Big Brother help

Changing the look of BB

Starting with version 1.3, you have a little more control over the general appearance of the BB status pages. This document is a quick reference as to what you can change and how.

Where do BB pages come from?

Big Brother pages are generated in 3 different ways. The summary pages bb.html and bb2.html are created by the web/ and web/ scripts respectively. Don't mess with these scripts. If you mess with these scripts , and everything stops working, don't say we didn't warn you ;).

Individual system reports are generated in real time by the bbd daemon and placed in the html directory. Likewise, it is unwise to mess with the code in bbd.c unless you know what you are doing; it's both ugly and unhealthy.

Finally, pages like the history status pages are generated on the fly by CGI programs like Don't touch.

Controlling Fonts

The fastest way to change the look and feel of Big Brother is via the MKBB* variables in etc/ These variables are simply arguments to the HTML FONT command, and therefore allow you to specify the font, color, and size for the following:

Title font is controlled by the MKBBTITLE variable. This is the font that machine grouping will be displayed in.

Column headers are controlled by MKBBCOLFONT. These are the headings that appear over the generated HTML tables like "conn", "cpu", etc.

System font is controlled by MKBBROWFONT. This is the font used for all the system names that appear down the left side of the BB display.

Note that you will need to stop and restart BB for these changes to take effect.

General structure of the BB pages

Because modifying source code is difficult and relatively unpleasant, we've provided some simplified methods for making changes. In particular the header and footer files located in the web/ directory are used for page generation. These files are named according to the files they control, i.e.

BB Main Display Page (bb.html)	bb_header bb_footer
BB Summary Display (bb2.html)	bb2_header bb2_footer
Individual status reports	hostsvc_header hostsvc_footer
History Pages			hist_header hist_footer		
Historical Status info		histlog_header histlog_footer
Within these files, the only change you may want to make would be to define your own stylesheets.

Miscellaneous Issues

Expect to see support for "skins" in a future release of Big Brother, as well as proper multilingual support. Images, live in the www/gifs directory.

Finally, no matter what you do, please leave a link back to the Big Brother site - credit where credit is due! Thanks.

© Copyright Quest Software, Inc. 1997-2003 All rights reserved.