Subject: Re: nore on disk stats
To: None <>
From: Charles Hannum <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 11/14/1995 13:55:59
First of all, it's important to recognize that parsing the output of
dmesg(8), or anything similar, is a gross hack, and making that more
friendly is just continuing down the wrong path.

Here's what I believe we should do:

Change sysctl(2) to take (in essence) SNMP-like queries.  It's pretty
similar to this already, but needs some tweaking.  Change things like
the network statistics to work according to SNMP conventions.  Write a
trivial snmpd that just checks communities and uses said system call
to do the brunt of the work.  Modify programs like netstat(1) to use
SNMP (or just grab the freely available tools and use them, where

This has several good properties:

1) It's closer to existing standards.

2) It's fairly simple to implement.

3) We don't have to write a wrapper for every SNMP query we want our
snmpd to support.

4) With everything accessible via SNMP, machines can be managed

One objection I've heard to this is that dynamic information isn't
handled well by SNMP.  I disagree with this, citing the network
statistics as an example.  In the SNMP model, if you want to find an
element in a table with a specific property, the client does the
search.  This is actually preferrable to putting the searching in the
kernel, because it keeps the size of the kernel code small.

Does someone want to volunteer to do this, please?