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Re: Updater Proposal
From: David Fifield <david () bamsoftware com>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 08:26:52 -0700

On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 11:01:32AM +0200, Marek Lukaszuk wrote:
On Wed, May 18, 2011 at 22:08, olli hauer <ohauer () gmx de> wrote:

If you are looking at bsdiff from Colin Percival, then maybe also look
into the concept of the FreeBSD patch system. I think with some
work you can rewrite the scripts to update the binaries and nse scripts.

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/freebsd-update-server/article.html
http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/cvsweb.cgi/projects/freebsd-update-server/

I suspect the *BSD users prefer the update by source system. To limit
traffic it may be a good idea to provide a .tgz file without the mswin32
sources which are not really usefull on this platforms

All the discussion so far, as I can see (sorry if I missed anything)
is about how to make sure that the whole update process is secure, but
I didn't see any discussion on the performance on the update servers
that this could have. Currently there is a lot of nmap users out there
and when they all start to run the version of nmap that will support
autoupdates/upgrades the amount of the traffic generated could be
significant. Maybe a thought of a different transport mechanism to
spread the load of the updates - torrent for example or something
similar.
Just an idea to think about.

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm glad this topic has provoked some
discussion and I know that Colin is paying attention to your ideas.

I've asked Colin not to worry about things like binary diffs and the
size of updates for the time being. Those are big topics on their own
and I fear that optimizing for them too early will hinder the
development of something that works. I think our priorities should be
first safety, then performance.

This may mean downloading a subset of the available files (but whole
files) quite frequently, or downloading all the files somewhat less
frequently.

David Fifield
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