Big Brother Log Analyzer v1.6 Installation

1 Prerequisites

2 Actual installation

  1. Decompress the distribution file (gzip'ed tar-file bbla-1.6.tar.gz):
  2. In the newly created directory (bbla-1.6), modify the Makefile where indicated in order to set up your local settings:
  3. Generate the perl scripts and compile the C portion of the program:
  4. Install all required files with the proper permissions:
  5. If you are upgrading from a previous version of BBLA, you may have gotten a warning during the make install procedure. You probably want to restore your old logs. Do a:

3 Prepare your web pages for tracking

At the bottom of each page you want to track, include the following tag:
<img src="path_to_script/<!--#echo var="HTTP_REFERER"-->" alt="" >
where "name_of_this_page" can be whatever you want. The "name_of_this_page" identifier will determine how the page is known as when logged. Do not use spaces if using a name. For example(s):
<img src="cgi-bin/<!--#echo var="HTTP_REFERER"-->" alt="" >
<img src="cgi-bin/<!--#echo var="HTTP_REFERER"-->" alt="" >
Note that, since BBLA uses tags instead of httpd logs, you can track pages hosted on different servers within the same log file. IMPORTANT REMARK:
If you are upgrading from a version of BBLA older than 1.5, you may have noted that the name of the logging script has changed. A symbolic link from to is created during the install procedure so that you don't have to fumble with your existing tags. If you are using cgiwrap, this solution will unfortunately not work, as cgiwrap refuses to execute symbolic links. You will need to remove by hand, and copy to to have the logger work with your old tags. Alternatively, you may want to change to in your tags.

4 Prepare your crontab to generate HTML reports periodically, using crontab -e.

For instance, addding
0 4  * * 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 /home/nicolas/public_html/cgi-bin/
to your crontab will result in generating daily reports at 4am. Note that in the above example, you need to replace /home/nicolas/public_html/cgi-bin by the path to your cgi-bin directory. More information on how to set up the crontab can be found in the manpages of crontab(1) and cron(8).

5 No self-logging feature

When you visit your own webpage, you may not want your own hits to appear in your logs. BBLA implements a "no self-logging" feature for that very purpose. Different from what most other log analyzers use, that is, filtering out given IP address(es) or DNS name(s), the no self-logging feature in BBLA is cookie-based. In other words, you prevent hits from a given _browser_ from being logged.

To activate the no self-logging feature on a given (set of) browser(s), use the browser(s) to visit the page called bbla-config.html, in the same directory as your log report HTML file. Next, enter the cookie name and password that you set up in step 2, and hit the "submit" button. This creates a cookie in your browser; note that said cookie never expires (well, it does, but in 2100). To remove the cookie, please refer to your browser documentation. The cookie is not used to collect information from you, or to implement spyware, but if you feel uncomfortable about allowing a cookie, just don't use the no self-logging feature.

6 Remarks

I recommend you keep the bbla source directory somewhere. In case you want to change some preferences (e.g., the name of your stats page), it is best to edit the Makefile and "re-make" everything (make; make install; make restore). However, if you are short on disk space, you may want to get rid of the bbla directory (it's not used by the logger or the analyzer). In which case, to change some configuration parameters, you will have to modify the file (in your installation directory) by hand. Note that, to save a bit of disk space, you may want to discard all executables and binaries in the bbla source directory. You can use "make clean" for that matter.
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Maintained by Nicolas Christin [Webpage]

Last modified: Sun Jul 25, 2004 at 07:10:55 UTC