Linux distros: your initial boot process is broken

EVERY LINUX DISTRO SHOULD BOOT TO NETWORK SSH LOGIN READY, especially those customized for hardware boards.

Every new hardware board that has come out in recent months is usually accompanied by a custom ‘distro’ (short for distribution) of linux. This would be a great thing, except that the distros are always crippled by one fatal flaw.

Specifically, every new hardware distro assumes that every user wants to plug in a keyboard and a monitor and maybe a mouse, and then fire up the new board and CONFIGURE the thing from the ‘console’?


Here is what I think should be the default for every new linux distro:

1. boot using DHCP. While I prefer static IP’s on my own internal network, I still have a DHCP server ready for just this occasion. If the developer writes the MAC address on the board, I can even associate a specific IP to the MAC address.

2. boot with SSH active and provide a default root password. Even better: provide a default user account with password, which can use sudo or ‘su -‘ (to root) with an supplied sudo or root password.

In other words, boot to network login ready. With that, I can take it from there and customize the config any way I want.

3. bonus round: boot to graphical user interface if you like, so that those who simply must have a keyboard and mouse and monitor can still get their jollies.

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