[hobbit] multiple hobbit servers with different bb-hosts files: BBDISPLAYS troubles

Henrik Stoerner henrik at hswn.dk
Mon Aug 25 22:47:29 CEST 2008

In <200808131130.58245.stef.coene at docum.org> Stef Coene <stef.coene at docum.org> writes:

>I have (don't ask why) 2 hobbit servers.  Each hobbit servers reports all 
>information to the other.  So BBDISP= and BBDISPLAYS = "<hobbit A> 
><hobbit B>"

>But some clients are only listed in the bb-hosts of 1 of the 2 hobbit servers.  
>The client only reports to the hobbit server where they are listed in the 
>bb-hosts file.  I can see the incoming messages and I see the files under the 
>data directory.  But no status is displayed on the html pages.

>After comparing the 2 servers, I found that the first entry in BBDISPLAYS is 
>used by the html generator to check if the client exists in the bb-hosts 
>files.  If the client is not found, no status is displayed on the html pages.
>So, in my case, I had to make sure that the first entry in BBDISPLAYS is the 
>local hobbit server.  And of course, this wasn't and it took my 3 days to 
>figure out why the status was not displayed on my hobbit server.

>It's only the page generator that has this problem.  The network tests are 
>done, clients can send information, all files in the data directory are 

Your setup is a bit unusual, but there's nothing wrong in doing what you're
doing. The webpage generator just wasn't designed with this in mind. What 
happens is that the webpage generator contacts hobbitd to retrieve the list
of statuses to build the webpages, and it uses (surprise!) the BBDISPLAYS
setting to do that. But it only queries one of the servers - the first one,
as You've found out.

So your solution is really the easiest workaround for this behaviour. I 
think this should be documented. I've added this to the bbgen(1) man-page:

Note: The data for the webpages is retrieved from the
.I hobbitd(8)
daemon, and bbgen uses the values of the BBDISPLAY / BBDISPLAYS environment
variables to determine the network address where hobbitd can be reached. If
you have more than one server listed in BBDISPLAYS, make sure the first one
is the local hobbitd server - this is the one that bbgen will query for data.


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