[SATLUG] off the topic: minix

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Sun Jan 6 10:09:49 CST 2008


> 
> Indeed, I have a friend who runs Damn Small Linux off his 1GB USB flash drive. 
> He says it's stable and interfaces well with Ubuntu, which he has on his 
> powerbox desktop.
> 

We used to take any old warehouse computers, put a cdrom drive into them,
and make a CDR distro with iptables and 2 ethernet interfaces to use
them as firewall/router/NAT/DNS box for a local private network. You would
have eth0 go to the cablemodem or outside line, and eth1 to the local hub
or switch.

You can mount /etc as a r/w ramdrive and dump /var and /tmp to a harddrive
partition.  The nice thing about this is it *never* corrupts, and you can
reboot without shutting the machine down cleanly. Since the system is r/o
(on CDROM) you have an added layer of security since you couldn't install
rootkits and program replacements.  For 10baseT or even 100baseT routers
(faster than any DSL or cable connection in town) even a very old 386 will
work with Linux in this configuration and do the job of a standard router.

I have a 512 MB USB thumbdrive with slax on it, it can be configured the 
same way (but for older boxes without USB you can still use a CDROM).
You could use a minimal kernel if the box is memory limited and do all
your compilations on a fast box.

-b.


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