Provided by: rwhod_0.17-12_amd64 bug

NAME

     rwhod — system status server

SYNOPSIS

     rwhod [-bpaf] [-i <if>...] [-u user]

DESCRIPTION

     Rwhod is the server which maintains the database used by the rwho(1) and ruptime(1)
     programs.  Its operation is predicated on the ability to broadcast messages on a network.

     Rwhod operates as both a producer and consumer of status information.  As a producer of
     information it periodically queries the state of the system and constructs status messages
     which are broadcast on a network.  As a consumer of information, it listens for other rwhod
     servers' status messages, validating them, then recording them in a collection of files
     located in the directory /var/spool/rwho.

     The server transmits and receives messages at the port indicated in the ``rwho'' service
     specification; see services(5).

     The messages sent and received, are of the form:

           struct  outmp {
                   char    out_line[8];            /* tty name */
                   char    out_name[8];            /* user id */
                   long    out_time;               /* time on */
           };

           struct  whod {
                   char    wd_vers;
                   char    wd_type;
                   char    wd_fill[2];
                   int     wd_sendtime;
                   int     wd_recvtime;
                   char    wd_hostname[32];
                   int     wd_loadav[3];
                   int     wd_boottime;
                   struct  whoent {
                           struct  outmp we_utmp;
                           int     we_idle;
                   } wd_we[1024 / sizeof (struct whoent)];
           };

     All fields are converted to network byte order prior to transmission.  The load averages are
     as calculated by the w(1) program, and represent load averages over the 5, 10, and 15 minute
     intervals prior to a server's transmission; they are multiplied by 100 for representation in
     an integer.  The host name included is that returned by the gethostname(2) system call, with
     any trailing domain name omitted.  The array at the end of the message contains information
     about the users logged in to the sending machine.  This information includes the contents of
     the utmp(5) entry for each non-idle terminal line and a value indicating the time in seconds
     since a character was last received on the terminal line.

     Messages received by the rwho server are discarded unless they originated at an rwho
     server's port.  In addition, if the host's name, as specified in the message, contains any
     unprintable ASCII characters, the message is discarded.  Valid messages received by rwhod
     are placed in files named whod.hostname in the directory /var/spool/rwho.  These files
     contain only the most recent message, in the format described above.

     Status messages are generated approximately once every 3 minutes.  Rwhod recomputes the
     system boot time every 30 minutes because on some (non-Linux) systems it is not a totally
     reliable process.

FLAGS

     If the -b flag is supplied, only broadcast interfaces, such as ethernets, will be used.  If
     the -p flag is supplied, only point-to-point interfaces will be used. If the -a flag is
     supplied, or no flags are supplied, all interfaces will be used.

     Alternately, you may specify interfaces by name by providing one or more -i options followed
     by the interface name.

     If the -u flag is supplied, rwhod will run as the specified user instead of as rwhod. The
     initial user until the daemon drops privileges is root.

     Rwhod can also forward packets between interfaces if started with -f. Please read the
     CAVEATS section before enabling rwhod forwarding.

CAVEATS

     While rwhod listens on any interface present on the host, it will only send (or forward) to
     the interfaces determined by the -a -b -p -i flags.

     When operating in forwarding mode (with -f ), rwhod forwards all correct rwhod packets
     received on an interface to all the other interfaces. You can create a broadcast storm if
     there is a loop in your network and all the routers in the loop run in forwarding mode. To
     prevent this from happenning, rwhod will shut down forwarding (and log the event to the
     syslog) if more than one rwhod packet is forwarded per second on average over the last three
     minutes. If this happens, you must break the loop of forwarding routers.

SEE ALSO

     rwho(1), ruptime(1)

BUGS

     Some kind of proxying feature might be useful if your router doesn't run rwhod.

     People often interpret the server dying or network communication failures as a machine going
     down.

     Rwhod doesn't refresh its interface list, which might be useful when using -a -b -p.

HISTORY

     The rwhod command appeared in 4.2BSD.

     Philippe Troin <phil@fifi.org> implemented forwarding and interface selection flags.