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Re: making bootable CD from running debian setup

On Thu, Apr 19, 2001 at 01:33:16PM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> on Wed, Apr 18, 2001 at 04:13:03PM -0500, will trillich (will@serensoft.com) wrote:
> > i'm thinking of making this a VPN or NAT box only, no user
> > interaction whatever. surely we don't need lots-o-fancy packages
> > & such just to forward net packets...
> What do you mean by "no user interaction"?  No user system
> configuration?  To be useful, a computer is almost by definition,
> user-interactive.  Or do you mean "VNC" rather than "VPN"?

no. vnc is "point from there, send click to here." and "here's a
window for you, all the way from mom's basement."

vpn is "i'll fold that packet up, sir, and send it over yonder
where a similar butler will unfold it and pretend it's all on one
big happy local area network".

rather than have a mongo-kahuna debian install just to forward
vpn packets from subnet to subnet, i'd like to get cheapo
cpu and mobo and cd-rom drive and diskette drive (for ip number
settings). no hard drive needed. or desired.

> I gather that these are user-based systems.  I'd aim toward something
> that's faster-responding (people hate latency).  For a compute farm,
> latency matters far less than throughput, and the fully diskless model
> works much better.

not user-based, which would require user interaction. :) these
puppies will listen for net packets and forward them to other vpn
socketholeplugins Out There on the public net.

just want whatever packets from, say, in LAN one in
Poughkeepsie, to be forwarded through the world wide web to which is in Dubuque, but which appears to be
instead just down the hall (right next to the ladies' room).

> > > You'll almost certainly need *some* local storage, even if proxied
> > > through a RAMdisk.  Note that /var content will tend to need to be
> > > stored.
> > 
> > i wonder about the system on the debian potato install cd... does
> > it have or need a /var directory? if not, what's it take to
> > replicate that kind of setup? what packages need nixing?
> The installation disk is almost certainly not a good model -- it has
> very little use for /var, most of which is concerned with temporal
> content that changes with system configuration changes and services
> (new, mail, website, logs).  It installs largely as a RAMdisk with,
> IIRC, three or four partitions of 4MB each, including a 4MB /tmp
> partition.  The LinuxCare BBC operates similarly, with some RAM and some
> live-from-CD partitions.

your descrip of the debian install just about sounds ideal.

> Another example of a live CD install is the SuSE distribution.  I'd
> played with this in the past, a friend of mine was reporting on it
> recently.  You can run pretty much a full GNU/Linux installation just by
> sliding the CDROM into the drive.  Not quick.  Noisy.  But there, and no
> permanent on-disk modifications required.

i'd like to do LESS than that, directly off cd. maybe read a
setting or two (ip, subnet, router...) from diskette at /dev/fd0
and other than that, masquerade packets until the cows come home.
no keyboard, no monitor, no mouse, and no servers except maybe
telnet (locked via xinetd to answer to interior interface only)
in case some snooping is required. otherwise, it's REBOOT and all
is back as it should be.

what's it take to do that? how can i zap system loggers & such?
i'm looking for a minimum, minimal, minimalist, micro install...
with vpn/nat... ?

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