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Old 02-11-2006, 01:51 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Hertford
Distribution: Mint | Sabayon
Posts: 151

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Need For A Custom Live Distro?

I thought I'd take a minute to post a topic I am considering following through for my company.

Of all the distros available, I am particularly drawn to the support of dependencies and stability (I have found) with debian based systems. I typically swap between Knoppix, Mepis and Kubuntu.

I am interested in having a Live CD 'made to order', so to speak. It will likely be Knoppix or Mepis based.

What I am looking for is a Live CD that supports hardware detection as well as Knoppix 4 but a cut down version that is targeted at web-user and office. One of the most important requirements is security, the second, integration. Another important consideration is to 'cut the bulk' and use only the finest select few applications, something I know Ubuntu (minimalistic) and Knoppix (maximalistic) have tried to do well.

Another consideration is the overall size. I know DSL is debian based and only 50Mb (ish). I am thinking around 300Mb, not to pointlessly waste a CD, but to increase download times.

The idea of web and office is a common problem I confront as well as security. This is something a complete novice is clueless about but very important none-the-less. By security, I mean an optimally pre-configured firewall for the configured apps on the Live CD, as well as other tweaks for safer web browsing for such common tasks as 'Online-Banking', or 'e-shopping'.

In essence, I am considering almost 'commissioning' a custom Knoppix re-pack, or a fresh distro, either that or find like minded people who see a use for this.

Now I've told the story, have I come to the right place to seek input? I would appreciate some feedback to know:

What are the main flaws in this project?
How would I begin to find interested parties?
How can I prove the system is 'secure'? SeLinux

Thank you.

Decided to make a weblog for this project. SeCoWeb Linux

Last edited by smudge|lala; 02-11-2006 at 05:51 PM.
Old 02-11-2006, 02:08 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
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Your best bet for this would be to remaster Knoppix - you can strip out all the things you consider unnecessary. Not sure about the security aspect - maybe include guarddog or firestarter...?
Old 02-11-2006, 02:20 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: London, England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,460

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Possibly you'd find MkMyDsl worth a look..
Old 02-12-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Hertford
Distribution: Mint | Sabayon
Posts: 151

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Remaster or remake?

I've been reading through some of the many good Knoppix remastering tutorials, but without actually having tried a remaster myself, I am curious to know how select the remaster options are? I'm interested to go 'back-to-base' and start from the ground up. I considered LFS but think this, as is Gentoo, a very custom build for a specific machine.

There are several tools available now to remaster your own live CD including rBuilder, to name but one.

If anyone is interestedin this, I have thrown together a quick blog on the subject here.
Old 10-24-2006, 06:24 AM   #5
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Hertford
Distribution: Mint | Sabayon
Posts: 151

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Remastering Live CD DVD

I confess I haven't ever done it, but just how hard is it to create or remaster a Linux live CD? I'm sure we're all familiar with DSL and possibly even the new Latvian Austrumi; Business card distros to go!

I believe DSL is built from source based on the Linux from scratch website, but Austrumi is a mosix debian package. I like both as they are fast to load, fast to use and eject the disc so you may continue to use the CD/DVD drive. I like Austrumi as it uses the new experimental e17 desktop, but I'm just as happy with xfce.

How small can a live disc get and be able to eject itself after booting to free up the drive? I understand the squashfs restrictions breaking 2Gb for liveDVDs, but what about 50-150Mb, or even 300mb?
Old 10-24-2006, 11:26 PM   #6
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Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Charleston, SC, USA
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I have to recommend Slax. It has to be the most easily customizable live cd in existence. It's the only livecd I use anymore, because it is very easy to add programs using their modules and security would probably only require you to rebuild one module - whatever contains iptables. Do yourself a favor and have a look.
Old 10-25-2006, 03:42 AM   #7
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Hertford
Distribution: Mint | Sabayon
Posts: 151

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I will check it out thanks. Heard of it never thought to look it up!
Old 10-25-2006, 09:02 AM   #8
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Distribution: lots
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smudge|lala, I'm considering something very similar to this. I have a room full of sales reps, most of whom don't last past their first week. It'sa churn-and-burn room full of people who don't give a crap about the equipment. They were constantly trashing the workstations, so now I have them on a windows 2000 terminal server, locked down fairly tight, and it is better, but now they have somehow managed to get spyware installed there too. Just today both firefox and internet explorer were forwarding all requests for to instead. Heh, lovely.

I have always thought it would be absolutely fantastic if I could configure all the workstations to boot to a livecd or some kind of network boot or something similar, and store their email and desktop on a fileserver. Have the livecd conifgured to give a login prompt and authenticate with a local server here, have the few apps on the desktop that they actually use like a .doc app, web client, email client, a pdf viewer, and that's basically it. Their main apps they use all day are a web app, outlook, and word.

Without having any personal data stored on the local pc, that also leaves the ability to move them around at will without having to move the pc and all the other niceties. Almost like a thin client but not quite.

Anyway, I'm good enough with Linux, but not quite up to this level of challenge unless there is a distro that is already quite geared for this. I'm interested in following your research as well.
Old 10-25-2006, 11:08 AM   #9
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Hertford
Distribution: Mint | Sabayon
Posts: 151

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Custom Office Distro

Hi an interesting post! If you have decent main-boards and can encrypt/password protect the bios access, and they are good enough to pxe boot you're all set! Also ensure there is no hard drive for them to trash, just plenty of memory!

Personally I love these small distros and am currently playing with SLAX.

In truth, my favorite disro is the gentoo based Sabayon Linux, and I am a keen poster and beta developer there at SL. We are in discussion at present about a custom disc for office applications, something I have been working on for ages. I get great support for windows applications with it which isn't a normal requirement of mine, but I do use encrypted software for online trading, and is only available for windows. This works flawlessly with SL.

If you have requirements for alive disc for office functionality, compact and so on, let me know so we can all benefit from a special disc.

I am posting thoughts on the SL forum, just search for user 'smudge'.

I haven't started a software thread but should I have been considering applications for some time and alhough I'm an avid KDE user, I think I would be very happy with XFCE, check out the link with flash demos!

Maybe you'd like to comment here.


livecd, remaster

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