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I was watching my 13.04 VM update, and I noticed that it wanted to update the geoip-database package.

I have verified that it is present on my 12.10 computer as well - what does Ubuntu desktop use this for?

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+1 I always thought it was some kind of Ubuntu stat to know in which countries Ubuntu users are and what version they are using. Now I know is not (sad...). –  Luis Alvarado Dec 27 '12 at 2:54
    
Don't have a copy of Ubuntu installed at the moment, but my guess is that ubuntu-desktop requires a torrent client (probably transmission-gtk), which in turn requires geoip-database for peer identification as mentioned in Rick Green's answer. –  Jase Jan 2 '13 at 10:23
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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Used for locating peers in applications like bittorrent.

GeoIP databases will help enable you to identify the location, organization, connection speed, and user type of your Internet visitors. (for servers)

Can be used for Region, Country, City, Organisation, IP ISP and Netspeed.

Used for gathering user/client habits and traffic control.

It's also used for criminal investigation and fraud detection.

See WIKI.


Edit: I thought this was a general question. As indicated it is not, so for more specifics lets move on.

Geoip-database is the database used by a software framework which can be used to enable geospatial awareness in applications.

GPS: Position information from a Global Positioning System receiver (via gpsd and gypsy)

GSM: Position information from cellular network connection

Plazes: Position information from the Plazes Wi-Fi location service

Hostip: Position information based on IP address

Manual: User-provided position information such as:An online locator service (also known as location finder, store finder, or store locator, or similar) is a feature found on websites of businesses with multiple locations that allows visitors to the site to find locations of the business within proximity of an address or postal code or within a selected region.

Services such as Google Maps, MapQuest or Bing Maps allowing the user to see on a map where the particular location is found on a map.


The database is also used by GeoClue which is a modular geoinformation service built on top of the D-Bus messaging system. The goal of the Geoclue project is to make creating location-aware applications as simple as possible.


Just a little more info:

GeoIP is a C library that enables the user to find the country that any IP address or hostname originates from. It uses a file based database.

This database simply contains IP blocks as keys, and countries as values and it should be more complete and accurate than using reverse DNS lookups.

This package contains the free GeoLiteCountry database.

Installation within Ubuntu:

/.
/usr
/usr/share
/usr/share/GeoIP
/usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIP.dat
/usr/share/GeoIP/GeoIPv6.dat
/usr/share/doc
/usr/share/doc/geoip-database
/usr/share/doc/geoip-database/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/geoip-database/copyright
/usr/share/lintian
/usr/share/lintian/overrides
/usr/share/lintian/overrides/geoip-database
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why does ubuntu desktop specifically need it by default? I get the bittorrent thing, but I need a more specific answer. –  jrg Dec 27 '12 at 1:15
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