[Box Backup] AccountNumber length?

Chris Wilson boxbackup at boxbackup.org
Tue Oct 21 21:40:15 BST 2008

Hi Richard,

On Tue, 21 Oct 2008, Richard Hurt wrote:

> I am trying to use a very long account number and am running into some
> inconsistencies.  In order to make managing my systems easy and
> automatic I am trying to use the network card MAC as an account number
> but there are a couple of problems.

I'm afraid that won't work at the moment. Only 32-bit client IDs are 
supported. Most people number their accounts 1, 2, 3... in order to 
preserve their sanity :)

I'm developing a patch which will allow you to associate a "name" string 
of arbitrary length with each account, and list them all with a new 
bbstoreaccounts command, so you'd be able to store the MAC address as the 
name of the account if you desire. However, this will be added after 0.11 
is released.

You could use the last four bytes of the MAC address as the unique 
identifier, which is quite likely to be unique between machines 
(especially if all the NICs have the same manufacturer :)

> The other is that it appears as if the server is using a 64 bit Int and 
> the client is using a 32 bit Int (or something like that).  I was able 
> to build an account on the server using account number "b9131428" but 
> using that same account number on the client gives me a "Invalid 
> configuration file: <root>.AccountNumber (key) is not a valid integer." 
> error message.  If I trim off the "b9" off of the account number it 
> works in both places.

The problem here is that the account number is parsed into a signed 
integer. I don't know whether Box was designed to support account numbers 
larger than a signed integer (greater than 2^31 or 0x7fffffff) but it 
appears that at least bbstoreaccounts does not. Finding and fixing all 
those places is something that I don't really want to do for 0.11, but I 
will add it to the bug tracker to sort out after 0.11 is released.

> Why does the server allow the creation of account numbers that cannot
> be accessed by any client?

That would be an undocumented feature :)

> Would it be possible to increase the size of the account number to an
> unsigned long long (or something really big)?  This is not really
> *that* important, just more of a wish list item for me. :)

I'd prefer not to do that, as I think that accounts should be numbered 
starting from 1, but if others want this then I'll be happy to reconsider.

> BTW: Sorry for the repost but I keep submitting RTF/HTML email and the
> server keeps bouncing it.  :(

I only got one copy of the message and I'm glad that the mailing list 
server does not accept HTML email :)

Cheers, Chris.
_____ __     _
\  __/ / ,__(_)_  | Chris Wilson <0000 at qwirx.com> - Cambs UK |
/ (_/ ,\/ _/ /_ \ | Security/C/C++/Java/Ruby/Perl/SQL Developer |
\ _/_/_/_//_/___/ | We are GNU : free your mind & your software |

More information about the Boxbackup mailing list