GoRK asks: "I have to install a commercial application on one of my servers. The application refuses to locate itself anywhere other than under the /usr tree, and I am concerned with it munging with my configuration under /etc as it automatically configures its daemons and whatnot. I am also a bit concerned with the method it goes about to verify its license on install. Is there any way I can run the installer in some sort of wrapper that allows me to monitor what files and network sockets get read/written to during the change so that I can monitor what data on my machine is getting moved around and also build a catalogue of every last little bit of the app in case I ever have to remove it?" In my opinion, a sensible software installer should have some form of user accessible package manifest included. Why should consumers trust third party software to "do the right thing" in the right locations, especially when installing software you don't have the source to.
"I am a big fan of MD5 sums and package management as a very reliable integrity check and I value the fact that every file on my system save user documents, etc. belongs to a package and I can verify its authenticity. I need to make sure that I know about each and every system file that gets modified during the installation. It would also be nice to see and control if it accesses anything under /dev/ just out of curiosity.
I've never been a diehard security freak before, but I just feel like it's 'time to do things right' so to speak. Is there a tool that will assist me here?"