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First a little background. I am the tech support guy at a company that sells digital video surviellance pcs. We ship out RedHat machines that capture video and store it on large raid arrays. Alot of the support I do can be done remotely with ssh or vnc. But when the customers internet is down I have to do painful console walkthroughs over the phone with people who know nothing about linux.
What Id like to do is make some sort of live cd that works without the hard drives and brings up ethernet. Possibly even runs fsck and other diagnostics. Since most of my problems are ext3 errors that halt the boot process. But at the least gets them online so I can ssh to them. Any ideas?
That looks interesting. There are tons of live distros out there. I guess what I was really think of was something like creating my own. Ive been reading the Diskless Nodes with Live CD howto on tldp.org.
Personally, I really wouldnt care if it had much of a GUI to it. I that would be nice since my customer would be down the whole time I was ssh'd and troubleshooting. So I guess some simple window manager and mozilla's firebird and maybe an email checking program would be good.
Anyone done anything similar to this before?
I would second Knoppix.
Check the Knoppix bulletin board on how to customize your Knoppix CD.
You could confirm it was able to initialize the needed interfaces (for each client; IE custom CD for each client) with your configuration and run diagnostics per your specifications (VIA rc files or shell scripts).
Besides the Linux BBS, there is also a Slackware "Live" CD, and others you may prefer.