Update DansGuardian blacklist files automatically

Q My question to you is about DansGuardian blacklist files. As an unknown number of websites are registered on a weekly basis, the need arises for a sysadmin to keep their blacklist files up to date. Not many of us have the budget to do this on a regular basis. Is it possible to have my blacklist files automatically updated by using spiders and crawlers? If this is possible, how can I achieve this, and what is the potential harm or gain to my setup? Perhaps you could tell me what is the minimum recommended spec for running DansGuardian comfortably. PS: What would it take to set up a Linux user group for Nigeria?

A The first point to bear in mind is that DansGuardian does not work purely on blacklists. It is a content filter, so its main work is done by checking the content of pages. However, it helps to keep your phraselists up to date as well, as site creators try to work around existing filtering restrictions. You can get updated phraselists from http://contentfilter.futuragts.com/phraselists. Using a spider to generate your own URL lists would be hugely expensive in terms of bandwidth, as you would be checking sites you would never visit, and it would still only use your phraselists.

It is possible to download updated URL blacklists, and although some of these are commercial, others are free. The commercial lists are often amalgamations of free lists - you're just paying someone to do the work for you. There are a number of scripts on the DansGuardian website (in the Extras & Add-Ons section) that will download and install updated blacklists for you, and you can also get them from the Squidguard site at www.squidguard.org/blacklist. The required specs depend on your usage. For a home network, the requirements are minimal. The main burden on the system seems to be loading up the rules when it starts up, so a decent amount of memory is more important than a fast processor. This also depends on what else is running on the computer.

As for starting a user group, all you need is a few people to meet with and a place to meet, or a website and mailing list if your group will only exist in cyberspace. There are no formal requirements, just a number of people with a shared interest in Linux. Some groups have more formal meetings, with demonstrations by members; other just get together in a pub to chat about Linux and other matters of interest. You might find the articles at http://en.tldp.org/HOWTO/User-Group-HOWTO.html and http://linuxmafia.com/faq/ Linux_PR/newlug.html useful.

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