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LISA 2000 Abstract

Automating Request-based Software Distribution

Christopher Hemmerich, Indiana University


Request-based distribution of software applications over a network is a difficult problem that many organizations face. While several programs address this issue, many lack features required for more sophisticated exports, and more complex solutions usually have a very limited scope. Managing these exports by hand is usually a time consuming and error-prone task. We were in such a situation when we developed the Automated Netdist program a year ago.

Automated Netdist provides an automated mechanism for system administrators to request and receive software exports with an immediate turnaround. The system provides a simple user interface, secure authentication, and both user and machine based authentication. Each of these is configurable on a package-by-package basis for flexibility.

Netdist is a modular service. The user interface, authentication and authorization are independent of the export protocol. We are currently distributing via NFS, but adding an additional protocol is as simple as writing a script to perform the export and plugging it into Netdist.

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Last changed: 16 Jan. 2002 ml
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