Gotta start somewhere ... how many of us are really out there?

Nikolas Britton nikolas.britton at
Wed Aug 2 19:16:11 UTC 2006

On 8/2/06, Alex Zbyslaw <xfb52 at> wrote:
> Nikolas Britton wrote:
> > On 8/2/06, Alex Zbyslaw <xfb52 at> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >> But the question then goes back to: can you make any kind of count out
> >> of cvsup servers?  Someone already said they thought you couldn't.
> >>
> >> At the end of the day, I think that unique IP address is as close as
> >> it's possible to get to host count.  It will undercount NATed hosts and
> >> networks with single cvsup/portsnap distribution points, and will
> >> overcount variable IP addresses.  The latter, I think matters the least
> >> as long as you do your stats over a short enough period (e.g. 1 month).
> >> That wouldn't overcount much and deliberate faking would be hard and
> >> limited (how many IP addresses can one faker get access to?).
> >
> >
> > The problem with cvsup (I use cvsup.) is the error margin. The closer
> > we get to release dates the more I use cvsup, It's a side effect of
> > running -STABLE. anyways... back to the fakers...
> >
> > Lets think about the usage patterns of a "typical" faker vs NAT:
> >
> > Faker:
> > * All from one IP address.
> > * Sequential requests.
> > * Scripted, so each request should be timed perfectly with the one
> > before and the one after it.
> > * Thousands of requests.
> >
> > NATed Boxes:
> > * All from one IP address.
> > * Parallel requests.
> > * Not scripted, requests should be more random.
> > * Hundreds of requests?
> But if what you are counting is IP addresses then you faker has achieved
> nothing.  You're not counting connections, but IP addresses.  Yes, you
> undercount NATed and yes you undercount when distribution points are
> used, but I don't see any easy way to fake, at least not on the scale of
> a URL.  Yes, if you happen to have 200 IP addresses, you could probably
> assign each in turn to your BSD box and cvsup, but this seems less
> likely to me, and is inherently limited.
> Sometimes I cvsup three times a day - in which case all are likely to
> come from same IP.  Sometimes I cvsup once a month or less, in which
> case looking at statistics only over the last month will tend to flatten
> any effect from variable IPs.
> It's far from perfect, but unless you want each installation to have its
> own license number and a "GenuineFreeBSD" program which enforces unique
> license numbers somehow, I don't think there is a perfect answer.  I'm
> guessing no-one in their right might does want this kind of enforcement ;-)

This may sound dumb but why don't we just put a registration link on
the FreeBSD main page... or "registration" in sysinstall. Isn't this
how everyone else handles the problem?

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