The following page is a bit outdated. Over the years, Coyote Linux has been superseded by BrazilFW and some links do not work. However, both guides remain valid, and the methods discussed here are suitable for instant use.

jbw's Coyote Linux add-ons & tips


My name is Janusz B. Wisniewski, I'm Polish programmer and Linux administrator.

Coyote is a single floppy distribution of Linux designed for the sole purpose of sharing an Internet connection. The animal coyote is small, smart, and very vital.

Coyote Linux was designed to run from floppy disk, but diskette contents is so volatile that we couldn't guess if  it can boot up next time. Instead of FDD, I'm using CF memory card with CF-to-IDE adapter and IDE-enabled version of Coyote v2.16. My typical Coyote host is an ancient P120 machine underclocked to 90MHz to minimize power consumption. I have recycled the hardware from junk. I've replaced processor fan with big black Celeron's heatsink and cut off  the power supply fan because of very low power needs, resulting totally quiet and more failure-resistant computer. So far, I have made 6 such boxes and they are working very well.

Loging into Coyote as root from Windows box, using cryptographic key

Do you feel comfortable when log-in as root, typing password, with a couple of guys standing behind your back? Somebody can steal, sniff or simply guess your password. I hate this! The best way to eliminate passwords' weakness is not to use them at all. My typical Coyote box has no display, so I'm using my personal notebook plugged into Coyote's LAN and SSH client to talk with Coyote. If you have similar situation, you can try this:
  1. Download a little mycfg.tgz package, put it on your Coyote disk and boot it up.
  2. Prepare MS Windows box (notebook) connected to Coyote's LAN:
  3. Log in to Coyote with PuTTY, using password (perhaps the last time).
  4. Go to Coyote's shell with "q", run "edit /root/.ssh/authorized_keys".
  5. Save Coyote's configuration. The only thing "mycfg" package does is saving root's ".ssh" directory.
  6. Close your SSH connection.
  7. Log in to Coyote again. If we didn't break anything, SSH will not ask you for password anymore.
  8. As the next step, you should consider replacing "ADMIN_AUTH" value in Coyote's main configuration file with something like '!!' to prevent password logins at all.
Please note that you still need a password, but now it protects only the key on your computer, not the network connection. Even compromising that password isn't dangerous as long as you keep your private key secure. You can copy the same public key to other hosts you wish to connecting to.

Reset your DSL modem when it freezes (package updated 2004-12-05)
  1. You should have Coyote with cron support. If you have not, please visit  Claudio's Coyote site  first.
  2. Download hwreset.tgz package, put it on your Coyote disk and boot it up.
  3. Insert following lines in Coyote main configuration file (menu option "1"):
  4. Save the file and save Coyote's configuration.
This is such easy! Now, if your Coyote cannot ping defined host, it will raise voltage level and drop it again on "RTS" pin on given serial port. If you connect simple device to the serial port, it can turn power off and on, reseting your modem. This small piece of hardware has a serial port connector, power input and output.
I have made such device with total cost less then $10
RTS is the pin #7 of 9 (or #4 of 25). SG is the pin #5 of 9 (or #7 of 25).
Since we need only this 2 wires of serial port, and serial mice fortunately uses them, we can recycle a cable from old mouse.
Other pieces:
Resistor R3 limits relay current to about 20 mA. You should change it if your modem is powered with another voltage. If it is less then 10V, you should change relay to 5V version -A2001- .

Printed circuit board of size 0.8" x 1" may look somewhat like this:
This is enlarged top-side view, green traces are on the bottom.  I've created this with free ExpressPCB.
Mouse cord can be tied with a piece of wire to the 2 unconnected pads in upper left corner. Another 2 free pads on the right border help to fix unused mouse wires.
As you can see, actual components may differ from above list ;-)

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