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Old 01-03-2006, 09:35 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 185

Rep: Reputation: 30
An app for remote system admin via email?

I'm looking for an application to handle remote system administration of a linux box via email. The box will only connect to the internet intermittently to pull in mail, so remote admin via ssh or webmin isn't a satisfactory option. I need something that can read mail (presumably checking pgp / gpg signatures for authentication) and execute commands contained therein. I have googled but not found anything suitable. Anyone have any ideas?
Old 01-04-2006, 03:00 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 228

Rep: Reputation: 40
I would just pipe all email to a specific address, into a script that parses the file for commands.

Here's a weak example:
contents of email:
Date: 01/01/2006
Subject: (empty)

command=/usr/local/ daily
command=/usr/bin/mail < ~me/email.txt
The script may look like

cd ~me/tmp
cat > ./email.txt
for i in `cat ./email.txt`; do
 NEWCMD=`echo $i | grep -w command | sed 's/.*=//'`
 ## Could also do the following
 ## NEWCMD=`echo $i | grep -w command | awk -F'=' '{print $2}'`
It's just a basic example. I'll leave the rest up to you. Be ABSOLUTELY sure you secure it to avoid A LOT of trouble.
Old 01-04-2006, 04:05 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 185

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Thanks! I realized I could do it with scripts, but I was indeed worried about security - it is far to easy to make mistakes. I also have almost no experience writing my own scripts (shell or perl). Additionally, there's no point in reinventing the wheel and I assume someone has already done this before, so I'd still like to hear from anyone who knows of such an app.


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