Posts Tagged ‘MicroCore’

From Search Engine Referrals: What is Zero Day and Use TinyCore Instead of DSL

August 9, 2009

I’ve written before how sometimes I see things in my stats that interest me for some reason. Sometimes it appears to be a sign of frustration (search engine terms including profanity) or a subject which I either haven’t addressed or haven’t explained in some detail.

stats_bottom_interesting

This caught my eye this afternoon. A “zero-day” exploit means a vulnerability is already available (and usually being exploited) in the wild without any kind of warning or notice to the developer of a certain piece of software. It’s most unfortunate because such things are discovered reactively. In contrast, many security experts will disclose vulnerabilities to developers and give them adequate time to patch before going public with details. The disclosure of the DNS cache poisoning vulnerability affecting all operating systems last year is an example of the latter — Dan Kaminsky worked behind the scenes with a team of developers from different operating systems to find a solution before announcing to the world what he’d found. So “zero-day” means there’s no head’s up about a problem, and more often than not someone is already actively (ab)using it.

Also, to anyone who’s interested in Damn Small Linux on a netbook like the Aspire One, forget about it. For starters, it’s no longer under active development. Then there’s the whole problem with various drivers for new devices not in Linux 2.4 at all. So you’re looking at big dead ends right there. Finally, given the number of people who demand aesthetically-pleasing interfaces, you’re going to have the tiny X server in DSL compressing 1024×768 into 1024×600; the result is a squished-looking screen. There’s at least one full X server extension in MyDSL.

A better solution if you want a similar concept as DSL but more modular is to use TinyCore (if you can live with the aforementioned squishy screen) or MicroCore with one of the X extensions (if you want graphics). TinyCore is developed by a team with strong DSL ties (at one time it was called DSLCore). Your AA1 or other netbook will be much better supported with TinyCore. It’s not as easy to configure but it’s not too difficult if you read the documentation.

MicroCore on AA1

August 3, 2009

I’ll have a much longer entry to post from within emacs when I’m good and ready, but I’ve installed MicroCore 2.2 on my AA1. I really should’ve done this a long time ago and never fucked around with all the bloatware I’ve tried on this because no matter how much I’ve wanted drama-free “everything just works” stuff, it’s been anything but that. I still have my now pseudo-crunchbang/un-buntu stuff on here, and I’m not sure if I’ll leave it or clear my / partition for a persistent /opt or whatever (too big for that). At least if/until I wipe everything and install Windows 7 towards the end of October. Same f’ing ath5k driver, so I’m sure I’ll have the same f’ing ath5k problems I always have. Please prove me wrong.

A few cool things:

  • Boot time was so friggin’ fast that I literally turned for a second to get something to drink after hitting enter in my GRUB menu and had a prompt waiting for me when I looked back at the AA1’s screen. Good job, curaga and anyone else who deserves credit.
  • Even after setting up wireless and running elinks, I don’t think I ever went over 100MB of RAM in use.
  • No X! That means you don’t get screenshots unless I find/compile something that does console grabs.

As I wrote above, I’ll have another entry shortly (hopefully) with more details, more detailed impressions, why I’m using MicroCore instead of TinyCore, and what I’m going to do with it.