Saturday, November 20, 2010

thingerd - a simple finger daemon for Thimbl

I have rewritten the finger daemon with an eye to improved ease-of-use,a dn being able to function on Windows. I wrote a little man page for it


thimbl finger daemon

Date: 2010-11-20
Copyright: Public Domain
Version: 0.0
Manual section: 8
Manual group: thimbl



thingerd (actually, but hereafter referred to as thingerd) is a replacement finger daemon, written in Python, that is tailored specifically for Thimbl. It is designed to take the hassle out of installing and configuring a finger daemon. It exposes very little information about the operating environment, and may this be considered beneficial from a security standpoint. It was also designed to be used, eventually, from Windows. It therefore tries not to rely too much on UNIX infrastructre.
thingerd was not written by an expert in protocol writing, SO YOU SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION IN ITS USE. I welcome feedback from security experts as to how the program can be made more secure.


thingerd accepts no options. It binds to port 79, which is the standard fingerd port.


This section describes one way to set up thingerd as a daemon. On UNIX there is, of course, more than one way to do it, so this section is merely a suggestion, not an absolute rule.
The recommended way is to launch thingerd as a regular user, and use authbind to gain access to port 79, which is a privileged port. You will need to install authbind. The method of installation will depend on your Linux distribution. Some typical ways: * Debian/Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install authbind
You now need to give a user (in this example, I assume the user name is ossa) permission to execute on this port:
touch /etc/authbind/byport/79
chown ossa:ossa /etc/authbind/byport/79
chmod 755 /etc/authbind/byport/79
As user ossa (or whatever), type crontab -e, and edit the crontab file to include the line:
@reboot authbind --deep /path/to/
This will ensure that the daemon will be started on each server reboot.
You will probably want to start the daemon immediately, too. If so, then type:
authbind --deep /path/to/
You should now be set up and ready to go.


This is currently untested. It should be possible to run from a command line. Provided that the firewall unblocks port 79 for its use, it should Just Work (TM). Setting up a service for it is a TODO item.


  • thimbl - main page for the description of thimbl

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