PING relies on free software. This means, among other things, that we only deploy programs on our servers for which the source code is freely available. This enables us to solve any problems that may arise ourselves, to configure the software without arbitrary restrictions, to share ideas and solutions with other users and to profit from their experience.
|The principle software packages|
Our servers run under GNU/Linux, one of the free variants of the
UNIX family, to which FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD also belong. We use
the Redhat Linux distribution. In
addition to the operating system kernel, a large number of auxiliary
and utility programs that are essential to our operations, such as Perl, are provided with the
Our web pages are served by Apache.
Dynamic content and services for
the members are provided with the aid of the additional apache module
Our members can accelerate
access to popular pages and optimize bandwidth by using the Squid web proxy cache.
Most of the information that is
required for PINGs technical operations, in particular the details of
members' sites (domains) and the time accounting for our prepaid
0800 dialup service, is stored in a mysql database. Members and administrators
can access and update information in the database that is relevant to
Emails to and from PING are processed
by our qmail server. The
server accepts mail via SMTP and provides it to the members via POP3,
or if desired via UUCP. Further information about qmail is available at
We use sqwebmail to
give members a way to read their mails via WWW.
The nameserver for the domain
ping.de is implemented using the tinydns program. We provide a DNS
resolver for our members using the dnscache program. Both these
programs are available in the djbdns package. Further information
about djbdns is available at djbdns.org.
Most PING members use dialup connections over normal telephone
lines. Their authorization is checked using a password and this job is
handled within PINGs internal network using the radius protocol (Remote
Authentication Dial In User Service). The server software for this is
Usenet News is handled by an inn server at PING. Members can
read and post news online (using the NNRP protocol) or exchange news
batches with the server via UUCP.
To help reduce the phone bills of our members, we enable the exchange of mail and news with our servers via UUCP, using the Taylor-UUCP software.