Jiffy Script, Inc.


NetHund is a Perl program that checks the status of hosts on a network. It outputs two htmlized formats: pre-formatted and tabled. The program can be run normally or as a CGI script.


NetHund reads a configuration file (called "hostlist" by default) to get the names and addresses of the hosts and ports it should examine. As of version 0.96, the format of this file is as follows:

    handle:host name:IP Address:port:sub-routine:comments

    The name by which to identify the host.
    host name
    The fully-qualified domain name of the host.
    IP Address
    The IP address of the host.
    The port number or service name to be checked. The default is "ping," which simply sends ICMP ECHO packets to the host.
    A Perl subroutine NetHund should run against the host if the connection can be established.
    Any comments about the host.
For example, if we wish to check that the machine ftp.example.com is accepting ftp connections, we would create an entry like
    FTP host:ftp.example.com:unknown:ftp::the ftp server for example.com
In the above, we put "unknown" for the IP address because we only know the machine name, not the IP address. "unknown" is acceptable either as the hostname for the machine or for the IP address for the machine. If both the FQDN and the IP address are given, NetHund will use the IP address when checking a host.

When NetHund is run, it attempts to make a connection to port "port." If that is successful, NetHund will then attempt to execute the subroutine named in the subroutine field. The output of the subroutine is appended to the "comment" field for the host when NetHund makes its final output.

Configuring NetHund for use is not as simple as it should be. At present, one must edit the program and make changes to the variables listed in the section labeled "Configurable Variables." NetHund version 0.97 and up read "nethund.conf" for the configuration information, but the location of the "nethund.conf" file must still be set in the "Configurable Variables" section of the program.