distcc & Clustering

June 9, 2004 | Comments Off

Like many things I do, this project began out of paranoia. I’ve become paranoid about these Linux rootkits that include a kernel module that make the root kit largely undectectable. The only two solutions to the problem I could think of were 1) GPG signed kernel modules or 2) monolithic kernel. Since the former does not exist (to my knowledge) then I have to go with the latter.

The other thing I’ve realized is that no two boxes I have run the same kernel. So I decided to roll my own monolithic kernel and standardize on it across all my boxes. This got me thinking about how much I hate compiling kernels, and worse, monolithic kernels. I haven’t built a monolithic kernel since the 1.2.x series. Additionally, since I have to support very different machines with the same kernel, it’s going to require a lot of trial and error.

I had a few computers that weren’t doing anything overly important, and I decided to put them together for a build cluster. I didn’t want to blow away everything that was on these boxes, so I decided to go with a live-cd type solution.

After looking through the available options, I decided to go with Knoppix since it had most everything already installed, I just need to change a few things, shouldn’t be that hard, right? Right?

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