Tiny [] Torvaldians

The point is, you should be able to do with Linux what was so easy to do with DOS-6.22. A single floppy, with the Command processor and allied files, plus a lister, FAT browser, and editor -- and you could get onto any of the hundreds of different models, and every Intel based box ever built, 286, 386, 486, Pentium. I have done that with 30 or so computers left at my doorstep, genuine protected commercial boxes, secure library systems, and absolutely horrid self-contained screen junks running only 560 floppies with 64K of RAM.

Once you are on, you can see what is there, or remove files, alter some parameters. With a modest test suite you can also find what is broken. For resetting boot sequence you can always get into the CMOS by pulling and replacing some pin in the motherboard area of the backup battery. For bypassing 'secure' command processors, just hit both shift keys simultaneously when it announce the start.

Anyway, you would figure you should be able to do that with Linux too. But, oh no, not easily.

Updated 1/26/01 --

I was building the following one a few years ago. The point was to have a small, insecure LAN operated terminal to access some other Linux box on a network. Anything important will be done on that other box. Prolly reinventing the Tiny Coaster Wheel, but what the hell.

Never finished.. Other things to do. So if you are still with me from some desire to do what cannot be done, try any of the following instead.

  1. Peewee

    PeeWeeLinux is an ongoing development effort to provide an environment that makes the configuration and installation of a Linux operating system on an embedded platform as easy and painless as possible. Some of the key features of PeeWeeLinux are: * Developed on a RedHat 6.2 platform * Packages build and maintained using rpm * Packages are customized to minimize memory footprint * Ncurses driven graphical configuration and installation tools * 2.2.x kernel enhanced for embedded applications * USB support * PCMCIA support * XFree86 support

    The configuration utility is menu driven and allows for complete packages, or a subset of files from packages, to be included in the target system. Target system using syslinux or lilo bootloaders are supported. Targets can consist of root ramdisks, read-only root partitions and conventional single read-write root partitions. Projects can be saved for later use; thus making it very easy to test several different configurations.

    PeeWeeLinux includes a complete and growing assortment of utilities and applications for a variety of products. Custom configuration files and binaries can be added to a project and saved with a project. Possible applications for systems build with PeeWeeLinux include: * Rescue floppy disks * Routers * Firewalls * Thin-Clients * much more

    The PeeWeeLinux development environment requires a pre-existing Linux system with a complete set of development tools installed. PeeWeeLinux is currently developed on a RedHat 6.2 system with some updated packages and a not necessarily a stock kernel. For a complete listing of packages installed on the system PeeWeeLinux is being developed on see the REFERENCE file.

    PeeWeeLinux was created out of the need to develop a small crash proof satellite router for K-Net. The idea was to build a flash based system that loads the operating system into a ramdisk thus eliminating any risk of corrupting the filesystem due to power failures, brownouts or even operator errors. In essance an embedded Linux system.

    PeeWeeLinux was conveived to make the process of building an embedded system repeatable and reliable. The tedious task of stripping each library and binary and ensuring that dependencies are met had been done when the PeeWeeLinux packages were build.

    Today PeeWeeLinux is actively being developed and used. Work is underway to keep PeeWeeLinux at the cutting edge of Linux development by including the latest stable kernel versions and increasing the applications and utilities available. Features are being added to 'pwlconfig' on an ongoing basis.

  2. Airmid - http://airmid.netpedia.net/

    -- cant connect

  3. BrutalWare - http://hysteria.sk/brutalware/

    Tired of MS-DOS, Novell or Windows? Now the GNU Brutalware is here, allowing you to turn any computer into powerful hacker's Linux workstation, with only one DOS based PC and 3 floppies!

    Brutalware is two-disks Linux distro with TCP/IP networking (currently only bootp-based) and one supplementary floppy with tons of hacking utilities. Great distribution for use in the school labs and internet cafe's.

    Brutalware Linux 1.1 is libc5 based 2.0.36 Linux distribution.

    Brutalware may be booted by LOADLIN from MS-DOS system, since many of publicly accessible computers (which is the primary target of this distribution) don't allow users to boot from floppy for security reasons.

