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I have a few questions here. I work for a company that specialises in everything mobile. My job mainly is to install a software that integrates with customers current environment (ldap, exchange, smtp) etc. Before i do the install i have to make sure that certain ports are open for communication and i rely on customers to do it. Everytime i ask a new customer if the environment is ready, i get the same reply, yes it is. But its only when i install the software that i find out about all the firewall issues. This wastes alot of my time. So i decided to build a system that can be used to check if the ports are open, if i can connect to ldap and exchange etc.
I decided to use LFS as a base system and then add on any required packages. My questions are:
1. While building LFS, i have seen alot of parameters that you pass while running the .configure script and the author also talks about fixing some bugs in the code etc etc. If i was not following this book, how would i know what options to turn on or off ?
2. I have done programming before mainly c and java. What language would you suggest to use for this project. I was thinking perl or C. Some pros and cons perhaps ?
3. The software i install only runs on VMWARE ESX 4.0. How can i make sure that my lfs build will support VMWARE ?
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While there is no question that LFS could be used to accomplish what you suggest, I would strongly advise against it. LFS by its own admission is designed to be a learning experience. Many people have fully functional LFS systems, but it usually requires a lot of trial and error to get there. Following the book carefully usually results in a working system. Then, the BLFS book takes you through most of the common uses. None of the books cover precisely what you are trying to do, as far as I remember. You can get this done much faster and more reliably with a good stable distribution like Slackware or Debian that will allow you to build from the ground up. Another thought is BackTrack, which may already have all the tools you need. I think a lot of what you want to know can be ascertained with a few terminal commands from any normal Gnu/Linux installation.
I fully agree with liberalchrist's post, I just want to add some personal experience.
(B)LFS shouldn't be used in a professional production (develop/test/acceptance) environment. Keeping it up to date (security!) being the biggest problem in my opinion. Debian and Slackware are good free alternatives, Red Hat is a good one if you want/need "official" support.
I tried implementing it for a small (4 physical machines), not too important project. I spend a lot of valuable time manually looking for updates and updating the system, adding/creating administration tools etc. "Wasted" time, 'cause this is present in most self respecting distros already. The project stopped after about 7 months, which made it manageable, but I will never try this again.....
I've been using (B)LFS, at home, for a long, long time. Different situation altogether. Here "wasted" time becomes Learning experience.
Thanks liberlchrist and druuna for your replies. The tool i am trying to create would not run on perm basis but rather just to do some port testing. I want to add a program that would run the port tests and also check LDAP and Exchange connectivity and then email the report directly to me.
Now you say i can do the same with stable linux distros. Do you mean i compile everything using a stable distro or just add the components i want and remove unwanted ones ? I am sorry for the naive questions but even though i have been using linux for a while but still not an expert..not even close.
If you can perhaps point me to a tutorial/book. Thanks
You can use a std distro eg if you want paid support & updates, then RHEL, else Centos is a free version of RHEL with updates, but no support.
Loads of others to choose from see ww.distrowatch.com
Loads of free to read manuals at www.linuxtopia.org.
Thanks again for your input chrism. What i have done is installed a minimal version of CentOs (since the actual software uses Centos) and then i will add a script that does the port checking, ldap and exchange connectivity check (SSL validation included). One this is done i want to create an ISO image of this install and make it bootable. So when the cutomers run this iso, it should log them in as a temp user and only allow them to run the script i have created and hide everything else. Any ways once step at a time i guess.