Unusual distribution requirements - Setup

This is a discussion on Unusual distribution requirements - Setup ; If this is the wrong group to post to, I apologize. I am trying to find a minimalist Linux distribution with some unusual requirements. My aim is to build a toolkit for use in repairing infected Windows systems, running in ...

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Thread: Unusual distribution requirements

  1. Unusual distribution requirements

    If this is the wrong group to post to, I apologize.

    I am trying to find a minimalist Linux distribution with some unusual
    requirements. My aim is to build a toolkit for use in repairing
    infected Windows systems, running in a lightweight Linux environment
    bootable from the same partition as Windows. This means here are my
    requirements:

    1) The entire root filesystem must be running from the initrd
    ramdrive. Preferably the distribution should be ~5 MB or smaller.
    2) It must be able to auto-detect local hard drives and read/write
    NTFS partitions.

    The distribution does not need very much functionality, as it will be
    used only as an "outside-Windows" environment. So it doesn't need
    much except basic libraries and an NTFS read/write driver. No
    development or administration tools even.

    I can satisfy each of these requirements individually, but have not
    yet found a way to satisfy both at once.

    For example, ttylinux:
    http://www.minimalinux.org/ttylinux/
    satisfies requirement #1. But it doesn't seem to detect my local hard
    drives and getting an NTFS driver working with it has been
    unsuccessful.

    Any new Debian-based distro using kernel newer than 2.6.20 can satisfy
    requirement #2, but I really want to strip it down further.

    If I am going to build my own, how does Debian autodetect local hard
    drives and NTFS partitions --- and what is the minimal configuration I
    would need to accomplish this?

    Any suggestions? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

  2. Re: Unusual distribution requirements

    wrote
    > If this is the wrong group to post to, I apologize.


    Looks ok to me.

    > I am trying to find a minimalist Linux distribution with some unusual
    > requirements. My aim is to build a toolkit for use in repairing
    > infected Windows systems, running in a lightweight Linux environment
    > bootable from the same partition as Windows. This means here are my
    > requirements:
    >
    > 1) The entire root filesystem must be running from the initrd
    > ramdrive. Preferably the distribution should be ~5 MB or smaller.


    Wow, that is small. I was going to suggest DamnSmallLinux (DSL), but even
    that weighs in at about 50MB, though I'm sure there are versions stripped
    down further.

    > 2) It must be able to auto-detect local hard drives and read/write
    > NTFS partitions.


    Last time I looked, NTFS write support was still very dangerous. Has it
    reached production reliability, or is it still only for the very
    adventurous?

    > The distribution does not need very much functionality, as it will be
    > used only as an "outside-Windows" environment. So it doesn't need
    > much except basic libraries and an NTFS read/write driver. No
    > development or administration tools even.
    >
    > I can satisfy each of these requirements individually, but have not
    > yet found a way to satisfy both at once.
    >
    > For example, ttylinux:
    > http://www.minimalinux.org/ttylinux/
    > satisfies requirement #1. But it doesn't seem to detect my local hard
    > drives and getting an NTFS driver working with it has been
    > unsuccessful.
    >
    > Any new Debian-based distro using kernel newer than 2.6.20 can satisfy
    > requirement #2, but I really want to strip it down further.
    >
    > If I am going to build my own, how does Debian autodetect local hard
    > drives and NTFS partitions --- and what is the minimal configuration I
    > would need to accomplish this?


    You need to get to grips with the Debian Installer ("d-i") for this - this
    is where all the work goes on with detecting hardware (even if you're not
    actually doing the detection during an install). I tried and failed dismally
    to contribute to d-i, there was a chasm between my abilities and the most
    idiot-friendly d-i documentation. It may have improved, and you're probably
    a lot more savvy than me if you write to NTFS partitions ... google for
    "Debian Installer wiki" to get started.

    Good luck,

    CC



  3. Re: Unusual distribution requirements

    On Wed, 21 May 2008 08:11:17 -0700, Swandog46 wrote:

    > If this is the wrong group to post to, I apologize.
    >
    > I am trying to find a minimalist Linux distribution with some unusual
    > requirements. My aim is to build a toolkit for use in repairing
    > infected Windows systems, running in a lightweight Linux environment
    > bootable from the same partition as Windows.


    If it's not a stupid question why do you want to boot it off the HDD
    rather than using Knoppix which can mount and read - not sure about write
    - NTFS.

    --
    John Stumbles

    Time flies like an arrow
    Fruit flies like a banana
    Tits like coconuts

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