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Old 02-19-2012, 07:11 AM   #1
saeen
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LFS @ work


Hi Guys,

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 ?

Thank you
 
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:32 AM   #2
liberalchrist
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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.
 
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
druuna
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Hi saeen,

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.
 
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #4
saeen
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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
 
Old 02-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
chrism01
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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.

For a quick win on checking ports, try nmap tool.
 
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
saeen
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Thank you Chrism. I have installed the Centos with minimum options. I will add my script and find a tutorial to create bootable image.

Thanks all for your help.
 
Old 02-19-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
chrism01
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If the targets are Linux systems, then if you can login you can run

Code:
iptables -nvL
to check f/w from the inside.

As for your script; depends what you want to do, but I'd prob use Perl unless its fairly simple.
It has a lot of built-in modules for eg network handling etc.
 
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #8
saeen
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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.

Thanks guys
 
Old 02-20-2012, 12:17 AM   #9
chrism01
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Sounds good.
Would be nice of you to post a sanitized version when its complete for others to build upon
 
  


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