[Bro-Dev] Feedback on configuration framework implementation

Azoff, Justin S jazoff at illinois.edu
Thu Dec 7 14:11:58 PST 2017

> On Nov 29, 2017, at 5:02 PM, Johanna Amann <johanna at corelight.com> wrote:
> The config reader provides a way to read configuration files back into
> Bro. Most importantly it automatically converts values to the correct
> types. This is important because it is at least inconvenient (and
> sometimes near impossible) to perform the necessary type conversions in
> Bro scripts themselves. This is especially true for sets/vectors.
> Configuration generally look like this:
> [option name][tab/spaces][new variable value]
> so, for example:
> testaddr 2607:f8b0:4005:801::200e
> testinterval 60
> testtime 1507321987
> test_set a	b	c	d	erdbeerschnitzel
> The reader uses the option name to look up the type that variable has in
> the Bro core and automatically converts the value to the correct type.

What are the limits of this automatic conversion?

There's currently a few use cases that are difficult to do using the input framework
when then involve loading things into a nested data structure... like a

    table[subnet] of set[port]

It can be done, but requires using the input events and doing bookkeeping yourself.

Bro can serialize stuff to json, but I don't think we have the inverse implemented anywhere

Could be nice to be able to lay out values using something like

    port_whitelist { [22/tcp,80/tcp], [443/tcp]}

Maybe this is more of a job for broker?  I know broker can easily serialize and transfer such
a data structure over the network, is there a plain text serialization implementation too?

Justin Azoff

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