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LoneStar 09-23-2013 07:31 PM

Offline Updates and Security
I hate to write a "which distro" thread, but I have some very pointed questions. I've done quite a bit of research, but I'm still coming up short on some answers.

I'm installing an offline box, i.e. no access to the internet. My goals are to have a very minimal install (i.e. as few packages as possible). Security is also another big concern for me.

Because this is an offline box, all updates will need to be downloaded on a different machine and transferred to this offline box every 6 months or so.

I've narrowed my search down to these (but am open to any suggestions):

* FreeBSD
* Slackware
* Debian
* CentOS

All of these seem to be geared more towards server use, which I will not be using them for...but servers seem to be a little more minimal/secure as far as I can tell.

Although everyone has different opinions, what are your feelings about how these compare to each other in the offline updates/security respect? As all four of these can be fairly similar in the minimalist approach.

As a side note, I'm coming from Arch which I love, but the rolling release would really make updating only every 6 months a royal pain.

And before anyone says, "Just try them all!" I am ;) but to be truly familiar with all the idiosyncrasies of these you need more than a few days of tinkering. I'm looking for someone that's got some real time under belt with any of these, hopefully having done some offline updates, etc.

Thanks in advance to all who read this! :D

evo2 09-23-2013 11:00 PM


the Debian installer can be told to install a very minimal system. I've not done a minimal install recently so I don't recall the steps, but there is full documentation available. See for example
Anyway, if you were able to install Arch, then I imagine that you should have no problems with the Debian installer.

Offline pacage management would be quite simple with Debian by making use of apt-offline. See
The other distributions you mention may have similar tools, but I'm familiar with them: perhaps others here at LQ can comment.



chrism01 09-27-2013 03:19 AM

For offline updates of Centos (any rpm system)

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