[TODO: Describe evolution, as advertized—the following is only a description of the state immediately prior to beginning of phase 2 (see Phase 2).]
Originally, GNU Alive was called ‘qadsl’, and had two purposes: to auto-login to certain Swedish dial-up ISPs1; and to maintain the connection via periodic network traffic. Its authors and maintainers were: Jakob "Kuba" Stasilowicz, Peter Strömberg, Kenth Garlöv, Joachim Nilsson, and Jakob Eriksson.
It was implemented in C and ported to GNU/Hurd, several GNU/Linux variants, NetBSD, and FreeBSD. It used a text-based configuration file format for server name and port, user name, login, password, keepalive daemon type and policy, and so forth. Configuration could be done at system (in /etc) level, user (under ~) level, and with corresponding command-line options.
There were two keepalive types, i.e., methods for generating network traffic: HTTP and “ping” (in spirit, not really ICMP). There was debug, pidfile, syslog support. Once running, the daemon could be queried and commanded by another invocation.
The distribution included an example configuration file, installed in
$(sysconfdir); an info-format manual, for
two manpages: alive.8 and alive.conf.5, installed under
(in the appropriate subdirectory of)
The last release of phase 1 GNU Alive was 1.4.0 (2005-02-22), released under GNU GPL v2+ (like all previous releases). There was a small change afterwards that was never released:
Author: Joachim Nilsson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 2005-11-19 12:23:22 +0000 Attempt to lower the impact of non-responding login servers. Don't sleep too long before retrying, it's OK to fail. src/http.c | 8 ++++---- 1 files changed, 4 insertions(+), 4 deletions(-)
The source code comprised a handful of C files for low-level internals
(cross-platform support, e.g.,
strcasecmp); a pair of Yacc/Lex
input files with glue C code, to implement the configuration file parser
module; and 19 .h and .c files, to implement the program
Curiously, the usual mass of Autotools flotsam (i.e., configure script et al, see GNU Software) was checked into the repository. Release 1.4.0 was prepared using GNU Autoconf 2.59 and GNU Automake 1.8.5.
 Some contemporary projects in the same functionality space: TeliaTalker, CiC Login, ARAW, qADSL 1.2.x (from a previous maintainer), TeliaADSLCon, Telia ADSL Connection Keeper, “Clever use of netcat”, LF Connection Keeper. Most of these are defunct or obsolete nowadays.