[Bro-Dev] Bro packages with plugins

Siwek, Jon jsiwek at illinois.edu
Thu Mar 2 09:19:24 PST 2017

> On Mar 1, 2017, at 10:38 AM, Seth Hall <seth at icir.org> wrote:
> I was emailing with Justin this morning and he reminded me that we still have the issue with people that install Bro from binary packages and their inability to install packages with binary plugins.

Is there something that makes this currently impossible or just that the user would additionally need to download Bro source code and tell bro-pkg where to find it before installing a package where the build_command will build a plugin?

> - Create mechanism to release binary plugins in the bro package manager.

I wonder if pre-built plugins can’t already be distributed in packages?  E.g. put the pre-built plugin in the package, specify its location via plugin_dir, and leave the build_command blank.  Then after the package is installed, I think Bro should automatically try to load the plugin, provided the architecture matches.

In other words, I think bro-pkg is already set up to handle distributing pre-built binary plugins, but the more difficult problems to address will relate to how to actually produce plugins that will be binary-compatible w/ a user’s Bro installation.  E.g. lack of stable/standard ABI in Bro and C++ itself means there’s myriad ways to produce unportable binaries.

The only other idea I have, is if bro-pkg is not able to locate Bro source code (i.e. the user installed Bro from a binary package), then it could automatically download the appropriate version (e.g. clone Bro’s git repo and checkout a specific version tag).

- Jon

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