The Minimalist Remote Access Kit

Like many folk, I carry around a USB pen disk/key fob, and mine is stocked with a few goodies. These days I carry a 2GB disk containing:

I use the same Truecrypt image daily on my laptop, which means I can switch laptops within five minutes with minimum hassle. It also helps that I have been using solely Citrix as a working environment for over a year and that I have no data whatsoever on my laptop.

The 650MB size makes for very easy backup (it fits on a CD), but if that's too big for you, you can always try my previous setup:

When my daily work involved frequent access to remote machines, all I needed to carry around was the PuTTY suite for SSH, the Windows XP RDP client and a couple of VNC binaries.

(Any other box running any other OS had what I needed, so there was no point in, say, carrying around a mini-Linux distro).

The whole thing weighs in at around 3MB (1.5MB compressed), and can be slimmed down by tossing help files and half of the binaries:

mstsc.exe (380KB)                      - Windows XP Remote Desktop binary
mstscax.dll (584KB)                    - Dependency for above
pageant.exe (124KB)                    - PuTTY authentication agent
plink.exe (236KB)                      - PuTTY command-line connection utility
pscp.exe (248KB)                       - PuTTY secure copy
psftp.exe (248KB)                      - PuTTY secure FTP
putty.exe (364KB)                      - PuTTY terminal
putty.hlp (455KB)                      - Help file
putty.cnt (25KB)                       - Dependency for above
puttygen.exe (156KB)                   - PuTTY keygen
vnc-4.0b4-x86_win32_viewer.exe (248KB) - RealVNC client
vncviewer.exe (352KB)                  - TightVNC client
isp.txt (256B)                         - List of ISP access numbers

Just for curiosity, I also used to have the full Citrix ICA client for Windows (version 9.0), which adds up to another 10MB or so (even without compressing the executables or pruning unnecessary DLLs).


See Also: