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At my current position, we use some outdated proprietary software in order to benchmark new computers that the company is testing and evaluating for purchase. We would like to move on to something more current. It would seem to me that using a GNU/Linux distro with a completely automated installation process would be ideal for this task.

Basically, what I want to have is a minimalist GNU/Linux distribution that will allow me to simply input a network location to store the benchmarking results, and will install the OS and run a suite of benchmarking software completely automated. This seems like a problem that others have likely come across, but I have been unable to find anything similar that fits my needs.

Any suggestions on where to start with this? Does a distro like this exist out there somewhere? If not, I currently plan on just writing a script that will install a list of benchmarking software onto the machine and run them. Any suggestions on specific software choices for this?

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Haven't found anything on distrowatch.com –  Didier Trosset Sep 24 '10 at 9:51

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It's not a distro, you'll still have to put this on a LiveCD or automated Debian install, but I'd try the Phoronix Test Suite. It's quite automated, and supports storing benchmark results on a central server.

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I know of no existing distro but this should be rather simple to build with Debian using preseeding.

You Just create your own package that basically depends on the packages for your benchmarking solution. That package comes with a /etc/init.d/ script that starts the benchmarking at boot, stores the results wherever you need them and shuts the system down afterwards.

With preseeding you can automate the debian installer to just take the system, slap debian on, install your custom package, reboot, have the tests run and shut the system down.

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This sounds like a winner. I'll give it a go over the weekend to see how well it works. Thanks –  arcdrag Sep 24 '10 at 21:17

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