    (Brutalware may be also booted directly from floppy without requiring DOS, but this is undocumented. If you want to boot directly, create a bootdisk by transferring kernel image "images/direct_boot/disk1.img" to a 1.44 floppy. Don't do it if you don't know how to do it.)

    Basic setup of TCP/IP networking is currently possible only with BOOTP. The purpose of Brutalware is _portability_ so it isn't possible to do any fixed network setup.

  4. CClinux - http://www.CosmicChaos.com/ 404: CClinux/


  5. Coyote - http://www.coyotelinux.com/

    Coyote Linux is a single floppy distribution of Linux that is derived from the Linux Router Project (LRP). The main difference between LRP and Coyote is the way that it is configured and maintained.

    Coyote Linux is designed for use by those wishing to share an Internet connection that is provided via an Ethernet connection using DHCP or PPPoE, or a PPP dial-up with other computers that are connected to a local area network (LAN). The primary focus of the Coyote design is to make it as easy as possible to configure and use.

    The Coyote distribution of Linux is designed to be run on Intel x86 based systems. The minimum system requirements are as follows: * 386SX Processor or greater * 12Mb RAM * 1.44Mb Floppy Drive * MDA Display

    * The resulting floppy disks from the Coyote Linux disk creation software require a computer that has a math-coprocessor present (486DX or greater). This is done to save disk space as the kernel is considerably larger if math-coprocessor emulation is compiled in.

    You do not need a CDROM or Hard Drive in the computer that will ultimately be running Coyote.

    The following network cards are currently supported by Coyote: (long list , includes NE2000)

  6. DLX - http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/usr/h93/h9301726/dlx.html

    no response in time

  7. Empire - http://home.c2i.net/buddha9/


  8. Floppix - http://floppix.ccai.com/index.html

    Floppix is a teaching tool; it is a very small subset of Debian/ GNU Linux that fits on two 3.5" 1.4Mb diskettes. The current version is derived from Debian 2.1 (slink), copyright under the GNU GPL "copyleft". It provides a platform to practice linux commands and experiment with simple system administration.

    Floppix has no hard drive support; you cannot access, modify, damage or destroy anything installed on the hard drive. For this reason, Floppix works safely in the lab, at home or at work.

    Floppix runs from a RAMDISK. Since the entire filesystem is stored in RAM, all changes are lost when the system is shutdown or rebooted. This makes it possible to experiment freely; if you want (or need) to start over, all you have to do is reboot. For example, if you want to know what is left after the superuser has deleted the entire filesystem, Floppix is the place to try it.

  9. Floppyfw - http://www.zelow.no/floppyfw/

    floppyfw is a static router with the firewall-capabilities in Linux.

    Although it is called a firewall it does not have all the functionality we are expecting from a firewall of today. It is basically a Screening router or Package filtering firewall.

    I am using this to put my home network behind a box running this and an ADSL modem on the other side. It can of course be used with cable modems and everything else giving you an ethernet port to connect to.

    * Access lists, IP-masquerading (Network Address Translation) controlled by ipchains * Port forwarding (getting access to internal network from outside) using ipmasqadm * Requires only a 386sx or better with two network interface cards, a 1.44MB floppy drive and 8Mbyte of RAM ( for less than 12M, use the ONLY_8M=y option in /config ) * Very simple packaging system. Is used for DHCP servers, editors, PPP, VPN and whatever comes up. (now this is looking even more like LRP) * Logging through klogd/syslogd.

    It will get more features, but only if it is possible to cram it into the one, single diskette. More than one floppy is bloatware..

  10. Fluf - http://www.upce.cz/~kolo/fluf.htm

    * Chtel jsem vytvorit maly linux, ktery bych mohl nosit stale s sebou. * Uz me stvou Wokeni terminaly a jejich problemy s klavesnici a * Miniaturni linux na 1 disketu a dokonce mate i kousek na praci (asi 100KB).. * staci z ni pouze nabootovat a uz jede a vubec nic si nezapisuje na HDD * podpora site (TCP/IP) * podpora filesystemu FAT, VFAT, MSDOS, NFS, ext2, iso9660 * kernel 2.0.29

    ... sure..

