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spong - character based Spong client interface program


spong [--summary [hostlist] | --problems [hostlist] | --history [hostlist] | --host host | --services host | --stats host
                           | --config host | --info host | --service host:service ] [--brief | --standard | --full ]


The spong program interfaces with the spong-server to display the collected information; in text format. The spong program does not have all of the functionality of the web-based interface. It's designed to be used from character based consoles. The spong program doesn't not have to load onto the same machine that spong-server is running on. You load this program onto any machine. It is a good ideal to load this onto machines, when possible, to allow the administrator of the machine to query the spong-server when alert of received.

When run with any parameters, spong will display a table that lists the hosts and services. All of the displays are text based with the legends at the top.


--summary [HOSTLIST]
Summarize the status of hosts, in HOSTLIST, in a table that lists the hosts and services, and the current status is a single letter with the meaning defined in the legend at the top of the display. If HOSTLIST if not specified all hosts defined in spong.hosts are displayed.
--problems [HOSTLIST]
Shows a summary of all the problems (services that are red) for the all the hosts in <HOSTLIST>. If HOSTLIST is not specified, all hosts defined in spong.hosts are displayed.
--history [HOSTLIST]
Show history information for the the list of hosts in HOSTLIST. If HOSTLIST is not specified, all hosts defined in spong.hosts are displayed.
--host HOST
Shows all information available for the given HOST
--services host
Shows detailed service information for the given HOST.
--stats HOST
Show statistical information for the given HOST. (Not currently implemented.)
--config HOST
Shows configuration information for the given HOST. (Not currently implemented.)
--info HOST
Shows admin supplied text for the given HOST.
--service HOST:SERVICE
Shows detailed information for the given HOST/SERVICE.
Display output in a brief format.
Display output in standard format (the default)
Display the maximum amount of information possible.


Configuration Files

By default the the spong.conf manpage file is read on startup. It defines some specific variable that you probably don't need to override.

After reading the configuration file, then reads the spong.conf.[host] file where [host] is the host name of the machine that you are running on. Since these configuration files are just standard perl code that gets imported, the variables that you define in the host specific config file will take precedence over the standard configuration settings.

Configuration Variables

Here are a list of variables in the spong.conf file that are applicable to the spong-server program:

The make of the server that spong-server is running on.
The port number that spong-server listens at for database queries.


Configuration file. This contains variables that detail spong and OS specific definitions used by spong-server.


Perl v5.005_03 or greater is required.


The --stats, --config, and --info parameters are currently not implemented in the spong-server. When specified they will just generate a blank HTML page.


the spong.hosts manpage, the spong.conf manpage  the Spong Home Page


Ed Hill <>, Unix System Administrator, The University of Iowa

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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