Geekspeak: October 8, 2001

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2001-10-08 Print this article Print

Trinux provides ram-based Linux to go.

Want to take advantage of some of the excellent open-source security tools but dont have a ready Linux system at your disposal? Well, to run Trinux, all you need is a 486 or better system, some memory and a floppy drive.

Trinux, the Linux Security Toolkit, is a compact version of Linux that runs completely in system RAM. To set up a Trinux system, I merely downloaded a boot image, created a boot floppy disk using free tools such as rawrite and then booted my system to the floppy. In my case, it took less than 5 minutes to have a fully functional Trinux system up and running.

To add applications to the system, I used the standard getpkg command, which would download the packages from the central Trinux server. Trinux supports almost all of the best security tools, including snort for IDS, a wide variety of sniffers, vulnerability scanners and encryption tools. Trinux also supports Web servers and several scripting languages.

Trinux itself is a very secure system. It doesnt include Telnet capabilities, so it must be administered locally or remotely through an SSH client using RSA encryption.

Those interested in Trinux can find it at

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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