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TuxHealth 0.3

© 2003. William Owen Smith,  Released under the GPL and MPL.


Tuxhealth allows you to quickly see what software the remote web site uses, and whether it is open source or proprietary software.  Hence, this indicates the 'health' of 'tux', the Linux penguin.  See 'Name' section below.

Click on 'Tux' (the penguin) and wait a couple of seconds. You will be told the raw response from the web server, and a brief analysis (see screenshots).

Supported Browsers

Tuxhealth has been reported to work on Mozilla v1.1, v1.3, v1.4beta.
Please tell me if it works on other versions or related clients (Netscape?)

Quick Install

Get it here (25kb) : tuxhealth.xpi

Categorization of Remote Web Site

Currently the categorization into 'open source', 'neutral' or 'proprietary' is very primitive, hardcoded, and only the most common web server and operating software is recognised.  Neutral indicates products that while proprietary, are by companies that are involved with open source development, so their software is unlikely to be deliberately written to harm open source.  A distinction is made between the web server software (most common is IIS, Apache) and the operating system (most common is Unix, Linux, Windows).  Often the operating system is unknown.  Since there are many proprietary flavours of Unix, Unix is listed as 'neutral', but any mention of 'Linux', 'FreeBSD' or 'OpenBSD' turns this to 'open source'.

Name - Why 'tuxhealth'?

This software really doesn't have much to do with Linux, so calling it 'tux' anything is not correct.  Tux is the name of the penguin that is the Linux 'mascot'.  However, 'analysis of web server software for open source usage' isn't a short, pithy name.  That's why I chose tuxhealth. In the long term, I hope to add a 'cheesy' version which shows Tux pushing weights if healthy, or staggering or dead if unhealthy (proprietary software on the remote site).


Concept and initial version by William Owen Smith, /

Initial source code (framework of a Mozilla extension, how to add a button next to the address bar etc.) was borrowed extensively from diggler, which is (C) 2002 by Adam Lock, released under the MPL and GPL.

The Makefile was copied from livehttpheaders, however the code to extract the headers was not, since I couldn't work out how it works - livehttpheaders is very complicated.

The Tux (penguin) logo was by Larry Ewing <> and created in The Gimp software.

"Restart your browser" message after installation was copied from optimoz mouse gestures.

The following people gave input on compatibility with different versions of Mozilla : Ernie Fortnum (uk2raq group), Noodles (uk2raq group), Colin Charles ( group).

The following people gave input on web server or OS substrings that should be considered proprietary, neutral or open source : Colin Charles ( group).

To Do / Bugs

  • In no particular order: Convert all remnants of 'diggler' code to say 'tuxhealth' instead (whilst retaining credit to diggler).
  • Learn XUL.
  • Learn how to write proper Mozilla extensions.
  • Port to Firebird.
  • Make localizable ("internationalize").
  • Add more OS's and web servers in the analysis list.
  • Make the list of proprietary, neutral and open source OS and web software configurable.
  • Cheesy mode showing Tux pushing weights, dead etc.
  • Fix the problem where clicking on Tux's body doesn't do anything.
  • Remove potential conflicts with 'diggler', on which the code was based.
  • Option to take 'proprietary' URL, jump to a website, and compose them a letter telling them why they should port to open source.
  • Analysis of page contents (especially search for generator keyword).
  • Stop the inefficient 'HEAD' request - read existing headers which Mozilla must store somewhere.
  • Do all this quickly, or hand over to someone else, to ensure I stay friends with my wife.

If you see a bright future in Tuxhealth, and you're a whiz with XUL, please contact me about taking over this project :


v0.3.002 Released 19 June 2003. Add facility to lookup the domain at (to give more details of OS) as well as at (to give details of popularity).

v0.2.001 Released 8 June 2003. More information about supported Mozilla versions, more servers listed as proprietary / neutral / open source.  Tidied documentation.

v0.1.020 Released 7 June 2003. Fixed dropdown so the whole of Tux generates the menu. Thanks to Chris Neale.

v0.1.019 released 7 June 2003.

Idea conceived as I wrote an article for the Asian Open Source Centre,  on how to analyse an organisation for their commitment to open source.  Read the article at

19 June 2003 - Tuxhealth v0.3 released
8 June 2003 - Tuxhealth v0.2 released
7 June 2003 - Tuxhealth v0.1 released

The tuxhealth project can be contacted through the mailing list or the member list.
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