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Tools for broadcast management

Project description

Collection of scripts for managing Outernet content repository.


Install using pip straight from the repository:

pip install

Git also needs to be installed on your system.

Note that only Unix/Linux systems are supported at this moment.

Environment variables

Broadman scripts work on a content pool directory. Usually, you need to be in the root of the content pool when using the commands. To work with the content pool regardless of the current working directory, you can set the OUTERNET_CONTENT environment variable to the content pool path.


There are two main aspects when it comes to working with the content pool. There is a master pool, which contains the actual content, and there are servers which hold symlinks to content.

Before we begin working on a content pool, we need to initialize it. Use the following tool for the purpose:

  • pinit - initialize content pool

The following tools are used for working with the content:

  • zimport - import legacy zipball into master pool
  • update - for making changes to content permanent, resetting and reverting changes
  • lschanged - listing changed content

Tools for working with metadata metadata:

  • mcat - viewing metadata
  • med - editing metadata
  • mclean - clean up metadta file
  • filter - filter paths according to metadata rules

The following tools are used for navigating the content pool:

  • getpath - obtaining a path to content directory or symlink by content ID
  • getcid - obtaining content ID from content directory path

For managing servers, these tools are available:

  • srvadd - add content to server
  • srvdel - remove content from server
  • srvsync - sync backlog with servers

Using the tools

We won’t go into each tool in detail. Instead we’ll take a look at some general principles.

All tools have --help switch that provides short usage notes and descriptions of all arguments they take/require.

Most tools can be used as usual by passing arguments to them, or they can be used in a pipe. When used in a pipe, most tools will take content IDs and/or paths. You can usually convert between paths and IDs using getpath and getcid commands in a pipe.

Most tools will show their status as OK, ERR, or WARN. These are always output to STDOUT. Additional error information can be output to STDERR. These messages can be piped to a file to aid troubleshooting.

Apart from conent IDs and paths, tools may have different switches that alter their behavior. Some tools may require switches to be used.

Tools can and should be used alongside common Unix tools like sed, awk, grep.

The entire content pool is a Git repository. Common git techniques apply. However, you should avoid using Git directly.

Broadman tools will usually be able to get you where you need to be without too much effort. The tools output commit log messages in a particular machine-readable format, which is the main reason direct usage of git should be avoided.


Every time a content is added to or removed from a server, this is recorded in a backlog file located at ${OUTERNET_CONTENT}/.backlog. This file is in a machine-readable format, and automation tools may be added later to help sync the content pool changes to actual servers.

Reporting bugs

Please report bugs and feature requests to the issue tracker.

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