The Network Admin's Ultimate Custom Rescue CD - Page 2

With our guide, your custom Linux-based rescue and troubleshooting CD will fit like a glove and hold all the tools you need when you're on the go (and under pressure).

 By Carla Schroder
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Rolling Your Own Custom CD
Why would you want to create your own custom live-CD? It's the best way to ensure that you have exactly what you want, to weed out extraneous stuff, and to use customized kernels. Because liveCDs run in memory you'll improve performance considerably by excluding non-essentials. There are a number of nice roll-your-own programs; my two favorites are iBuild and Knoppix. Yes, I did crab about Knoppix earlier. It's still not easy, but it is much improved, and the instructions are excellent.

iBuild (Intellibuild)is based on Debian. It requires an up-to-date Debian system to create the liveCD image, though it promises to someday run on most *nix variants and Windows. iBuild draws on the Debian package repositories, so that gives you over 13,000 packages to choose from. If you're familiar with Debian, this is an easy way to build a custom liveCD.

A bit more difficult, but more flexible, is following the Knoppix Re-mastering Howto. A good reason to go this route is to modify one of the existing customized Knoppix derivatives; for example, start with Damn Small Linuxand add the apps you want. You'll have a nice compact customized liveCD built to your specifications with hardly breaking a sweat.

Essential Network Utilities
I'm running out of space, but this article simply won't be complete without a list of what I think are essential network administration utilities. This does not include forensic tools, which occupy their own large category. Check out the package list for Knoppix STD to see a good selection of forensic applications:

tcpdump, Ethereal, Nmap, Nessus, ping, traceroute, netcat, cryptcat, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, John the Ripper, crack, checkpw, ntop, ngrep, mii-tools, mii-diag, wipe, Hping2, Nemesis, LSOF (list open files), Firewalk, dsniff, Cheops, IpTraf, pppd, Quagga, pppoe, Snort, telnet (yes, really!), minicom, arping, iptables, ipchains (if you're stuck on a really old system), TCPdump, TCPTraceroute, Putty, Stunnel, Ettercap, OpenSSL, BIND-utils, arpwatch, FreeNX, VNC, lspci, lsusb, cardctl, ClamAV, F-Prot, chkrootkit, rkhunter, testdisk, Linux fdisk.

Wireless utilities:
Kismet, Netstumbler, AirCrack, AirSnort, AirTraf, wireless-tools.

Windows stuff:
chntpw, pwl9x, regviewer, LinNeighboorhood, Samba server and client.


This article was originally published on Jul 27, 2005
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