Barebones linux image for dedicated farmer nodes

What I’m looking at is above my technical level to do, but I think would be something to have ready before/at the time of SAFE network going live.

I plan to put a couple basic machines to work as dedicated network nodes with no other applications running on them. I’m planning to use the most lightweight distribution I can (like xubuntu or lubuntu, or perhaps archlinux) in order to get the best performance out of the equipment I have.

What I’d really like to see before or at launch is a linux image optimized for dedicated farmers, ready to boot and go, with as little configuration as possible. It should be beefy enough to load and run on most equipment, but stripped down to just a farmer.

As I said, I’m not up to the task, but am putting it on my public wishlist for someone who is familiar enough with both Linux and Maidsafe to put it together. I think it would be extremely helpful in getting max numbers of nodes operating quickly.

(Of course, Maidsafe team probably already has this on their agenda for later, but I hadn’t seen mention of it.)



I would like to see an answer to this too!

I would like to see this Linux image

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It’s easy to create a VM image with the latest s/w, but if you need to manage it (change IP, hostname, open/close f/w, and so on) so you would still need Linux skills.
It’s probably easier to learn how to install MaidSAFE on a system with DHCP address (at least for the first part - OS installation - you can use the GUI) and how to update it.

Maybe consider BareMetalOS I emailed the Dev and this was his response:

I can see BareMetal OS being useful for running the server vault software to participate as a storage member. The OS was designed for “Single Purpose Computing” where only one application is running with full dedicated access to the hardware. Also, there would be no security vulnerabilities (or at least few from the small code base) and no maintenance.

We have successfully ported lwIP along with a small web server to the OS in order to get on the actual internet. BareMetal does not have an internal IP stack at the moment so it relies on the stack being bundled with the application.

Please keep in mind that the OS is targeting server applications… not the desktop. It is possible but graphics support is very poor without hardware drivers.


Which means shell-CLI management and monitoring unless there’s a GUI.
I looked at the site, it seems it’s a miniature Linux distribution. As such it probably won’t be possible to install MaidSAFE on it without a lot of steps (although install script could be written).

I imagine written or video instructions for getting started with Ubuntu 14.04 will get non-Linux people farther.

Personally I want a multi-purpose (not single-purpose) Linux OS for my farming node (if need be I’ll run it in a separate VM, but I’m probably not going to dedicate a full x86-64 system just for MaidSAFE farming as that would seem unnecessary). is another alternative utilizing Docker containers…a lot lighter on resources than VM’s

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What’s CoreOS? An existential threat to Linux vendors

Open source has never been shy about eating its young – or, in the case of CoreOS, its old.

While sometimes dismissed as the newest entrant in the “just enough operating system” pageant, CoreOS threatens to displace incumbent Linux distributions with a minimalist approach that seeks to emulate how Google and other Web companies manage distributed systems. CoreOS uses Docker to handle the addition and management of applications and services on a system.

Indeed, by changing the very definition of the Linux distribution, CoreOS is an “existential threat” to Red Hat, Canonical, and Suse, according to some suggestions. The question for Red Hat in particular will be whether it can embrace this new way of delivering Linux while keeping its revenue model alive.

A Linux for developers

Linux vendors, particularly Red Hat, have built their businesses on meeting the needs of operations professionals. Developers, as I wrote recently, have been a secondary concern.

That strategy worked great while operations ruled, but as developers have increasingly taken control, the ops-first strategy looks increasingly suspect. Indeed, Gartner estimates that 38 percent of total IT spend comes from outside IT today, and will balloon to 50 percent by 2017 as lines of business take more responsibility for their systems.

In this new developer-centric world, it’s worrisome that incumbent Linux distributions have yet to deliver a first-class, modern developer experience. As one industry observer who prefers not to be named told me:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is what you create when you ask ops people what they want from an operating system. Ubuntu is what you get when you ask ops what they think their devs want from an OS. CoreOS is what you get when you ask the developers what they want in an OS.

When I pressed him on what he meant by that last sentence, he elaborated:

CoreOS is the first cloud-native OS to emerge. It is lightweight, disposable, and tries to embed devops practices in its architecture. RHEL has always been about adding value by adding more. CoreOS creates value by giving you less [see the cattle vs. pets analogy]. If the enterprise trend is toward webscale IT, then CoreOS will become more popular with ops too.

Early adoption of CoreOS suggests that developers are quite happy with a Linux service that includes “nothing” by default, thereby diminishing the value of a distribution assembled by Red Hat, Canonical, or Suse.

The question is whether ops follows suit, embracing a model that bakes security and management (or lack thereof) into Linux as a service. This is a major departure from how traditional Linux distributions function, as CoreOS co-founder and CEO Alex Polvi recently tweeted:

“On RHEL [updates] are automatically available, on CoreOS they are automatically applied. Major difference.”

This difference means that developers turn over the bother of updating the OS to CoreOS. In exchange they get the promise of ironclad security. Ultimately, as Polvi told me over email, this means “the base OS does not matter anymore” because all base OSes effectively look the same.

Red Hat goes Atomic on CoreOS

Clearly CoreOS is onto something. Also as clearly, Red Hat is determined not to be undermined by it.

To counter the CoreOS threat, Red Hat has released Project Atomic, which – not surprisingly – isn’t ready to kiss Red Hat’s Linux influence good-bye:

An Atomic Host is a lean operating system designed to run Docker containers, built from upstream CentOS, Fedora, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux RPMs. It provides all the benefits of the upstream distribution, plus the ability to perform atomic upgrades and rollbacks — giving the best of both worlds: A modern update model from a Linux distribution you know and trust.

In other words, Project Atomic is designed to deliver all the benefits of CoreOS – including the ability to deploy and manage Docker containers sans a full Linux distribution – without sacrificing the OS to which users have grown accustomed. This isn’t transformational in itself, as InfoWorld’s Serdar Yegulalp posits.

But what is big is this new emphasis on developers by the Linux giant. While Red Hat has been slow to wean itself from its dependence on ops and RHEL, Project Atomic and similar endeavors demonstrate a willingness to think outside the box … and inside the Docker container. It’s what developers demand and may be enough

I’m a real fan of minimal Ubuntu (Installation/MinimalCD - Community Help Wiki) and then only installing what I need for that special system.

I think this might work great because MaidSafe is already tested for Ubuntu.

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For sure

I guess I’m discussing CoreOS, Project Atomic etc, because I’m thinking about their ability to manage Docker Containers (64bit OS required)

Why? because it seems if were going to share big hard drives, it may be more efficient (and profitable) to slice up the drive and assign a vault to each slice of that space.

Testnet 2 should give us more intel on this approach


Yeah. And I’ve found that Lubuntu is really low resource usage while maintaining good hardware support. Some packages come installed, but not too much. I think it’s a pretty good compromise for marginal-tech users like myself. Allows for other usual usage while still being very light-weight.

Linux Mint xfce version is a pretty lightweight, ubuntu-based version, too, though it comes with a fair bit more stuff installed.

I think it will be profitable (in terms of mining) to have either monster desktops that are also used for mining or dedicated crappy micro computers that are used only for MaidiSafe.
Anything in between - if it’s shared more than few hours a day - will introduce latency and uneven QoS and possibly be penalized.

Of course I’m speculating, but that’s my current direction - I’m not considering any “in between” type of setup. I may buy a crappy box and dedicate it to MaidSafe or a monster desktop which I’d use for mining mostly to offset my cost of h/w.
But at this point I’m not really thinking about that because I’ve no way to guesstimate the economics of it all.

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I moved 3 posts to a new topic: Farming: What machine configurations will be best for farming

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