BBBS is a full featured bbs program that is available for many platforms that includes full Fidonet and Internet support(See the BBBS home page, http://www.bbbs.net for details.)
The version I am useing is the one for Linux/i386. Originally I had it installed on a Slackware v3.4 system, but when the new version (v3.42 1s) came out I needed a Linux distribution that supported the new libc6 (glibc) libraries. I originally choose Red Hat for that, because at the time I had a CD for that distribution already.
Because BBBS supports so much in itself, I decided to find out just how much of a minimal install of linux was needed to run BBBS. What I plan to do is do a minimal linux install, & then install BBBS on it.
The problem with Red Hat is that it just doesn't seem possible to do a really minimal install of it; at least, not easily. I tried a minimal install of Red Hat (only have about 470 megs total available on the machine I tried it on), & it installed all kinds of things I didn't want or need on the system (including XFree86 librarys). At the time I decided to move BBBS to it's own box, I had the Red Hat Install sitting at about 160 megs: could pare it down some more, but it would take time because would have to check any other affected pkgs, to see if I needed to keep them.
So when I decided to put BBBS on it's own box, I figured I'd use a distribution that supports minimal installs easier. Thought about using a newer Slackware distribution, but I had heard alot of good things about the Debian distribution so I decided to go with it.
The situation was that I was putting together a system based on an old P60; had just bought a drive for it (WD 1.6 gig), but didn't get another cd rom drive. Also only had a 5 1/4" floppy drive to use on it. Did the install using NFS, from another of my systems that does have a CD rom drive; didn't do the install off of the cd (didn't feel like typeing in those long paths...), just copied the base tgz file (about 10 megs) to a sub-directory on the system with the cdrom drive (the directory tree is one I already export from the machine) & then did the NFS install off of that... This base install of Debian v2.1 takes about 32 Megs of drive space.
'Course, when they say "base" they mean it... Basic funtionality, including tcp/ip, is there; but not much else... Still need to decide what other pkgs's to install on that system & get them on there... For use with BBBS, it will not need very much at all... I will install Perl, but what else will actually be needed I'll be finding out. More info on that as I do it...
One thing to note is that the default hosts.allow & hosts.deny files basically disallow things like telneting into the system. The hosts.allow file needs to be changed, to allow in what you need. While setting it up, I basically allow anything in from my local lan.