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A Great Gnome Panel Applet + A UPnP Enabled Router
26th July 2010

I have just discovered that my ADSL router supports UPnP, and that this provides an interface to access 3 important bits of information from the router (external IP address, total bytes sent and total bytes received). I had previously been scraping the router's web interface to grab the external IP. As for the bytes sent and received, I didn't even know the router had a method of reporting these.

My first instinct was to look for a Perl library for UPnP, I found two. One in the Ubuntu repositories (and in CPAN) http://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Net::UPnP::GW::Gateway and another which appears to be in neither, http://perlupnp.sourceforge.net/.

I tried out the first one and after some fiddling get it working (though I haven't yet been able to eliminate the 2 seconds it spends blocked, ie. not executing on the CPU but still not complete).

Next I found a great program that allows you to place an arbitrary command's output in the Gnome Panel, http://code.google.com/p/compa/. Which resulted in,

Compa Gnome panel applet showing total bytes recieved and sent by the router.

The Perl script I use to provide the output to the Compa applet is at http://github.com/andrewharvey/perlmisc/blob/master/upnp_router_inoutbytes_to_compa.pl

Tags: computing, dev.