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Tuesday, July 12th, 2005, 5:34 am

MSNBot Fights Linux Servers

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

Some time the past I composed a little tool from various scripts to correct for the differences between Windows and Linux servers. To quote just the gist:

The Linux filesystem behaves differently from that of Windows. For example, Linux treats index.htm and INDEX.htm as if they are separate files; Windows does not.

In the logs, I repeatedly observe errors like the following (from half an hour ago):

[Tue Jul 12 05:48:11 2005] [error] ...
[client] File does not exist: ...

The correct URL is in fact /home/schestow/public_html/Guestbook/Spam/ (note case)

Performing a reverse DNS lookup, I discovered that MSNBot was the culprit. Its Windows-egocentric requests invoke errors again and again, making false positives and adding noise to the error logs. Phrased differently, whenever requesting non-existent pages (by manipulating their names), MSNBot flags errors which result in a chaotic mess (I view my error logs several time a day).

Are Microsoft intentionally tempering with Linux servers? Are Microsoft punishing us because we did not buy their expensive server software? That’s what it boils down to.

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