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README.md

Summary

cl-cheshire-cat is a project for a CL redirection server.

The core of the server is based on Edi Weitz (http://weitz.de/) CL librairies, in particular:

  • Hunchentoot (Web Server)
  • CL-PPCRE

The persistence layer is ensured using CL-STORE (http://common-lisp.net/project/cl-store).

Installation

The recommended way to install cheshire is by using quicklisp as much as possible:

  1. Using quicklisp, you can install:
    • hunchentoot
    • cl-store
    • split-sequence
  2. You need to manually install sb-daemon

If you use the provided cheshire.sh and cheshire.lisp, you also need to install py-configparser (available via quicklisp).

How to use

The recommended usage requires you to use SBCL (and optionnaly swank) and is divided in a three component process:

  1. The cheshire.sh script which is responsible for daemon management operations.
  2. The cheshire.lisp script which is responsible for loading and starting the cheshire daemon.
  3. The daemon itself.

You are encouraged to modify and adapt the first two component in the way most convinient to your own use of the Cheshire.

As mentionned, the default process is dependent on SBCL. However we would like Cheshire to be compatible with as many CL distributions as possible. Any adaptation of the starting process be compatible with a different CL distribution is welcome.

cheshire.sh

The daemon operations are performed using scripts/cheshire.sh. The first argument of the script is either start, stop, restart or status and makes the script perform the appropriate action. The script should always be executed as root.

If you copy this script directly into /etc/init.d/, there is a slight possibility that the script will run when started as root, but not at boot time (e.g. on Debian 6.0). In this case, you will need to specify locale and/or home in the configuration file. That's because the environment is not exactly the same one when the service is started at boot time.

Second, if you see that the error log is populated with messages "Cannot open such file" or "Cannot create such directory" when you use daemonize and privilege dropping, make sure all the directories Cheshire tries to right into are owned by the appropriate user. This include in particular home/.cache, home/.slime and their sub-directories.

The second argument is expected to be a configuration file. If none is given, /etc/cheshire.conf is the default configuration file.

cheshire.sh is looking for a pidfile= entry in the configuration file. If there is no such entry, /var/run/cheshire.pid is used.

The required action is then performed by cheshire.sh. If it needs to run the server, it assumes that scripts/cheshire.lisp is located as /usr/share/cheshire/scripts/cheshire.lisp unless it finds a system= directive in the configuration file.

cheshire.lisp

cheshire.lisp is loading the configuration file and starting the daemon. (Please refer to config/cheshire.conf for the details of the documentation). cheshire.lisp expects the configuration file as its first command-line argument and assumes that the cl-cheshire-cat system is loadable via (asdf:load-system "cl-cheshire-cat").

The starting process includes:

  1. starting to listen on the specified port
  2. daemon bookeeping (debugging, dropping privileges, swank loading)
  3. loading the redirection rules

The privileges are dropped after Cheshire started listening. This is a limitation from usocket and hunchentoot. This means:

  • you should not have any problem listening directly on the 80 port (or any other privileged port).
  • the few first requests could happen to be served as root. Since the redirection specifications is not loaded untill the privileges are dropped and this issue can be prevented by a system firewall (like iptables), we don't consider it a big security issue.

Customization

If the recommended usage does not fit your use of Cheshire, feel free to adapt any of the previously described steps. They are made to be highly and easily customizable.

Note that the debugging bookeeping step in cheshire.lisp is provided for convinience. If you skip this part, Hunchentoot defaults will be used:

  • the debugger will never be called in case of an error
  • error pages will show complete error message and backtrace

Behavior

The server is listening on the HTTP port (80), awaiting an HTTP query. Other ports will work, but you must keep in mind that no port rewritting facility is currently offered.

The server first search for a domain name rule to apply and then for a URI rewritting rule. The details of each rule is descript is the following section.

The rules are always checked in turn, if a rule matches, it's applied (and the search stop).

If no domain name matching rule is found and the domain name does not start with www., the server will send a "301 Moved Permanently" to the same URL with an additional www. prefix to domain name. If the domain name already starts with www., the server will return a "404 Not Found" error in order to avoid redirection loop.

If a domain name rule matched, Cheshire then search its list of URI rule to apply any addition URI modification. If there is no URI matching rule and no domain rewritting in effect, the server will return a "404 Not Found" error in order to prevent redirection loops.

Domain name rules parameters are used as default for its associated URI rules.

