BOINCOS Developer Update - Upcoming Minimal Spin

in boinc •  11 days ago

Introduction


The following is a short development update on the progress of BOINC OS, specifically the Minimal Spin which I am currently working on. This is also a good time to notify the community following that I, the only developer (developing the system itself), will be suspending active development on the project for about 3-4 weeks as I am overcome with my schooling workload and need to focus on cementing my future. However this will be followed up with a holiday period in which I will be working on it diligently.

Thank you all for sticking around!

BOINC OS Minimal Spin


If you hadn't known about it already, I plan on having three main spins of BOINC OS tailored to application specific needs (possibly more spins will follow in the future). The point of focus in this article is the Minimal Spin which is intended to be built for server and advanced user purposes. It contains a Command Line Interface (CLI), will solely run BOINC with little to no other purpose and will be able to run on a 4GB USB.

The following are some major features I plan on implementing.

Secure Remote Administration

One main goal of this system is to be totally headless if needed, which means ability to remotely connect and manage BOINC or the system itself. This spin will thus include Secure Shell (SSH), BOINC RPC and firewall capabilities with the adequate security measures and abilities to ensure that your system cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties.

In addition to this, it will feature similar privilege escalation prevention methods that the Standard Spin delivers so even if the network level security is compromised, the system is still mostly safe.

Local BOINC CLI Interface

Packaged with the spin will be boinctui, a CLI BOINC interface that can allow individuals with a screen to interact with BOINC locally if required. It is of course a little more difficult to grasp but its the most functionality we can get from a CLI interface.

CLI Helper Software

The proposal for the Standard Spin of BOINC OS is the addition of a custom software package that aims to aid the user in customising the system and applying settings that relate to localisation, accessibility and timezones. Similarly, in the Minimal Spin I plan on packaging a series of python scripts that guide the user through various settings such as setting locale, keyboard mapping and timezones in addition to possibly a login script that will initially guide the user through using the system.

Apart from this, the system will also include some stock programs to monitor performance such as htop, but I plan on also including another custom package that acts as a daemon to collect usage statistics and generate reports for the user relating to CPU usage, network activity and more. To be completely clear, this is not a program that sends data to third parties, it is simply a user-space tool to track progress and can be invoked by the user when needed.

As a final note, all software will be free and open source and can be found in the GitHub repository when development on it commences.

Updates on the Standard Spin


As for the Standard Spin of BOINC OS, next update will be coming at the start of next month alongside the new Arch Linux release and will only come with minor changes other than a major system update. These changes will mainly include supported CLI functionality to change localisation and timezone settings.

The next major update for this spin (after the one outlined above) will be the inclusion of the graphical helper software which has been tasked to Benjamin Collings for development.

Conclusion


I can't thank the community enough for taking this on-board and I am more than grateful for the support I've received, and again, thankyou for everyone that has contributed and commented because it means this project can stay alive. I have already seen some stories of this helping some people and I'm glad to see some positive reactions from the BOINC thread I posted a while ago. In addition to this, my school has offered to donate some old laptops to the cause and I might be working on that when the time comes, I'll definitely make a post about it.

I hope to skim through my schooling as quick as possible and get back to working on this when I can, so unfortunately you may not be seeing many developments in the coming weeks. However In return, I may be posting some educational posts about various topics that I wanted to try out ever since I joined Steemit, this of course will be worked on whenever I have little occasions of spare time.

Thanks for reading!

BOINC OS Website | GitHub Repo | Email: boincosdelta@gmail.com

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interesting post

good job.

I have not yet looked into this, so pardon me if I am away.
If you are using drive image to install the OS, make sure the ssh server keys are different in each install.

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In the early stages of this spin I don't think I'll be putting too much consideration into using SSH keys due to its complexity, but later on down the track I will definitely be adding this functionality because I think that it's a must-have. For now we will just use the password the user assigns.

However your point about mixing up things during install does raise some ideas and I'll definitely add that to the GitHub Issue because I think shuffling some things should be mandatory for all BOINC OS spins.

Thanks and I hope you can try it out soon!

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