A while ago I began thinking back about the the good old days when a dial-up BBS was the only thing even remotely resembling a basic website. Back when kids would unplug their parents phones over night and run their underground boards participating in a brilliant scene of hackers and phreakers that was decades ahead of its time. Since most young hackers typically had little to no money, the free and legendary Renegade BBS always seemed to be at the heart of this scene. Dispensing tens, perhaps even hundreds of megabytes of underground information and warez to all who would dial-in and participate in her communities. Now days I pretty much only use Windows for games and recording so I wanted to find a way to run a multi-node Renegade BBS under my Ubuntu system that you could telnet to. Read on to find out how I achieved this.DISCLAIMER: Before we begin, please note that I am not responsible for any damage done to your system as a result of the following processes. Also note that we will be opening multiple TCP ports for direct connection without any Linux authentication. This is most likely a security issue. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
If you wish to skip the hassle of manually installing renegade, I have created an automated install script below. This script is geared for Ubuntu/Debian systems however if you remove the control statement to check for dosbox in the script, you should be able to use this on just about any Linux system assuming that dosbox is properly installed on that system. Also don’t forget to run “chmod 755 renebuntu.sh” to make the script executable.
(Linux Install script for renegadeBBS)
step 1 – Install files and support software.
Install DosBox (Linux DOS Emulator)
$ sudo apt-get install dosbox
Create a folder under your home folder called renegade. NOTE: You may wish to create a new user account named “renegade” and grant it minimal permissions. If you choose to do this, be sure to login under the new account before proceeding.
$ mkdir ~/renegade
Get and Extract Renegade BBS
$ cd ~/renegade
$ wget http://mysite.verizon.net/tjm694/files/RGV110F.ZIP
$ unzip rgv100f.zip
Get and Extract the FOSSIL driver.
$ mkdir foss
$ cd foss
$ wget ftp://archives.thebbs.org/fossil_drivers/fci0106.zip
$ unzip FCI0106.zip
$ cd ..
Install Renegade BBS in dosbox.
Z:\> mount c ~/renegade
When the installer asks you for the “main path” of the bbs, enter in “c:\”.
Keep the DosBox window open…
step 2 – Create and modify the config files.
To create a generic config file for DosBox, type the following command into DosBox.
C:\> config -writeconf n1.conf
Edit the config file
$ gedit ~/renegade/n1.conf
Find the section labeled [serial] and change its contents to read as follows..
Now find the section called [autoexec] and add in the following lines(it should be the last section).
mount c ~/renegade
Save the config file as n1.conf
Now go back and change the listenport on serial1 from 2000 to 2001
Also change the “-N1″ argument after renegade.exe in the [autoexec] section to -N2 and save as n2.conf
Repeat accordingly until you have created 4 separate config files n1 – n4.conf, utilizing listenports 2000 – 2003 and executing renegade.exe on nodes 1 – 4 using the -N argument.
(I imagine you could essentially create as many nodes as you wish.)
step 3 – Create launchers.
Now we will create four launchers that will spawn each node of the BBS.
Right-Click on the desktop and click “Create Launcher”
Change the application type to “Application in terminal” (optional).
Name the launcher “RGN1″
Under command type: “dosbox -conf ~/renegade/n1.conf”
Repeat process changing “RGN1 to RGN2″ and “n1.conf” to “n2.conf” and so forth until you have created a launcher for all four nodes.
step 4 – Start and test
Now Launch the first node using the launcher (RGN1) that we created in the previous step.
Open a terminal window and type the following command to test the node.
$ telnet localhost 2000
If all went well in the setup process, you should see a generic Renegade login screen in your telnet session. Don’t forget to set your character encoding to “Western (IBM850)”.
You should be able to launch all four nodes and telnet to each of them on ports 2000-2003. Setup your port forwarding on your router accordingly, and invite your friends to check out your new hella underground hella leet Renegade BBS.
I realize there is still much testing and work to be done on this project so please feel free to send comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also view the instructable here.