The loop protections intend to protect you from mild obvious rule specification errors. Their goal is not to prevent willingful redirection loops or mischievious configurations. For example it is easy to trick Cheshire into issuing infinite redirection loops with a domain name rule with no URI rule, key (:exact "www.domain.example") and replacement "www.domain.example". In other words you are responsible for the correctness of your redirection rules. Cheshire will not check them for you and there is no plan to do so in the future.

Unspecified behavior

Since Cheshire intends to be a production-grade product, we made our best to keep unspecified behavior implementation on a fail-early and safe basis.

For example, if you provide an invalid argument for a rule specification, we try to fail and send an error message when you create or update the rule rather than at apply time.

However, this behavior may not be always easy to have, don't forget that unspecified behaviour is still unspecified and may make Cheshire to crash on each and every request it receives.

Rules

Each rule is composed of two main elements:

  • The rule's key is identifying whether the rule can be applied to a given URL. The key is itself composed of two elements:
    • The kind specifies the algorithm used to match the rule.
    • The match specification gives the information to match the rule against the URL.
  • The rule's effect including the modification to apply to the matching URL, options for the HTTP Answer or subsequent rules to apply.

Domain rules

Key

Three rules matching algorithms (kinds) are used:

  • exact
  • suffix (matches if the end of the domain name matches)
  • regex

Following the DNS specification ([RFC1035]), domain name matches are always case-insensitive.

Effect

Domain rewritting

If the rewrite specification is not nil, the domain will be rewritten.

If the rule is an exact match, the rewritte specification is use to replace the whole domain name.

If the rule is a suffix match, the rewritte specification may contain once the special substring "\1", which will be replaced by the prefix (non matching part) of the original domain name.

If the rule is a regex match, any string replacement accepted by cl-ppcre:regex-replace will be accepted and the result will be equivalent to (cl-ppcre:regex-replace regex original-domain-name replacement). Function designators are not allowed since they cannot be saved easily.

URI rules

A list of URI rewritting rules can be used for each domain.

Key

Three rules matching algorithms (kinds) are used:

  • exact
  • prefix (matches if the beggining of the URI matches)
  • regex

URI match are case-sensitive by default (this can be changed via regex flags).

URI replacements for exact and regex match occurs the same way as Domain rewritting.

If the rule is a prefix match, the rewritte specification may contain once the special substring "\1", which will be replaced by the suffix (non matching part) of the original URI.

Redirection parameters

Each redirection specification can also include redirection parameters.

HTTP Status Code

The first parameter supported is http-code and its default value is 301.

http-code must be one of 300, 301 (default), 302, 303 or 307. This status code will be the one used in the answer sent to the client. The behavior is unspecified if an invalid status code specification is given.

HTTP/HTTPS Protocol

The second parameter is protocol and its default value is http.

protocol must be one of http or https and it is the protocol that will be used as the redirection target.

Port

The third and last parameter is port and its default depends on the value of protocol (443 if protocol is https, 80 otherwise).

port must be a valid port number (i.e. an integer between 1 and 63565).

Query string manipulation

Each rule can be given a list of query string manipulation to do. These operations are run before any rewritting occurs.

There are 5 operations which can be exectued on the list of get parameters:

The default behaviour is to leave the query string unmodified.

Clear

The first operation is the basic clearing of the whole query string in order to have a fresh start. Any operation executed before that one will be without effect.

Add

You can choose to add any get parameter to the URL. If the parameter already exists, it will be twice in the query string, which may create unexpected behaviour on the other side of the redirection.

The new parameter's value can be:

  • a constant string your giving to the operation
  • the path of the query (before rewritting)
  • the domain name of the query (before rewritting)

Parameters:

  • name: the name of the paramter you will create
  • value: the value of the parameter (a string, :path or :domain)

Delete

Of course, if you can add, you can delete.

Parameter:

  • name: the name of the parameter to delete

Update (the value)

The value update is performed by applying a regular expression substitution to the value of the parameter.

Parameters:

  • name: the name of the parameter to update
  • match: the regular expression used to match the old value
  • replacement: the replacement string used to defini the new value

Rename

Often, it's easier to rename a parameter than delete and re-create it.

Parameters:

  • name: the old name of the parameter
  • new-name: the new name of the parameter

Management

Management options can be setup when creating the server.

Currently two management options are supported:

  • admin-host: The domain name used to manage the server (default is "management.invalid").
  • admin-allowed: A list of CIDR blocks. IP addresses in these blocks are allowed to manage the server (default is localhost only)

Each CIDR network specifications is a pair of two elements. The first one is an IPv4 address (either a string in dotted notation "127.0.0.1" or a vector of four integers in host order #(127 0 0 1)). The second is the prefix-length of the CIDR block. If the second part is missing, its default value is 32.

