gsthnz's blog

Collapse Ready Computer

As a fan of cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic literature, I’m always thinking about how society will cope with a major break in the supply chain, or a major economic crisis. The current global pandemic is also making me wonder of such a world.

I’ve recently discovered the Collapse OS project, which tackles the problem of a possible supply chain collapse by creating a Z80 operating system which is easily readable, extendable and self-replicable. That got me thinking if I could do something similar, but with a x86 computer, and my collapse scope limited to a major internet outage.

My idea is simple, having a very minimal x86 linux distro, which without any external connection to the internet, can bootstrap itself to other x86 computers or even other architectures, this “initial seed” computer could also have a collection of documentation, compilers, useful programs, that could be useful in a disconnected world. 1

For this to work, a source based distro will be needed. Since all the programs are, in theory, downloaded and compiled in my local machine, I can create the chroot for the next one to bootstrap itself, which in turn could use my local machine’s downloaded sources to build it’s own packages.

I’ve been following the development of KISS Linux and it could prove to be a very good candidate for this project because of the following points:

With that, I could easily create chroots for other computers, maintain new packages by myself, maintain my own documentation. Basically the distro will be a tool that won’t block me in any way if I get disconnected.

A C compiler, a POSIX shell and a editor could be everything that I really need in this system. But for good measure I could throw in a python interpreter, a Go compiler and some networking tools like wireshark, nmap, aircrack and others.

Some media viewing tools like mpv and zathura would also be very cool to have. Coupled with that, I would need to have some local documentation, like books, manuals and specifications to work on problems that could arrive.

Well, that’s all for now, I’m currently testing KISS Linux on a separate computer and hopefully I’ll post more info about this project.

  1. I’m totally not doing this for my distrohopping addiction. ↩︎

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