Leverages technologies that have already been built, Byzantium is a live CD with an easy interface that bundles these existing technologies to provide a simple way to set up any computer that has wifi to be a node of an ad-hoc network. Each computer booted into Byzantium will become a node of the ad-hoc network and will automatically search out other nodes and have them join.
Slashdot’s Clinton “Unknown Lamer” Ebadi interviewed the project’s leaders at a recent conference (I believe it was Byzantium FAQ in July 2012):
Byzantium is designed for use where the normal internet is unavailable, for example in a natural disaster, etc. From the exhaustive Byzantium FAQ:
In either of our use cases, access to the global Net would be limited at best, likely unavailable. This means that many of the organizational tools that people use today (like Twitter and Facebook) could not be reached by users to exchange information.
To remedy this, every Byzantium node will include a pre-installed, pre-configured web application that will fill in for one of those online services. For example, it will include Byzantium FAQ for Twitter; an as-yet-undecided lightweight social networking site for Facebook, a wiki and a blog/CMS among others. The Byzantium website will include a list of supplied applications.
Once we’ve gathered, installed, configured, and hardened each of those applications for inclusion in Byzantium Linux, the administrator of a running Byzantium node can use the control panel to turn on just the wiki or just the chat system with a few clicks of a mouse. When a web application is turned on, the frontpage of the Byzantium node will be updated to have a link to that application. Additionally, other Byzantium nodes will be notified of the existence of this service, and they will update their frontpages with links to it.
From the http://project-byzantium.org/download/ for the current version:
THIS IS AN ALPHA RELEASE! Do NOT expect Byzantium to be perfect. Some features are not ready yet, others need work. Things are going to break in weird ways and we need to know what those ways are so we can fix them. Please, for the love of LOLcats, do not deploy Byzantium in situations where lives are at stake.
- – Binary compatible with Slackware-CURRENT. Existing Slackware packages can be converted with a single command.
- – Can act as a gateway to the Internet if a link is available (via Ethernet or tethered smartphone).
- – Linux kernel v3.1.8
- – Drivers for dozens of wireless chipsets
- – KDE Trinity v3.5.12
- – LXDE (2010 release of all components)
- – Mplayer
- – GCC v4.5.2
- – Perl v5.12.3
- – Python v2.6.6
- – Firefox v4.0.1
- – X.org
- – Custom web-based control panel
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (to use)
- – Minimum of 1GB of RAM (512MB without copy2ram boot option)
- – i586 CPU or better
- – CD- or DVD-ROM drive
- – BIOS must boot removable media
- – At least one (1) 802.11 a/b/g/n interface
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (for persistent changes)
- – The above requirements to use Byzantium
- – 2+GB of free space on thumbdrive or harddrive
You can download the currently version (0.2a) from http://project-byzantium.org/download/.