The recommended tool to manage Cheshire is curl or another low level HTTP or TCP tool such as nc(1) or telnet(1).

The management API is splited in three parts:

  1. Global management
  2. Domain rules management
  3. URI rules management

Each operation is specified using three mecanisms:

  1. The URI of the operation (to choose what you want to do).
  2. The GET parameters (URL query string) to select the rule you want to manage.
  3. The POST parameters to provide the information required by the operation you want to perform.

Global management

Global management operations are impacting the behavior of the whole server.

Save the current rules

Path: /save-rules

POST Parameter:

  • name (optional): name of the file in which the rules will be stored. If the parameter is not provided, the file used is the one from which the rules have been pre-loaded (rules-file).

The file will be stored in the directory specified as the rules-directory configuration and with the crr extension. If there is no such configuration, the directory of the rules-file configuration will be used.

Example:

POST /save-rules HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

name=my-bkp

Load a new set of rules

Path: /load-rules

POST Parameter:

  • name (optional): name of the file from which the rules will be loaded. If the parameter is not provided, the file used is the one from which the rules have been pre-loaded (rules-file).
  • erase-all: If this parameter is not given, an error message will be sent. Since loading a new set of rules delete any other rule currently in effect, this confirmation is here as a security.

The file will be loaded from the directory specified as the rules-directory configuration and with the crr extension. If there is no such configuration, the directory of the rules-file configuration will be used.

Example:

POST /load-rules HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

name=my-bkp
erase-all=OK

Domain name rule management

The domain rule management operations are in the "folder" /domain-name-rule/. For each of the following rule, the path will therefore be prefixed by /domain-name-rule.

List domain name rules

Path: /list

GET parameters (all optionals):

  • kind: The kind of the domain rule key (should be one of exact, suffix or regex.
  • match: A regular expression applied on the domain rule match specification.
  • replacement: A regular expression applied on the domain rule replacement specification.

Returns the list of domain names rules matching the parameters. If a criteria is omitted all rules will match this criteria.

Example:

GET /domain-name-rule/list?kind=exact HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid

Add a domain name rule

Path: /add

POST parameters:

  • kind: The kind of match string. Must be one of "exact", "suffix" or "regex".
  • match: The match string used to check whether the rule matches the current URL.
  • replacement (optional): The replacement string used to modify the URL part matching the rule.
  • http-code (optional): The HTTP Status code to be sent along for this redirection.
  • position (optional): Position at which the rule will be inserted in the rule list. If none is provided, the rule is inserted at the beginning of the list.
  • protocol (optional): Protocol to use after the redirection. Must be one of http or https.
  • port (optional): Port number to use after the redirection.

Example:

POST /domain-name-rule/add HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

kind=exact&match=www.domain.example&position=3

Remove a domain name rule

Path: /remove

GET parameters:

  • kind: The kind of the rule.
  • match: The match spec of the rule.

POST parameter:

  • confirmed: This parameter must be non-nil.

Example:

POST /domain-name-rule/remove?kind=exact&match=www.domain.example HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

confirmed=OK

Update a domain name rule

Path: /update

GET parameters:

  • kind: The kind of the rule.
  • match: The match spec of the rule.

POST parameters (all optional):

  • new-kind: The new kind to use for the rule from now on.
  • new-match: The new match spec to use for the rule from now on.
  • new-replacement: The new replacement to use for the rule from now on.
  • new-http-code: The new HTTP Status code to be used for this rule redirection from now on.

Update the query string operations

The query string operations management is in the "folder" /query-string-updates/. See Query string operation management for the details.

When applied to domain name rule, all these operations have two common GET parameters:

  • domain-name-kind: The kind of the domain name rule.
  • domain-name-match: The match spec of the domain name rule.

URI rule management

The URI rule management operations are in the "folder" /uri-rule/. For each of the following rule, the path will therefore be prefixed by /uri-rule.

All this operations need to know on wich parent domain name rule they operate. Thus, each rule has two common GET parameters:

  • domain-name-kind: The kind of the domain name rule.
  • domain-name-match: The match spec of the domain name rule.

List URI rules

Path: /list

GET parameters (all optionals):

  • kind: The kind of the domain rule key (should be one of exact, prefix or regex.
  • match: A regular expression applied on the domain rule match specification.
  • replacement: A regular expression applied on the domain rule replacement specification.

Returns the list of URI rules matching the parameters. If a criteria is omitted all rules will match this criteria.

