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Need help on Linux

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ZeroOne

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Post Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Need help on Linux

Hello everyone

I am very new to the Linux operation systems, I am planning to buy a new PC just to run Linux OS on it, need to practice and mess around with Linux and make a foot into the doors of Linux world, regarding that I have a few questions:

1-Do i need a specific computer requirments?, the computer I found its processor is "intel pentium 4 3.2 ghz", is that enough for a Linux OS to work properly?

2- I am an absolute beginner, so i dont really know which Lunix to get (redhat, ubuntu...etc), I am going to be writing shells and get fimiliar with Linux commands thats for first, afterwards will be doing some pentesting and programming in general, so what version of Linux do you suggest and why? if possible could you support me with a download link for the version you suggested?

Thanks very much  :)
ZeroOne
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WCNA

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Post Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:02 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

I've got an asus eee pc 1005 ha netbook that runs backtrack just fine. Search google for linux compatible laptops. There's a site out there that lists laptops known to work with different flavors of linux.
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UNIX

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Post Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:44 am

Re: Need help on Linux

1) You can also utilize a virtualization software, such as VMware Workstation/Player or Oracle VirtualBox and use the saved money from the computer for books, training etc. Sticking to such a solution also comes with a variety of advantages, such as snapshots and easy/fast restoration in case you have messed up something unintentionally.  

2) There is no correct answer to this question, so I'll just throw out LSF.
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ZeroOne

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Post Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:28 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

does virtualization softwares run linux?
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unicityd

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Post Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:35 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

Virtualization software are programs that pretend to be computers so that you can run another operating system inside of them.  So, you can have a desktop PC running Windows and install VMware then run Linux inside VMware without affecting Windows.  For a user with a single PC, this means you can run two OSes side by side and that you don't have to partition your hard drive and dual-boot in order to use a second OS.
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Triban

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Post Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:05 am

Re: Need help on Linux

You have about 2 free and popular solutions you can use for running virtual machines on your host (physical hardware and OS) machine. 

  • VMware player - this is VMware's free player that allows you to run any vmware based virtual machine.  VMware has a number of pre-built images on their site for various appliances.  There are a number that are free.  So if you need a VM based IPS appliance, there is probably something up there.  Also if you build in vmware player, and you decide you need more features, you can purchase VMware workstation and migrate your current VMs into it.  I will talk more on the features of VMware workstation soon.  Only major negative is you need to sign in to download this.  Registering is free so now cost required but it is just a hassle sometimes.  Registering does also get you access to the vmware appliances.

    The one major negative with vmware player is no snapshot ability.  Snapshots are ways to quick save the system state before you make any changes.  If your changes FUBAR everything, you can roll back to the snapshot and everything is right as rain.
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  • Virtualbox (owned by Oracle now since they bought Sun) - It is similar to VMware player. I haven't used it much since I own vmware workstation and fusion (mac).  But it will get the job done and it is a little easier to get since you don't need to setup an account to do so.  The advantage of Virtualbox compared to vmware player is the ability to snapshot.  The only con to VB is that it does not have as many pre-built OS images out there, though it does support importing of vmware images.  I've had mixed luck with this.

Those are the free ones, now onto the paid ones.

  • ESXi - well this is the "enterprise" hyper-visor from vmware, it is designed to run as the host OS, very light wait and supports numerous virtual configurations.  The initial price is free, but the hardware requirements are very particular.  So tossing it on a standard workstation may not cut it.  They have a decent HAL but I would leave this for more advanced users and for those who are moving into a large scale lab.  The cost is in the add-ons and server hardware.
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  • Microsoft Hyper-V - this is MS's server class equivalent to ESXi. Unfortunately it is not free since you need to have a licensed copy of Windows 2008 Server enterprise or datacenter.  Not cheap!  Though it runs great on the low end Dell small business servers which start at like 600 bucks with no OS.
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  • Vmware Workstation/Fusion - these are the paid versions of vmware player.  There are a bunch of nice features with these.  Unity allows you to run vm applications as if they were running on your desktop, I find this valuable when you need apps from your host while working in your vm without having to bounce in and out of the VM to do things.  I use this the most when doing labs along side a web based training site.  Also if you want to feel like you are running a full time linux OS that takes advantage of your physical hardware, Workstation/Fusion support multiple displays.  Workstation is the Windows/Linux product and Fusion is the Mac.  Both of these also support snapshots as well as multiple virtual host OSes.  I have at least one VM of Win7, XP, Server 2008 and a couple different flavors of linux depending on the situation.  With decent host hardware I can usually run 3-4 at a time.  My desktop has 5GB RAM with Athlon x64 CPU and the Mac is an i7 MBP with 8GB of ram.  Just don't try to run a bunch of these on battery, you can almost see the bar move in realtime!
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  • The other paid product is Parallels which is an alternative to vmware, price wise, its about the same and has the same features.  It is marketed more toward the Mac users converting over from Windows and want to keep a virtual version of their old laptop/desktop around.  It has many P2V (Physical-to-Virtual) features built in.  Vmware has this but it requires a separate conversion app.  Which is free but it is labeled as an enterprise product.

Ok, that might have been a bit more than you needed but I love virtualization and I miss using it on the infrastructure level since I have switched into my security roll.  I don't get to play much with toys unless they need a review before allowing them on the network.  Last toy I got to play with was the Samsung Slate, I am tempted to pick one up for myself :D
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rattis

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Post Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:00 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

xen source and xen server (paid version Citrix) are two more options too.
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Triban

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Post Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:18 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

Ah, I keep forgetting about the Xen stuff, probably because it is the one that I have never tried.  Thanks Chris.
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rattis

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Post Tue May 01, 2012 1:46 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

3xban wrote:Ah, I keep forgetting about the Xen stuff, probably because it is the one that I have never tried.  Thanks Chris.


I ran almost 50 servers on it. for personal use, i use virtual box. although my VPS hosting company uses xen.
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MaXe

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Post Thu May 03, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: Need help on Linux

ZeroOne wrote:1-Do i need a specific computer requirments?, the computer I found its processor is "intel pentium 4 3.2 ghz", is that enough for a Linux OS to work properly?


No, you can run Linux on virtually any hardware (almost). You can run Linux on a 300MHz processor, that's more than 10 times below 3.2GHz, so yes, you can run Linux  :) What bugs most people, is proper hardware support, but if you use Ubuntu and use their website, their forums and Google, you should be able to make most of your hardware function in case any of it doesn't work right out of the box. (Depends on how new your computer is and how common your hardware is.)

If you need e.g., wireless drivers, and it seems like there's none for Linux, try out 'ndiswrapper'.


ZeroOne wrote:2- I am an absolute beginner, so i dont really know which Lunix to get (redhat, ubuntu...etc), I am going to be writing shells and get fimiliar with Linux commands thats for first, afterwards will be doing some pentesting and programming in general, so what version of Linux do you suggest and why? if possible could you support me with a download link for the version you suggested?


It's Linux, not Lunix. (The latter is only used in jokes made by hackers.) I would recommend you use Ubuntu for starters, but you can use Fedora too (based on Redhat), or Mandriva. Most people go with Ubuntu or Fedora though. I don't recommend you choose something like Gentoo or Slackware yet.

BackTrack is based on Ubuntu in case you don't know.

The newest version of Ubuntu will do.


If you want to run it in a Virtual Machine, you can do so easily too, by downloading e.g., VirtualBox or whatever you have or prefer, and then run the ISO in that and install it into the VM (Virtual Machine), just like a normal CD.
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