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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  FLASHER (1)

NAME

flasher - flash keyboard LEDs to indicate file writes

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
X11
Options
Examples
Files
Diagnostics
Author

SYNOPSIS

flasher [ -u seconds ] [ -k /dev/ttyXX ] -{c|n|s} file1:file2:...:fileN

DESCRIPTION

flasher monitors changes to one or more files, and indicates the number of writes to these files by briefly flashing a console LED once for each write. The flashing sequence is repeated, after a brief pause, until the files have been read. As the files are subsequently read, the number of LED flashes is reduced. When all monitored files have been read, the console LED will be disabled.

The most obvious use is to monitor specific system log or mail files.

Multiple LEDs can be used. Each possible LED (-c, -n or -s) takes a list of colon-separated file arguments. For example, when invoked as:

# flasher -s /var/log/messages:/var/mail/root

the Scroll Lock LED will flash once for each write made to either of these files, until the files are read. When /var/log/messages has been read, the Scroll Lock LED will continue to flash once for each write that has been made to /var/mail/root, until it also has been read.

The list of files can include files that don’t yet exist.

To terminate the daemon, run:

# kill ‘cat /var/run/flasher.pid‘

X11

flasher was designed to use the console to indicate file activity. When running flasher in an X11 environment, it may be helpful to use the -k option to specify what virtual terminal X11 is running under. For example, use

# flasher -k /dev/ttyv3 ...

when running X11 on FreeBSD on virtual terminal 4.

Similarly, when using X11 on virtual terminal 8 on Linux, start the daemon using:

# flasher -k /dev/tty8 ...

OPTIONS

-c Indicate writes to the specified file using the Caps Lock LED.
-k /dev/ttyXX
  Use the specified tty (/dev/ttyXX) instead of the console.
-n Indicate writes to the specified file using the Num Lock LED.
-s Indicate writes to the specified file using the Scroll Lock LED.
-u number
  Scans the specified files for changes every ‘number’ seconds (default: 60).

EXAMPLES

The following example will flash the Scroll Lock LED to indicate /var/log/messages writes, and the Num Lock LED for writes to /var/mail/root:

# flasher -s /var/log/messages -n /var/mail/root

The following example will flash the Caps Lock LED to indicate writes to either /var/log/httpd-error.log or /var/mail/root, and flash the Num Lock LED to indicate writes to /var/log/messages.

# flasher -n /var/log/messages -c /var/log/httpd-error.log:/var/mail/root

FILES

/var/run/flasher.pid - flasher lock file

DIAGNOSTICS

flasher must be run as the super-user.

Relative pathnames will be converted to absolute pathnames.

After the program has daemonized, any messages will be sent to syslog.

AUTHOR

Murray Nesbitt (websrc@nesbitt.ca)

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