Pocket Linux 2.51

Pocket Linux is an almost minimal, one floppy linux system designed to quickly convert PC workstation into a secure linux.
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.

The idea came up some time in 1996 or so. The distribution then was not perfect, but still it shown it was a great idea. It wasn't maintained for about year or so, until I took it up again in the early January 1998. After a complete rebuild Pocket Linux 2.00 was released. It soon gained a huge number of happy users, whose ideas helped its development.

The aim is to provide a small and efficient workstation that autoconfigures as much as possible and lets securely use the network from almost everywhere.

Current version is a nice attempt and future ones will enhance the automation and support for various network equipment and protocols, becoming a total solution. Future plans also include side projects like one floppy router.

In order to understand some of the config options it's useful to know something about operations that are done during bootup (in order to automatically configure the network). These are, in order (the later attempts are made if the earlier ones don't set-up the network):
- attempt to setup the network using BOOTP
- attempt to reuse previous manual configuration
- modem detection
- attempt to setup modem conection
Most of the config options switches these operations on and off.

Main menu

You can choose the following network configuration commands from the main menu (only the ones that make sense in the present context are displayed):
- Options - allows setting few binary parameters controlling automatic network configuration and modem handling.
- BOOTP query - attempts to configure network (ethernet or arcnet) using BOOTP. Normally it's automatically done during bootup, but this can be switched off.
- Manual configuration - allows manual setting of network configuration parameters (ethernet or arcnet).
- Detect modem - detects serial port the modem is on and it's parameters (transfer rate, initialization commands).
- Dial PPP using predefined configuration - creates modem connection (PPP) using one of (up to ten) remembered configurations. By default only TPSA (0202122) configuration is remembered.
- Dial PPP using new configuration - creates new PPP configuration and sets up a modem connection using the newly created config.
- Disconnect PPP - disconnects modem connection.
- Mount /usr via NFS - mounts remote /usr filesystem via NFS. It will be automatically mounted during each Pocket Linux bootup if it's turned on in configuration options.
- Exit - Do not config the network - exits the program without configuring the network.

Configuration options

There are following options available:
- Probe network with BOOTP - switches automatic BOOTP probing during bootup on and off. On by default.
- Reuse manual network configs - if on, an attempt is made to restore network configuration during bootup. Netconf remembers 10 most recent manual configurations along with network cards' MAC addresses. If card's MAC address matches one of the remembered ones, assigned configuration is used. On by default.
- Automatically setup PPP - switches automatic attempt to create modem connection during bootup on and off. It's made with the first config on PPP configs list. On by default.
- Reuse modem configuration - if on, modem detection is not performed during bootup - instead most recently used modem configuration is used. Off by default.
- Pulse dialing - switches dialing mode used for modem connections between tone dialing (DTMF) and pulse dialing. Default is off (that is tone dialing).
- Automount disk partitions - switches on and off automatical disk partitions mounting (ext2 and vfat filesystems) and swap partition activation during bootup. On by default.
- Add swap file if low memory - switches on and off automatical swap file creation during bootup. Swap file is created if, and only if, there's less than 16 MB memory available (including potentially activated swap partitions) and there's a disk partition on which it could be created available. On by default.
- Automount NFS /usr - switches on and off /usr filestem mounting via NFS during bootup. NFS path to the filestem must be set using "Mount /usr filesystem via NFS" command in main menu. Off by default.

Manual network card configuration

You can enter network configuration parameters in this window:
- This machine's IP - enter IP number for this computer here
- Network mask - enter netmask here. If omitted, mask will be calculated based on IP (which will not necessarily be right).
- Broadcast address - enter network broadcast address here. If omitted broadcast address will be calculated based on IP (not mask! - which will not necessarily be right).
- Default gateway - enter IP address of default network gateway (router) here.
- Nameserver IP(s) - enter one or more (separated by spaces) name servers' IP addresses here. Can be omitted, but then domain names couldn't be used.
- Default domain(s) - you can enter one or more (separated by spaces) domain names to search host if incomplete domain names will be used. It's optional.

PPP configuration

You can enter modem connection configuration parameters in this window:
- Config name - config name (used in existing configuration selection menu).
- Phone number - phone number to dial (eg. 0w202122 for TPSA access modems).
- Username - username to send to remote server
- Password - password to send to remote server
- Nameserver IP(s) - enter one or more (separated by spaces) name servers' IP addresses here. Can be omitted, but then domain names couldn't be used.
- Default domain(s) - you can enter one or more (separated by spaces) domain names to search host if incomplete domain names will be used. It's optional.

Because of permanent configuration that is kept on the floppy you should remember to:
- don't write protect the floppy
- don't remove the floppy from the drive (at least during network configuration)

What's New in This Release:

bugfixes in netconf reuse code
disk partitions automounting, swap partitions autoactivating
automatic swap file creation
extended support for NFS mountable /usr
PS/2 mouse support
new startup logo

last updated on:
May 11th, 2005, 15:09 GMT
price:
FREE!
developed by:
Pawel Wiecek
homepage:
www.pocket-lnx.org
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
category:
ROOT \ Linux Distributions

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