RxLinux 1.9.0 review

by rbytes.net on

Rlinux is a special Linux distribution, that can run entirely in ramdisk and is dynamically configurable

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 13787K
Developer: Jean Laganiere
0 stars award from rbytes.net

Rlinux is a special Linux distribution, that can run entirely in ramdisk and is dynamically configurable. It can boot from cdrom, compactFlash, usb flash or hard disk.

A web interface is used to build custom iso cdrom dedicated for specific nodes. Those nodes, also called rxnodes, boot up and optionally get the rest of configuration and software from a master server.

An rxmaster is a machine used to configure and build iso cdrom images for rxnodes. The rxmaster holds the configurations for all rxnodes. Each rxnodes can be managed, configured and updated from the rxmaster. The rxmaster also served as software distributor for the rxnodes. An rxmaster is a simple web server running the rxmaster cgi.

An rxnode is a physical machine running one or more server applications. It is typically a low-end machine dedicated for a specific task. Rxnodes, always boot from a custom cdrom or flash made especially for him by the rxmaster.

The root file system is small (about 20Mb) and stored in ramdisk. At boot time, the rxnodes connect to an rxmaster and download configuration files and all necessary software packages.

The packages can also be fetch from the local cdrom or hard disk. Those packages are automatically deployed and executed in ramdisk. When the machine reboot, all software and configurations may be fetched and deployed again. When the rxnode has finished booting-up and all software are running, it is completely independent from the rxmaster until next reboot. There is no NFS or SMB involved.

Rxlinux is a modular system. The base system fits in 20M of ramdisk. Extra packages (software) can be installed on demand in ramdisk, on a hard disk or mounted from the cdrom. The /var partition which contain the application data can reside either on a hard disk or in ramdisk. Rxlinux can be configured as a web server, an X11 Terminal, a database server etc.

Rxlinux is distributed as a 10M bootable iso file. But you can configure it to include more packages in the iso if you don’t want to download extra software at boot time. Look in the download section for more details.

Rxlinux is also a zero installation operating system. This mean, the iso cdrom that you build using the rxmaster is ready to run, including all networking, passwords and software configurations. Updates are done using http.

Here are some key features of "RxLinux":
Base system

bootable iso is less than 10Mb
will run with 64Mb (no hard disk)
root file system use 20M of ramdisk
kernel 2.6.1
scsi, ethernet, usb, vesafb and 802.11b support
lynx, gzip, dhcpcd, mkfs, fdisk, syslog etc.
Ppoe and ppp
Stateless and stateful firewalling, packet filtering

Example systems:

Base + Apache + Mysql + Php + Phpnuke
bootable iso is about 16M
will run using 128M ram (hard disk optional)

Base+ X11R6 + Mozilla

bootable iso is about 32Mb
will run with 128Mb (no hard disk)
X11R6 include: blackbox, vncviewer, rdesktop
Mozilla include: browser, mail, news and chat

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