Example:

GET /uri-rule/list?domain-name-kind=exact&domain-name-match=www.domain.example&kind=exact HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid

Add a URI rule

Path: /add

POST parameters:

  • kind: The kind of match string. Must be one of "exact", "suffix" or "regex".
  • match: The match string used to check whether the rule matches the current URL.
  • replacement (optional): The replacement string used to modify the URL part matching the rule.
  • http-code (optional): The HTTP Status code to be sent along for this redirection.
  • position (optional): Position at which the rule will be inserted in the rule list. If none is provided, the rule is inserted at the beginning of the list.
  • protocol (optional): Protocol to use after the redirection. Must be one of http or https.
  • port (optional): Port number to use after the redirection.

Example:

POST /uri-rule/add?domain-name-kind=exact&domain-name-match=www.domain.example HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

kind=prefix&match=%2Ffoo&position=2

Remove a URI rule

Path: /remove

GET parameters:

  • kind: The kind of the rule.
  • match: The match spec of the rule.

POST parameter:

  • confirmed: This parameter must be non-nil.

Example:

POST /uri-rule/remove?domain-name-kind=exact&domain-name-match=www.domain.example&kind=exact&match=www.domain.example HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

confirmed=OK

Update a URI rule

Path: /update

GET parameters:

  • kind: The kind of the rule.
  • match: The match spec of the rule.

POST parameters (all optional):

  • new-kind: The new kind to use for the rule from now on.
  • new-match: The new match spec to use for the rule from now on.
  • new-replacement: The new replacement to use for the rule from now on.
  • new-http-code: The new HTTP Status code to be used for this rule redirection from now on.

Update the query string operations

The query string operations management is in the "folder" /query-string-updates/. See Query string operation management for the details.

When applied to domain name rule, all these operations have two more common GET parameters:

  • uri-kind: The kind of the domain name rule.
  • uri-match: The match spec of the domain name rule.

Query string operations management

Query string management is currently very simple.

List query string operations

Path: /list

GET parameters (all optionals):

  • operation: The operation filter of the domain rule key (should be one of clear, add, delete, update or rename).
  • Any combination of name, new-name, match, replacement: a regex on the corresponding field.

Returns the list of query string operations matching the parameters. If a criteria is omitted all rules will match this criteria.

Example:

GET /domain-name-rule/query-string-updates/list?domain-name-kind=exact&domain-name-match=www.domain.example&operation=clear HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid

Add a query string operation

Path: /add

POST parameters:

  • operation: The operation filter of the domain rule key (should be one of clear, add, delete, update or rename).
  • Any combination of name, new-name, match, replacement which is valid for this operation.
  • position (optional): Position at which the operation will be inserted in the operation list. If none is provided, the operation is inserted at the beginning of the list.

When you create an add operation, you should provide one of the following parameters (they are mutually exclusive):

  • value: Its value is the value that will be given to the new GET parameter
  • path-as-value: If present, the path will be used as value for the new GET parameter
  • domain-as-value: If present, the domain name will be used as value for the new GET parameter

Example:

POST /uri-rule/query-string-updates/add?domain-name-kind=exact&domain-name-match=www.domain.example&uri-name=%2Ffoobar%2F&uri-kind=prefix HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

operation=add&name=redirect-from&domain-as-value=t

Remove a query string operation

Path: /remove

GET parameters:

  • operation: The kind of the rule.
  • name: The name of the query parameter on which the operation is applied.
  • match: The match specification used in a query string update operation.

If name or match is not supported by the operation you want to delete, you must omit them.

POST parameter:

  • confirmed: This parameter must be non-nil.

Example:

POST /uri-rule/query-string-updates/remove?domain-name-kind=exact&domain-name-match=www.domain.example&uri-name=%2Ffoobar%2F&uri-kind=prefix&operation=rename&name=domain-name-match HTTP/1.1
Host: management.invalid
Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

confirmed=OK

Data Storage

The data are stored in memory by a hierarchy of classes, check redirection-rule and subclasses.

Limitations

  • The implementation restricted part should be extracted away in another package/project (TODO).

  • Because of the inherent multiple domain names property of the project, Cheshire supports only HTTP, no HTTPS now or in the forseenable future is planned.

  • No offline rule management.

License

This software has been originally developed by Mathieu Lemoine mlemoine@mentel.com and is the sole property of Mentel Inc. (www.mentel.com). This software is distributed under the terms of the 3-clause BSD, stated as follow:

Copyright © 2012, Mathieu Lemoine mlemoine@mentel.com, Mentel Inc. All rights reserved.

Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  • Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
  • Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
  • Neither the name of "Mentel Inc." nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

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