up
but also takes care of anything that might be wrong.  It should kill
pppd, reset the indicator files (ppp.is.up etc.), reset any
semaphores, and so on.  (And, if you're a stickler for details, don't
forget to make sure that no one can bring up ppp even as you're
killing it for real.)

Finally, it has come to my attention that my news reader, when I post,
sometimes mangles programs and mis-spells words that I have spelled
correctly.  You may have to adjust for that.... :-)


|_|~~ Germany, Europe. 1940's ``A DISTINGUISHED speaker said that we must put
__|~| 16 Million DEAD.          our children first.   We in Bosnia wonder  if
                                we have any children left. Seven* thousand
 cnc  Bosnia, Europe. 1990's    children  have been killed  in Bosnia in  the
 cnc  HOW MANY MORE?            last three  years.   Those living, some  with
                                gray hair and eyes and hearts of old men, are
``May the world you             hardly children any more.''
  live in be the world                             - H. Silajdzic
  of your dreams.'' - Debbie Friedman                Prime Minister of Bosnia


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Can anyone work with me? I've read through the manuals and tried all the
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Daniel A. Washburn


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