  11. Freesco - http://www.linuxsupportline.com/

    Whatever.. has disappeared

  12. Giotto - http://www.quietsche-entchen.de/giotto/

    giotto is a floppy Linux, a bootable floppy disk that comes with the necessary parts of the Linux operation system. giotto boots from a floppy (it can be installed also on a harddisk) and runs completly out of the system's RAM, generally no harddisks are required.

    giotto follows the idea of a modular floppy Linux. In other words, it tries to provide a common platform for Linux applications that can be run from a floppy

    Some people who already took a look at giotto mentioned that is looks like the Linux Router Project. I don't know, I never used it. giotto is not meant to be a system rescue disk.

  13. HAL91 - http://home.sol.no/~okolaas/hal91.html

    404, disappeared

  14. HVLinux - http://www.hven.com.ve/hvlinux

    Is a project started for developing a server-oriented linux distribution which contains the minimum of programs to work as well as a selection of security focused tools. Read the HVLINUX HOWTO in the Documentation and contribute with the project

    In this page we resume the more important features of the HVlinux versions, including the latest version 0.2.3 ( under development). HVLinux is a mini linux distribution that runs in RAM memory, it have the three to five floppy disk,and possibly HVLinux 0.3.0 will run from hard disk.

  15. LIAP - http://www.liap.eu.org/

    [ENGLISH] I am studying pharmacy and that's the reason I have named my project that way. It is still under construction and only several parts are published. My Linux project contains "pills". Each of them is good for one disease, but it doesn't work good enough for another. When you know what do you need a Linux for, you may choose a good pill. And of course, as you know, there is no drug which is good for treating all diseases.

  16. LinuxEmbedded - http://www.linuxembedded.com/

    LEM an Embedded version of Linux that can fit on less than 8 Meg Disk Partition (Base + Xfree) or any other support like Flash disk IDE and the like.

    It is based on Mandrake 6.1 (GLIBC 2.1) and easily scalable to suit your need.

    The base version includes all the basics shells command needed to run and administrate a linux system for embedded hardware. Xfree SVGA can also be added to expand the capabilities of your system, it supports all the major SVGA video cards up to 32 bits colors with high resolution, ideal for LCD displays. It is network ready with TCP/IP built in.

  17. LOAF - http://loaf.ecks.org/

    Welcome to the LOAF homepage. Linux On A Floppy (LOAF) is an extremely tiny distribution of Linux, which, as the name implies, fits on a single floppy. LOAF was built by Eric Benoit, and is brought to you by The Ecks Group.

    LOAF 1.2 offers several major changes from 1.1: * Now offers four virtual consoles. * Now uses the KISS shell. While it doesn't support scripting like ash did, it does save a lot of space by including a LOT of useful utilities built right into the shell. * No longer contains those three games, nor does it include an editor. (big deal) * Now offers ssh (secure shell), and ftp (to transfer files). * All kernels now support NFS. * Kernel has been upgraded to 2.0.36. * Should now work (sort of) on machines with only 4 megs of RAM. * Included a tarball of my root fs, my kernel .config files, and some quick docs on how to mess around with stuff.

    LOAF is a single floppy implementation of the Linux operating system, which actually consists of the kernel (the Linux part), and a bunch of free utilities (provided by many people).

    What does LOAF do? LOAF is meant to be used as a client for various network protocols. This includes lynx (a web browser), ftp (for transferring files), telnet (for accessing remote computers), and ssh (for securely accessing remote computers).

    Why use LOAF when my existing operating system can do this? There are several reasons. The first may be that there simply is no OS on the target computer. If you're using a public computer, it may have keyloggers (programs that save your keystrokes which can be examined later by a malicious person) running all over it. Or you could be a Linux nut like myself, and can't stand using an inferior OS. In any case, LOAF is ideal. I'm sure there are many, many other reasons... it's up to you!

    Separate floppy images for differing NICs. RAM operated from a 1.4 fd.

