Section: ISpy configuration file (5)


ispy.conf - ISpy configuration file


Upon execution, ISpy reads its configuration information from a configuration file. This file is located by default in /etc/ispy.conf, but if that file does not exist ISpy also checks in the user's home directory and in the current directory. In addition, the file's location can be specified by using the --config commandline option.


ispy.conf is a flat text file containing multile configuration options, one option per line. Comments may be included in the file by placing a # character at the beginning of the comment line. All other non-blank lines are considered to be options. The supported options are as follows:

alert alias email
Specifies an email address (email) to receive alerts, along with a short name (alias) that is used to refer to the address elsewhere in the file.

maxlen email length
Specifies the maximum message length receivable by a given email address. The email parameter is an account alias as described above and the length parameter specifies the maximum message length (in bytes) of the message body (not including the subject or any other header information). If the length parameter is 0, or if no maxlen is defined for an email account, then the message length for that account is not limited.

alias longname shortname
Specifies a short alias for a given host. This alias (shortname) will be used internally by ISpy to refer to the host and will also appear in any alerts that are sent. The actual address of the (longname) can be either the host's DNS name or its IP address and is only used when ISpy is attempting a connection.

port number name
Forces a symbolic port name (name) to resolve to a specific port number (number). This can be useful for ports that are not listed in /etc/protocols (such as X11) or for ports that, for whatever reason, do not properly resolve.

watch host port/protocol
Specifies a port to monitor. The host parameter can either be a host name, an IP address, or an email alias (set using the alias option). The port parameter can either be a TCP/IP port number, a protocol name (found in /etc/services, or a symbolic port name as specified using the port option described above. The protocol parameter specifies the TCP protocol to use (i.e. TCP or UDP).


# ISpy v1.0 configuration

alert pager
alert archive

maxlen pager 120
maxlen archive 0

alias router
alias mail
alias web
alias desktop

port 6000 x11
port 23 telnet

watch router telnet/tcp

watch web ssh/tcp
watch web ftp/tcp
watch web http/tcp

watch mail ssh/tcp
watch mail smtp/tcp
watch mail pop3/tcp

watch desktop ssh/tcp
watch desktop x11/tcp


Having the term alias refer to two different things could be confusing.


Alexander Hajnal <>


ispy(1), ispy.state(5), protocols(5)


Copyright (C) 2001 Alexander Hajnal

ISpy is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with the ISpy software. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA.

ISpy is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.