@AlexaVonTess, @masonje thank you very much for the feedback about the relay on TinyCore.
The development of a true virtual appliance was one option we considered while designing this feature. But we heard some contrasting requirements from customers.
Some customers wanted a very streamlined operating system, with the only services listening on a TCP/IP port being the BigFix agent and relay. Others were interested in installing at least the ssh server. Still others wanted the ability to customize the OS including additional packages, like monitoring components, in order to be able to monitor the health of the relay.
For this reason we decided to deliver a more open solution, that allows to create a relay VM template with just few steps. But also allows more experienced users to add additional package and retain control of the content of the VM - usually appliances are quite closed systems.
From the patching point of view, the TinyCore OS includes a very minimal set of packages, and the default installation has no services, besides the BigFix ones. This should, on one side, reduce the number of security exposures affecting it, while on the other side should allow a very simple patching process. While we are still discussing about possible future improvements, we currently plan to release a sample script that will allow to generate an upgrade fixlet for the TinyCore OS components.
Again, thanks for the feedback, that will help us driving future decisions.