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Conch is an ncurses client for Bugle, written in C.

Be very afraid.


To build: make.

To install: sudo make install. This allows you to run conch from any directory, and includes a man page.

You can also install to a custom location (which doesn't require installing as root):

make install PREFIX=$USER/local

To run the tests: make check.

Mac OS X

You'll need to install various packages. We suggest using homebrew:

echo Ask Ash what the Homebrew packages are.
brew install ImageMagick libcaca libpq lua check

Linux (using vagrant)

We have a Vagrantfile which brings up a machine with all the required packages installed, for both running conch and for the tests.

If you find your VM clock keeps losing time, you can set VBoxManage modifyvm [vm_name] --biossystemtimeoffset 10000 on your host machine. Virtualbox guest additions, which is installed as part of this, runs every 10 mins to correct the clock, but only if it is 20mins out of date. This command sets it to correct if it's 10s out.

Linux (without vagrant)

You'll need to install the packages that are listed in the Vagrantfile. Note that you'll have to rename clang-format:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/clang-format clang-format /usr/bin/clang-format-3.6 10

(The last argument is a priority number; arbitrary but necessary.)


To run the tests: make check.

You will need postgres installed and running and your current user will need to be a postgres superuser. Your pg_hba.conf should be set up to allow passwordless local connections to the bugle_test database as the bugle user; there is a suitable file in vagrant_files/pg_hba.conf, although you should note that it also allows any user on the same machine as the database to connect as a superuser, which is considered unwise.

Running conch

Conch connects to a postgres database. Once everything is set up, you just do:


This should work out of the box at a fort, but in other places you'll need to at least override the hostname of the database:

conch -H your.database.server

You may also need to change the database name from the default ("bugle"):

conch -d your-dbname

Setting up your postgres database for development

With postgres on your local machine set up for testing (for which, see above), you want a database called "bugle" with the correct database schema:

createdb -O bugle bugle
psql -h localhost -U bugle bugle < rsrc/schema.sql
psql -h localhost -U bugle bugle < rsrc/add-trigger.sql

The first psql command is the schema, the second is a custom SQL trigger which we use to detect when there are new blasts available.

(If the createdb command does not work, you need to give it a postgres user to connect as. One way of doing this is to follow the commands in the Vagrantfile, which set up a "vagrant" user; if you use your own Unix/OS X username here then you'll subsequently be able to run the command above.)

You then want to create a bugle user in that database:

psql -h localhost -U bugle bugle -c \
"INSERT INTO auth_user (id, username, first_name, last_name, email, password, is_staff, is_superuser, is_active, last_login, date_joined) VALUES (1, 'myusername', '', '', '', '', false, false, true, NOW(), NOW())"

(The database schema is compatible with the bugle web app, which means there are lots of fields not used by conch. Sorry about that.)

You can then run conch connecting to this database using this username:

conch -u myusername -H localhost

Setting up a postgres database for production

We'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that conch is not intended to be secure; the word "production" here should be considered with extreme reservations. In particular, conch does not support authenticated access to its database; you must allow passwordless connections as the bugle user.

The best way of having a production database is to be at a fort; conch's configurations defaults will find the bugle database running on bugle.fort quite happily. (If you're setting up a fort's bugle database, start by getting bugle running -- which will set up the database schema from Django -- and then run in the rsrc/add-trigger.sql file mentioned previously.)

If you really want to set up your own, you broadly want to go through the same steps as for setting up a development database above. The main difference is that you don't want to follow the Vagrantfile commands for preparing the database, because that lowers your security further than you actually need. Assuming you can run the psql command as a superuser (possibly using the command line option -U to specify the username), you want to create a "bugle" user and a "bugle" database.

Before you do that, however, you need to make the bugle user (once it exists) able to connect from anywhere in the world. Don't worry(*), as it will only be able to modify the bugle database itself(+).

To do that you want the following in your pg_hba.conf:

host all bugle trust

Then restart your postgres server.

Then create the user and database, and set up the database schema:

createuser bugle
createdb -O bugle bugle
psql -U bugle bugle < rsrc/schema.sql
psql -U bugle bugle < rsrc/add-trigger.sql

Finally you need to create users as required using the INSERT INTO SQL command given earlier. Conch doesn't support per-user authentication to its database; anyone can post as any registered user. This is considered a feature.

(*) Do worry. This is a terrible idea from a security point of view.

(+) This isn't really true. Again, you probably shouldn't run this in production.

git integration

We provide a sample post-receive hook as tools/post-receive which will blast what changed.


An ncurses client for Bugle, written in C. Be very afraid.






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