[oclug] How do I build a Linux Blackbox?
Derek T. Murphy
derekm at NightTiger.ca
Tue Jul 29 08:50:28 EDT 2003
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On Tue, 29 Jul 2003, Subba Rao wrote:
> I am interested in building a Linux blackbox. The typical distros that I
> switch between are Slackware and Debian. When I do a typical install of these
> distro, I pretty much install everything. Once I configure a system for a
> specific need I would like to strip off the unnecesary "stuff". For example,
> the Web server, GCC compiler need not be on this black box anymore. It is
> easy to remove them as well. How do you determine the dependency chain for
> the "removable" tools?
For Slackware, I've been using "swaret" (http://swaret.xbone.be) for
management purposes (Add, remove, update), but be aware that it only works
for the new package naming convention (The files in /var/log/packages are
> I do think leaving the GCC compiler on it is important since there are patches
> and kernel updates to be installed frequently.
Or, you could build the kernel etc. on another box and just move them over
> Regardless the function of the blackbox, what are the minimum set of tools
> that need to be left alone on a black box system?
Now, that's a pretty-much unanswerable question. The minimum set of tools
is dependant on the function of the box. For example, a firewall box
requires different tools than, say, a file server box, or document display
You would need to decide what it's going to be used for, and install or
There would be some tools in common, though.
You'd want to have some way to get files onto the box; the ssh/scp
*client* is a reasonable method. Of course, you'd need networking for
this, unless you use sneaker-net.
You'd probably want the logging daemons syslogd and klogd. Perhaps a time
No NFS servers, FTP servers, printer servers, etc., depending on the
Just the filesystems you actually use. No samba/smb/nmb servers (unless
serving or mounting MS file shares), no CODA or InterMezzo.
No X, if you can handle the command line. And on it goes...
> Thank you in advance for any information.
I'm afraid this doesn't help much, but I guess it's a start... Like
EVERYTHING in the computer universe, the answer is, "It depends...".
Derek T. Murphy <DerekM at NightTiger.ca>
Night Tiger Inc. Kanata, Ontario, Canada (613) 266-NTSC (266-6872)
System Administration/Network Security PGP/GPG keys: www.NightTiger.ca
"The answer is *computers*. What's your _question_?"
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