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submitted 1 month ago by jokob to c/selfhosted

After thinking for about a year about it I decided to rename the project to 🚀NetAlertX. This will help prevent confusion about which fork someone is using, and differentiate it from the now stale upstream project. With about 1800 or so commits over the stale project, I thought, this project deserved a new name. It will also remove the confusion about only supporting Raspberry Pi's 😵

On top of the rename, I implemented ✨unlimited icons - just find an SVG you like and use it 😄.

The rename from PiAlert to NetAlertX should be pretty straightforward and existing setups should work fine, no manual migration steps should be necessary. Still, caution is recommended.

Check this https://github.com/jokob-sk/NetAlertX/issues/633 thread for edge-cases and the guide https://github.com/jokob-sk/NetAlertX/blob/main/docs/MIGRATION.md if you decide to change your docker-compose.

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[-] Steveanonymous 41 points 1 month ago

This looks exactly like my pi hole dashboard.

What does net alertx do?

[-] [email protected] 18 points 1 month ago

They're not related at all, it looks like this is for detecting malicious networked devices.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 1 month ago

I think they were referring to the UI which looks very similar to the pihole dashboard.

[-] Steveanonymous 3 points 1 month ago

I was. I’m just a dummy

[-] [email protected] 13 points 1 month ago

The framework is called AdminLTE, it's bootstrap.

[-] Krafting 22 points 1 month ago

I think the X is a bit too much, but other than that, awesome and keep up the good work ! 😋

[-] [email protected] 23 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

The practice of calling a product “FooBar X”, unless it’s literally your version 10 that you just happen to be marketing in Roman numerals, feels a bit like those businesses that named themselves “Plumbing 2000”, it’s a bit tacky and doesn’t tend to age well IMHO. But hey, it’s not like it’d be the first software with a slightly kitsch name I use either lol

[-] jokob 19 points 1 month ago

I was thinking about that sooo much, but difficult to find a free domain for networking-related projects. I think I delayed the rename by a month because I couldn't decide. So yeah, I am not the happiest about the X at the end myself, but I also don't have that much money to get a proper domain, so NetAlertX it is :)

[-] [email protected] 2 points 4 weeks ago* (last edited 4 weeks ago)

Naming is really hard, I can’t blame you haha. I never had to name public facing things, at work I usually advocate for either really straightforward descriptive names or just having fun on a theme (e.g. we had classical music based stuff at one place, like Orchestra, Sonata, Symphony, and pop culture/nerdy stuff at another like Marvel heroes or SW characters, etc). Coming up with a name that’s marketable, discoverable and searchable sounds like a nightmare lol

[-] [email protected] 20 points 1 month ago

Never heard of it, what does it do?

[-] Weslee 19 points 1 month ago

Monitors your lan and notifies you if any unknown devices connect

[-] ikidd 9 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Edit: if you're evaluating this, use a chromium based browser because there's a pile of things not working if you use FF. That means I'm not going to use it, but you do you.

The hard to find ARP scan dialog box that is pretty much the starting point for anything here is very special. There's no dropdown that lists the physical interfaces so you have to hunt around to find the listing for Network Hardware that for some reason is under the About top level menu item. Of course, that lists every virtual docker interface along with the physical network devices so you'd better know what you're looking for.

Contrary to the poorly organized docs, the physical interface will rarely be eth0 or eth1, it'll be something like "enp5s2". So now you go back to edit the entries to the physical interface but you can't, all you can do is Remove All. Well, better get your entries letter perfect, because if you make a mistake on a single character, you're starting from scratch after another Remove All.

In your docs, you recommend not editing the app.conf file, but that would be way more forgiving than this. At least there you can add VLANs.

And there's no way I can see to bulk add new devices to a known and/or trusted state. Go into each device and uncheck the "New Device" box. How do I add a device to My Devices? Who knows.

Publishers: Nothing to find in the Settings for each of the publishers. Every publishers settings section is blank.