  18. LRP - http://www.linuxrouter.org/

    A networking-centric micro-distribution of Linux. LRP is small enough to fit on a single 1.44MB floppy disk, and makes building and maintaining routers, access servers, thin servers, thin clients, network appliances, and typically embedded systems next to trivial.

  19. Monkey - http://www.spsselib.hiedu.cz/monkey/

    Monkey Linux can be extracted to the DOS filesystem (to the FAT32 too). This is complete small ELF distribution with latest kernel on 5 diskettes. Monkey can run on this minimal HW: 386SX, 4MB RAM, 30MB on IDE HDD. Contain X Window for any SVGA videocard, support for network, support for 3C5x9, 3c59x, 3c900, NE2000/NE1000, WD80x3 ethernet cards, ATAPI/MITSUMI CD. There is some ready-to-install packages, GCC and kernel source for compiling your own kernel too.

    7.5 Mb compressed, requires about 20 Meg on HD, plus swap

  20. MuLinux - http://sunsite.auc.dk/mulinux/

    muLinux (µLinux, really) is a full-configurable, minimalistic, almost complete, application-centric tiny distribution of Linux (2.0.36 modular kernel) made in Italy. muLinux resides on a single 1722K floppy, but floppy add-on are provided. Works on PC 386-8M + swap space, and installs in RAM, UMSDOS, EXT2 & LOOP-EXT2.

    SUPPORTS: * Multi-Ethernet, Multi-PPP and PLIP devices * NFS-root booting (for diskless XTerminal-like clients); * DHCP remote host configuration; * swap file and swap partitions; * file system administration for Linux, DOS and Windows95 partitions (fdisk, fdformat, e2fsck?, etc.); * Internet connection (via PPP) or LAN (via ethernet card); * Point-to-Point PPP null-modem cable connections; * rustic diald (dial-on-demand) daemon; * e-mail processing (fetch, read and send mail), * a file manager with ftp support (Pion), * NFS, ftp, finger, telnet, tcpdump, traceroute * WfW/NT share mounting (Samba/SMB protocol) * IP masquerading, forwarding and gatewaying; * IRC (tinyirc), * news (suck+RNA) and web browsing (with lynx); * whois rustic mini-client; * network tools (as sniffit, nmap, ...); * remote access via modem line (miterm); * text-editor( vi & ae), printing (local & remote) * play & record WAV, CD listening (playcd), MP3 player; * Sound Blaster and PC-Speaker; * fax receiving, sending and printing (efax); * Quiet Computer Setup (HD spindown); * cron: the traditional UNIX scheduler; * gpm: mouse in the console;

    muLinux was built to be used temporarly on PCs which we do not own.

  21. MetaLab - http://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/recovery/!INDEX.html

    a collection of other rescue diskettes.

  22. ODL - http://linux.apostols.org/guru/wen/

    cant connect

  23. Pocket-Linux - http://pocket-linux.coven.vmh.net/

    Pocket Linux is an almost minimal, one floppy linux system designed to quickly convert PC workstation into secure linux-based workstation using ssh to connect to remote host (other networking clients are also supported). It supports bootp for determining host IP and other network parameters (there's also manual configuration possible, but bootp is recommended).

    In addition to workstations equipped with a network card (ethernet or arcnet), you can also use Pocket Linux on a PC equipped with a modem. Modem is automatically detected and then PPP connection is made.

  24. RB - http://www.toms.net/rb/

    tomsrtbt is "The most Linux on one floppy disk" for: rescue recovery panic & emergencies tools to keep in your shirt pockets whenever you can't use a hard drive

    Design goals as much stuff as possible on 1 floppy disk keep it self contained, build under itself try to make it behave like a normal system rescue and recovery functions get priority

  25. SmallLinux - http://smalllinux.netpedia.net/

    404 error

  26. TLinux - http://members.xoom.com/_XOOM/ror4/work/work.html#tlinux


  27. Trinux - http://trinux.sourceforge.net/

    Trinux is a ramdisk-based Linux distribution that boots from a single floppy disk, loads it packages from an HTTP/FTP server, a FAT/EXT2/NTFS filesystem, or additional floppies and contains precompiled versions versions of popular Open Source network security tools for port scanning, packet sniffing, vulnerability scanning, sniffer detection, packet construction, active/passive OS fingerprinting, network monitoring, session hijacking, intrusion detection, and more. Trinux also provides support for Perl, PHP, and Python scripting languages.

