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spong-ack - Spong acknowledgment tool


spong-ack [--debug] [--batch] host services time [message]

spong-ack [--debug] --delete ack-id


When a spong event occurs (or will occur), you can use this tool to acknowledge that you know that there is a problem. You can provide text that will be seen by others looking at the event (via a spong display program). You can specify at time limit that the problem will occur. If a problem has been acknowledged, you will no longer received notifications of the problem, and the display programs will show the status of the service as "blue".


Print debugging statements. This option can be specified while creating or deleting acks.
Print the ack-id instead of the normal output. The primary use of this parameter is for scripts. An ack can be created when a job that runs causes a service to temporarily exceed it's normally limits, or if a service is taken down for an unknown or irregular length of time.
Delete a previously created ack.

Here is a description of the arguments for creating acks:

The host having the problem(s) you are acknowledging.
The service or services (separated by ".") or all services that your are acknowledging.
The that the acknowledgement will late. This can be an offset "+1h, +3a,d +1w" or an absolute date and/or time indicator "12/25/1997 14:00:00. The date needs to be a 4 digit year, and the time needs to be in 24 hour format.
An optional message that will appear to those viewing the state of the host with a spong display program. If the value is "-", then the message will read from STDIN.

Here is a description of the arguments for deleting acks:

The acknowledgment id to delete. The id can be obtained by using the --batch parameter when creating the acknowledgment, or by using the the spong manpage command with the --brief and --ack parameters.


Configuration Files

spong-cleanup reads the standard spong.conf and spong.conf.<host> configuration files.

Configuration Variables

The host that at least the the spong-server entry elsewhere in this document and the spong-message entry elsewhere in this document programs are running on. Typically the the spong-network entry elsewhere in this document program runs on that host as well.
This variable defines the port that the the spong-server entry elsewhere in this document update process listens on. If this variable is not defined on the $SPONGSERVER host, the the spong-server entry elsewhere in this document update process will not be started. The default value is 1998.


SPONGHOME/etc/spong.conf, SPONGHOME/etc/spong.conf.<host>


   spong-ack all '05/27/2000 06:00:00' 'Server is being upgraded'

   spong-ack http +1h 'Web server is randomly dying. Investigating.'
In a shell script:

  ACKID=`spong-ack --batch $HOST cpu +8h 'Database exports are running'`
  # Database exports are done here
  spong-ack --delete $ACKID


Perl v5.005_03 or greater is required.


No know bugs.


the spong-server entry elsewhere in this document, the spong.conf manpage, the developer-guide entry elsewhere in this document


Stephen L Johnson <>


Based on code/ideas from Sean MacGuire (BB), and Helen Harrison (Pong). Ed Hill original converted Big Brother ( into Perl which diverged from Big Brother to become Spong. Ed Hill continued Spong development until version 2.1. Stephen L Johnson took over development in October, 1999 with his changes which became Spong 2.5.

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