Bootable Business Card nears 2.0 release

by Nick Moffitt

The Linux Bootable Business Card is a mini Linux-distribution, small enough to fit on a business card-sized CD-ROM.

LNX-BBCs can be used to rescue ailing machines, perform intrusion post-mortems, act as a temporary workstation, install Debian, and perform many other tasks that we haven't yet imagined.

Since the release of the last pressed version, 1.618, the LNX-BBC project has been busy adding features in preparation for an all-new 2.0 release.

The new version

  • no longer keeps the initial ramdisk around, freeing up RAM

  • uses tmpfs for read-write space, allowing the user to turn on swap partitions and let the filesystem swap out of core as needed.

  • supports journaling filesystems: reiserfs, xfs, ext3, and potentially JFS.

  • has LVM support

  • builds entirely from source code using the powerful GAR packaging system

  • adds a "discover" package to auto-detect hardware and load appropriate modules

  • Now uses devfs, and the read-only mounts of disk partitions use sane disk1/part4-style layout

Building from GAR means that we aren't installing a lot of static binaries anymore. The 1.618 BBC had duplicate libraries for the initial ramdisk and the running system after boot, but now we just have the one set. In addition, we're no longer keeping around device inodes on disk thanks to devfs.

We have a great many packages installed now, including security and repair utilities, shells, editors, communications tools and games, with core essentials here.

Release is near.

Now, we find ourselves in the eleventh hour of the first GAR-based BBC release. Our nightly builds are getting closer and closer to releasable quality, and we have started a system for wider testing.

Everyone should head on over to Testing Releases and download a wiggle-tested ISO. These have been known to boot and get at least one machine to a shell. As of this writing there are only two in that list, so please test our nightlies and let us know if they're eligible!

You can safely burn these images to any standard CD-R or CD-RW, regardless of size or shape. I myself do testing with 8cm CD-Rs, and some of us use 60MB bizcard blanks, 50MB bizcard blanks, or standard CD-sized CD-Rs.

I encourage all of you to also test the top entries in the nightly builds list, so that we can include more ISOs on that page. I realize that a 50MB download is non-trivial for many people, so those of you on slow connections may be more comfortable sticking to the wiggle-tested page.


Load Disqus comments