[nSLUG] Live Disk & a Mac to go

Peter Cordes peter at llama.nslug.ns.ca
Thu Mar 6 15:49:25 AST 2003


On Thu, Mar 06, 2003 at 12:19:16PM -0400, David L. Potter wrote:
> 
> At the last meeting of the Halifax Area Personal Computer Club we had a 
> demonstration of a Linux learning tool in the form of a 'Live Disk'.
> 
> The first thing that popped into my little mind was using a live disk to 
> allow me to do remote system admin from those Windows boxes that are 
> always under foot.
> 
> The disk demo-ed did not have a ssh client although it did have a 
> XWindows client.
> 
> I know that I can mount an iso image but I'm assuming that I couldn't 
> manipulate it - i.e. add a ssh client.
> 
> So, am I correct in thinking that I've got to build a disk (HD) with the 
> features I want (ssh, dialup ?) and then take an image of it and burn 
> the image to a CD.
> 
> The live disk is an attractive starting point because it is already set 
> up to be quite tolerant of hardware.

 See http://www.knoppix.net/ for an example.  Also check:
http://www.icewalkers.com/opd/Computers/Software/Operating_Systems/Linux/Distributions/Live_CD/

> The next stage Version 1.1 ... ;-) would be a Mac equivalent or would 
> that be Ver 4.0 ... assuming it's possible at all ...;-)

 Macs can boot from CDs, so yeah, it's possible.  (GNU/Linux runs fine on
Macs, even some m68k I think!  Old PPCs (with NuBus instead of PCI) are a
problem, though.  Motorola had a version of Linux running on top of Mach,
but I don't think it's very up to date anymore.

 I went looking, and I actually found one: http://www.gentoo.org/ has live
CD images for x86, Mac, and SPARC[1].
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/distributions/gentoo/releases/1.4_rc3/
is their "master mirror", so there are probably copies in other places.
I think they mean "live CD" in the sense that you can boot and use GNU/Linux
without touching your hard drive.

 As for customizing the contents, I don't know.  Unless the people who make
these have something specially set up for doing it, you could just get a
system set up in a 650MB partition (or a file mounted with the loopback
device), and put the ext2 FS right onto the CD.  You could also convert it
to iso9660 with RockRidge.  I guess you could download the ISO image and
change what's in it before you burned it.  I don't think ISO9660 can't be
mounted read-write, so it would have to do more than mount it through the
loopback device and cp files into it :(

[1] actually, it doesn't look like there any CD images for SPARC, too bad
Donald :)

-- 
#define X(x,y) x##y
Peter Cordes ;  e-mail: X(peter at llama.nslug. , ns.ca)

"The gods confound the man who first found out how to distinguish the hours!
 Confound him, too, who in this place set up a sundial, to cut and hack
 my day so wretchedly into small pieces!" -- Plautus, 200 BC



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