UI will take to blinking randomly as it gets into a refresh loop. Have to close the window and reopen it to get it usable again. Sometimes all the text in each setting header goes away. No headings on the tables for the Devices, just the set order arrows that would be on each column, not lined up with anything correctly. Oh, now I've lost every setting on each setting section, just blank.

I'm reticent to get much more into the app because if this is the introduction, I'm scared of what other frustration I'm going to find. Not to mention having the arrows for the left menu tree expansion backwards to how nearly everyone else ever does it, but I guess that's just my OCD.

Man, I want to like this because it looks like it could be a simple to use version of Nagios, but some of the design is pretty hard to take.

[-] jokob 14 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Hey, thanks for trying out NetAlertX.

I'm using FF as my primary browser so not sure about why your experience is so different.

I think I've done alright, writing an app that is configurable via json manifests, dynamically loaded settings and a plugin system everyone can contribute to.

There are of course things to improve, and almost everything listed in your post is something on my long to-do list. It's very easy to find flaws in things, but what's more difficult is to contribute to the community and improve things.

So if you are up for a challenge - open a PR and help me improve things step by step.

Thanks in advance if you decide to help out! Otherwise, comments like these make free open-source work unenticing🙏

EDIT: Fixed the empty settings (hopefully), added a remove last button on the subnets setting.

Oh also - there is a well documented bulk-editing feature: https://github.com/jokob-sk/NetAlertX/blob/main/docs/DEVICES_BULK_EDITING.md VLANS are documented here: https://github.com/jokob-sk/NetAlertX/blob/main/docs/SUBNETS.md#vlan-example

[-] ikidd 4 points 1 month ago

OK, sorry to discourage you, it wasn't my intent. I updated to FF 125 during my evaluation and that didn't fix anything, but switching to Chrome and things started working made me think this is just another project designed for Chrome. I've tried to help on projects like that and the attitude I've always gotten back is "then use Chrome like everyone else, weirdo".

I used to project manage a programmer team, and UI is the biggest user complaint I would get hit by. So I'm pretty sensitive to non-intuitive UI design. At this point, I'd rather edit the conf file than use the Settings page. Not sure how to reload that conf file other than to restart the container.

I wish I had time to spend on this submitting actual code, because I like a lot of what I see. Best I could do is add to your list of todo's by creating issues and it sounds like you have plenty on that list already. If you want a couple more, open the spoiler below. In any case, have fun on your project and don't let assholes like me bring you down.

spoiler

  1. Remove Last: this isn't great. A selectable list with Edit and Delete buttons is more usable and standard. I saw all those Remove Last buttons throughout the Settings, and it's not much better than Remove All if you have to delete every entry after the faulty one to fix your list. There's plenty of settings that have a dozen items in the list that would all have to be re-entered manually as text.

  2. Dropdowns pre-validate input. Making a box that you can put random additional arguments into means you have to chop up the input in arguments to validate, or maybe you aren't validating it until you press Save, in which case you're making it even tougher to validate the entire file. You can only show items in the dropdown that are valid for that input. Several pages of docker virtual interfaces and named networks is probably not what you want in the dropdown. Eth0 is not a standard interface name anymore in most distros.

  3. That bulk-editing workflow; so I pick items on one page, why would I expect that they'd be carried over when I go to a completely different page in another section of the application? And in that section, there's nothing to indicate that clicking on the gray bar in the middle of the warning text orange box would pop up the list of devices so I can do things with them. What I typically see in things like this is checkboxable list items and a toolbar or menu at the top of the list on the Devices page to perform actions.

[-] jokob 3 points 1 month ago

Thanks for the constructive feedback.

  1. I'll keep thinking how to improve the interface selection to simplify the first-time setup. It's a bit lower on my priority list, but the suggestions are valid.
  2. I'm trying to balance configurability and ease of use and so far the current input is OKAY - it limited the number of wrong setups significantly and it still gives options to include additional arguments. But fair point of having more robust input validation. In general, the initial configuration UX, although very important, is less important than day-to-day tasks so I prioritize accordingly. Still, there is lots of to improve and if this was something that made me money I'd be able to spend more time on the niceties - I'm really focused on the core functionality at this point with approx a 80/20 time investment split.
  3. I didn't have any feedback on the workflow yet, but I'll keep this in mind to make it more user-friendly. Once you select the devices they are pre-populated in the grey area so I didn't get any feedback of it being counter-intuitive.

