What is FullPliant intended for ?
Preventing your computer to behave magically.
Many production systems are just intended to run one of few applications.
The 'operating system and administration tools' layer of FullPliant has two advantages:
Here are three potential uses for FullPliant:
How is it organized ?
A minimal FullPliant installation is composed of:
Basically, in order to install FullPliant on a PC, you boot from an USB key containing the FullPliant image, select 'Install', then 'Install FullPliant on another disk', fill the single form, wait for install to proceed, then remove the USB key and reboot on the working system providing both local and remote administration right from the beginning.
On the newly installed FullPliant system, you have a single 'root' Pliant instance. You can then add several entities, as described bellow, to isolate or enable various applications you want to run on the machine.
Various entities in a FullPliant system
A service is providing some well known service such as a DNS (directory), an SMTP (mail) server, an HTTP (web) server, etc.
Most services are provided as Pliant code, so can be run either in the 'root' Pliant instance, or in any logical computer (see bellow what a logical computer is).
A logical computer is running another Pliant instance, chrooted, I mean locked in a file:/logical/logical_computer_name/ subdirectory.
Logical computers enable you to run several Pliant applications with basic isolation between them. None is root, and they share no files, so that you can upgrade one with no risk to disturb others.
An embedded computer is running some applications as part of a chrooted standard Linux distribution, I mean some Linux distribution installed in file:/embedded/embedded_computer_name/ subdirectory.
You can run 'Firefox' or 'OpenOffice' that way.
In order to provide visual access to the application, the embedded computer runs a VNC server (and the 'Matchbox' windows manager), and the 'root' Pliant instance behaves as a VNC client.
A virtual computer refers to KVM virtualization. It can run any operating system as an emulated full PC. The emulated PC disk images are stored in file:/virtual/image/ subdirectory.
You can run Windows or any Linux distribution that way.
In order to provide visual access to the emulated PC, KVM behaves as a VNC server and the 'root' Pliant instance behaves as a VNC client.