CentOS in RAM

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apolonio
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Joined: 2010/04/27 14:05:12
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CentOS in RAM

Post by apolonio » 2010/04/29 06:55:27

I have been working on a little project over the past few weeks that seems kind of cool.

I call it LARD, the official name I gave it was Linux Alternative Rescue Distribution.

Anyway, I took a CentOS 5.4 install and stripped out a bunch of stuff (man pages, documentation, and some others) and made it is small as possible.

Then I made sure some some tools I use a lot were installed. The result is a modified distro of CentOS 5.4 that runs in RAM. I made the iso available but you can move the initrd and kernel into GRUB to boot off the hard drive or in PXE to netboot it.

Some things I have found useful and is primarily meant for DR (Disaster Recovery)

* Cold backup of your Linux Server
* You can clone over the network to another box (even NTFS partitions), similar to ghost.
* Mount and modify NTFS, EXT3, XFS, and others
* LVM support
* Since it all runs in RAM you can fdisk, lvcreate, mke2fs etc
* Install grub
* Access amanda to restore files
* Use dump and tar

But I found the following feature a big hit.

* If you have a SATA disk (PATA works too but you need to make some config changes) and you boot with LARD, you can run /sbin/service iscsi-target start

What happened was I showed the Windows guys at work this little feature, and they were able to boot up a Windows XP box with LARD, then go over to their Windows 7 box and use the SCSI initiator under administrative tools to mount the XP hard disk.

Caveats

* Poor documentation, just got my drupal site working right after getting some pointers from a drupal session at Linuxfest Northwest this year. So I am working on it.
* Security, this thing auto logs in as root by design and spits out the root password on the console. Which is by design. And sshd is turned on. If you turn on ftpd you can log in as root, you can log in as guest (no password) if you install the samba application module and start it. If you turn on NFS, tweak /etc/exports accordingly.
* The iso still has the old name though. I'll put up a new graphic later with the new name. Although I like the original name. But that's just me.

It is available for download here
http://www.lunakoa.com/lard/lard-0.7.iso

The forum is located here
http://www.lunakoa.com/pub/node/2

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AlanBartlett
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CentOS in RAM

Post by AlanBartlett » 2010/04/29 16:03:03

Welcome to the [i]CentOS[/i] fora.

Thank you for your interesting post. You have, essentially, created a variation on the [i]LiveCD[/i] / [i]LiveUSB[/i]. I'm sure there is an interest in such a pure recovery system.

As this thread does not contain a [i]CentOS[/i] support query, I shall move it to the [i]Social[/i] forum where it will receive a more appropriate audience. ;-)

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