    Trinux gives you the power of Linux security tools without requiring a full-blown Linux install or the need to download, compile, and install a complete suite of security tools that are typically not found in mainstream distributions.

    Trinux will boot on any i486 or better with at least 12-16 megabytes of RAM, depending on how many packages are loaded. Hardware support for many common Ethernet cards is provided in the default kerneli and additional NICs are supported via Linux kernel modules. Trinux 0.7x/0.8x is was developed using Slackware 7.1 and supports the latest 2.2.x kernels and glibc 2.1.x. Trinux was first released in April 1998. Versions up through 0.51 were based on Debian 1.31 binaries linked against libc5. Version 0.6x was built using RedHat Linux 5.2.

  28. Xdenu - http://xdenu.tcm.hut.fi/

    Xdenu is small Linux distribution kit. The guiding principles have been the ease of use, the ease of installation and small size. Main goal has been to compile an X terminal environment to Helsinki University of Technology campus area. Later serial line communications packages as ppp and term were added.

    FloppyX version 1.02 is a update from version 1.0. It consist of two floppy disks and doesn't use any hard disk space.

    HdX version 2.1 is hard disk version. It consist of one self-extracting dos EXE file, which is extracted on a dos FAT disk. The Linux system shares the disk with dos.

    Both versions have the same functionalities, but the hard disk version is more subtle and easier to use. In addition, it can be easily upgraded by using module files.

  29. YARD - http://www.croftj.net/~fawcett/yard/

    Yard is a suite of Perl scripts for creating rescue disks (also called bootdisks) for Linux. A rescue disk is a self-contained Linux kernel and filesystem on a floppy diskette, usually used when you can't (or don't want to) boot off your hard disk. A rescue disk usually contains utilities for diagnosing and manipulating hard disks and filesystems.

    * Builds rescue disk from a list of file specifications. * File specs allow absolute and relative filenames, symbolic links, file replacements and full shell-style globbing. * Automatically determines necessary libraries and loaders. * Allows stripping of binaries and libraries during copying. * Automatically regenerates ld.so.cache * Checks for broken symlinks * Checks /etc/{fstab,inittab,termcap} for common errors and inconsistencies. * Checks user directories and files mentioned in /etc/passwd * Checks command files (eg, rc.local and .login) for missing binaries and command interpreters. * Provides information on library usage. * Checks NSS and PAM configuration. * Automatically performs filesystem compression and copying. * Can be used with or without LILO. * Can make single or double disk rescue sets. * Extensive checking of user choices and execution errors.

  30. SERIAL - http://members.wri.com/johnnyb/seriallinux/

    This project is here to transform useful laptops and computers into useless dumb serial terminals. Really. Why would I want to this? Well, a couple of reasons. First of all, the best way to learn about stuff is to just play with it. So, I'm playing w ith Linux to better learn how it works. Also, I have a laptop that all I use it for is being a serial terminal to my headless Linux servers. So, booting a whole distribution is pretty useless. So, I put together this mini-distribution so I could just b oot Linux into minicom.

    Basically, we use a program called Rungetty that puts a minicom session on each virtual consone. I put in all the libraries that minicom requires, the files it requires, and the terminal entry for the Linux terminal. I discovered all of these things by running "strace minicom" (strace is a utility that causes all system calls to be displayed on st andard error). I then created a filesystem containing all of these things, stripped all the binaries, dd'd the kernel onto the floppy, gzipped and dd'd the filesystem after the floppy, and then rdev'd the kernel appropriately. There you have seriallinux.

    Later I will post instructions for building the floppy, but for now just check out /usr/src/linux/Documentation/ramdisk.txt on your own computer. I'm sure there's a lot of howto's as well.

That's all folks


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