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Linux networking

TinyCore for GNS3 or VMWare

I needed to install a small footprint linux appliance for GNS3 and VMware (ESXi 6.5). I was not really happy with the VPC option in GNS3. Here are the steps I took to install this.
TinyCore is designed to wipe out at the next reboot any changes you have made to the OS. The idea is to have a system that will never crash. I guess it is designed for appliances that do not need to store any persistent data. This is not exactly ideal for a network appliance. So then why TinyCore? The answer is simple: it has a small foot print, works fine with 64M of RAM and no HDD if you want that or with a small virtual HDD .

Useful links

http://tinycorelinux.net/downloads.html   -base system and extensions download page
http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/install.html  -installation instructions
http://tinycorelinux.net/corebook.pdf  -good all in one doc
http://wiki.tinycorelinux.net/wiki:persistence_for_dummies –persistence explained


VM requirements:

-SATA virtual HDD in VMware ( a must for now)
-64G-128G RAM
-256G HDD (must be SATA emulated drive not SCSI)
-network card

Installation

Follow the procedure described in the second link above. Use CorePlus and use the installer provided that way. you can install minimal from there too. That will procedure will guide you to  create a disc based installation. The system comes with an application browser which you can use to install more extensions. The app browser has the option to manage what is loaded every time you boot your system.
When you install on a hdd the system creates the folder /mnt/sda1/tce where all your permanent extensions will be stored. It will aslo place there all your data in $HOME, archived in a file called mydata.tgz

To set persistent IPs: the easyeast way to do it is to use Control Panel and set everything there. That will create am /opt/ethx.sh file (where x corresponds to your card number)  and will execute the below commands:
      sudo echo ‘/opt/eth0.sh’ >> /opt/.filetool.lst
      sudo echo ‘/opt/eth0.sh &’ >> /opt/bootlocal.sh 
     

Now all you need to do is to run filetool.sh –b

To change the name of the host: edit /mnt/sda1/tce/boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf  (add “host=yourhostname” to the APPEND line )

Problems and how to bypass them:

-the mouse was not recognized by ESXI6.5 HTML clinet or ESXI6.0 VCenter client (here I run into the notorius problem with the Client Integration Plugin which won’t work with any of the browsers you have)
-when you try to install Frugal TC without a mouse you can’t select the partition where to install
-to circumvent the above use the stand alone client in 6.0 (which recognizes the mouse) and do the installation which recognizes the mouse.
-Install all the extensions that you want to be permanent (ex: tcpdump, iperf, –mc and mtr are brocken in TC8.2)
-next, move the files vmdk and vmx to ESXi6.5
-then create a template from that

 

No GUI installation

The thing that you will probably miss the most when you install in Text mode only will be the Application Browser. This can be installed following the below listed steps:

$ tce-load -w -i appbrowser-cli.tcz

And then you can browse your applications using the below command line:

$ appbrowser-cli

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