vCheck -- A straightforward, automatic latest-version checker

vCheck is a relatively clean framework to contain lots of quick-and-dirty tests which when put together can tell you whether or not the server software you're running is up to date. Used with cron it can alert you to the need to upgrade when a new version of something is released.


  ./vcheck --test
  ./vcheck -h -r syslog -t http -t smtp -t ssh:::stderr -t dns -q
  ./vcheck -t local-sendmail -t local-apache -r syslog
  ./vcheck -h -t http -t smtp -t ssh -t dns

Download: You can get the README file, the whole package, or the license (gpl). At present the code tarball is just a Perl script plus the README and license files. You can also view the changelog for changes and project news.

Features: vCheck has been designed to be independent of packaging schemes, doesn't require any special installation or inventory process, and doesn't require changes to be made on the software packages it's tracking. It can accommodate tests which work by consulting the local machine (no network access) or by conducting network interactions with the server in question. Version mismatches can be reported to stderr, logged to syslog, or sent as email.

Latest-version-information is always retrieved from each relevant distribution website via http at the time the version check is made.

Status: vCheck is in its infancy. It's got just enough features for me to run it (from cron) on a daily basis, and just enough features and documentation to release. It's raw but usable now. Things should improve when I get a chance to take another pass at the documentation and add more tests. (And for more detailed status information, be sure to check the changelog.)

Supported Protocols: HTTP, SMTP, FTP, SSH, and DNS so far.

Supported Software: Apache 1.x, 2.x, Sendmail, OpenSSH, and BIND 4.x, 8.x, 9.x so far. Also, mod_perl and PHP versions will be checked if they appear in your Apache server ident string.

Requirements: You must have Perl 5 or later, as well as the LWP and Net::Telnet modules installed for vCheck to run properly.

Feedback: Please let me know what you think of vCheck, whether it's useful to you, and what additional features/protocols/software you might like to see supported. Email suggestions to Code for new tests, features, and version-checking recipes is also very welcome.

I'm also looking for a better name for the software. Any great ideas?

License: vCheck is Copyright 2003 Jason D. Campbell, and is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Please note that most of this site was last updated in 2003.

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  File /code/vcheck/index.mason, updated 18 July 2003