[Nottingham] USB LiveDistros Persistance (or, Going Diskless)

Michael Quaintance penfoldq at penfoldq.co.uk
Wed Aug 27 19:18:12 UTC 2008

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 07:49:53PM +0100, Martin wrote:
> Folks,
> Anyone played going diskless for their system?
> [snip]
> Or a distro can be installed onto flash. Any variations already
> available that are flash friendly? What happens to the log files?

I've used slax ( http://www.slax.org/ ) for livecd / liveusb work and it 
has very good support for persistent changes on USB media. I really like 
the slax architecture for live distro work.

For logfiles, why can't you set syslogd to log to a remote syslog server 
(or will this be the only machine on 24x7)? I would probably use two usb 
devices, one for boot and persistent changes and a cheap, throwaway one 
for logs then when it wears out due to too much writing, you simply 
replace it. Why should you need more than 1GB of logs anyway? Or, if 
you've got any lying around that are just too small for useful work, 
make them the log drive. 128MB of logs for a firewall is plenty as you 
can logrotate them to a proper backup medium if required.

And although xubuntu is quite good, do you really need Xwindows at all 
for a firewall/router? Why not just a simple debian or ubuntu from the 
alternate install disc to run headless?

Just my thoughts, although I'd use a WRT54GL for wireless as well or put 
OpenBSD with pf onto a Via C3 or similar for paranoid packet filtering. 
In fact, I did the OpenBSD option on a Sun Ultra 5 for a while but the 
electricity was just too much. And OpenBSD is really not usable in less 
than 512MB of disc space.

NotLUG USA Splinter Group

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