Still it's weird you had issues on FF as I use it as my main driver. 🤔

Thanks again for the feedback and if you can, please submit an issue for quick UX improvements here-and-there. Again, trying to balance where I spend my time to improve the app 😉

[-] jokob 2 points 3 weeks ago

I know it's not perfect, but hopefully this will improve the editing experience a bit:

[-] ikidd 1 points 3 weeks ago

That's way better. Nice job.

I'll see it on the next docker build release.

[-] Nouveau_Burnswick 9 points 1 month ago

Breaking change!

Now I've got to update my dashboards with the new name and icon 😀

[-] jokob 2 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

I switched to WatchYourLan. It's simpler and I feel I don't need anything else

[-] jokob 4 points 1 month ago

Yep, WYL is great - someone did a comparison video if you are deciding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=v6an9QG2xF0

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

Here is an alternative Piped link(s):

https://www.piped.video/watch?app=desktop&v=v6an9QG2xF0

Piped is a privacy-respecting open-source alternative frontend to YouTube.

I'm open-source; check me out at GitHub.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago

I found WatchYourLan hosed my PiHole logs. Somehow the WYL instance got its hostname associated with ~10 mac addresses on my lan so more than half of my traffic comes from "watchyourlan.local". FML

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago

Nice! I'm just getting a blank screen at http://myip:20211 after installing it with docker compose. I'll try again later and see if I can figure it out.

[-] PrettyLights 5 points 1 month ago

I had a similar issue and it was due to a typo in my Timezone field for Compose

[-] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago

Wow. What are the chances?

[-] asbestos 4 points 1 month ago

What the actual fuck

[-] jokob 4 points 1 month ago

Open an issue and I will help out

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

It was a typo in my compose file. Oops!

[-] [email protected] 3 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

This is awesome. Will it work with VLANs or would I need an instance for each VLAN? I can do either, but allowing for VLANs would be awesome.

[-] jokob 3 points 1 month ago
[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

Oh, I you just made me very happy. New toy, which will make my wife somewhat unhappy 🤣. Thanks so much.

And of course I'm going to RTFM, really appreciate the direct link. I just play with so much stuff already that I prefer to ask some key questions before I jump into a rabbit hole.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 3 weeks ago

I just gotta say that’s one of the most positive developer-user interactions I’ve seen. Kudos Jokob, I don’t think you could do any better responding to requests and criticism.

[-] jokob 2 points 3 weeks ago

Oh cheers a lot, doing what I can! Messages like this make my day so much better. Trying to stay positive and move things forward. 👍

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago* (last edited 3 weeks ago)

Acronyms, initialisms, abbreviations, contractions, and other phrases which expand to something larger, that I've seen in this thread:

Fewer Letters More Letters
ARP Address Resolution Protocol, translates IPs to MAC addresses
DNS Domain Name Service/System
PiHole Network-wide ad-blocker (DNS sinkhole)

2 acronyms in this thread; the most compressed thread commented on today has 15 acronyms.

[Thread #698 for this sub, first seen 21st Apr 2024, 16:15] [FAQ] [Full list] [Contact] [Source code]

[-] [email protected] -2 points 1 month ago

New Lemmy Post: Pi.Alert is dead...💀 Long live NetAlert X 🚀 (network monitoring) (https://lemmyverse.link/lemmy.world/post/14517755)
Tagging: #SelfHosted

(Replying in the OP of this thread (NOT THIS BOT!) will appear as a comment in the lemmy discussion.)

I am a FOSS bot. Check my README: https://github.com/db0/lemmy-tagginator/blob/main/README.md

this post was submitted on 20 Apr 2024
299 points (97.5% liked)

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