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Sylvester 07-08-2009 10:11 PM

Installing software on Incognito
 
As I start to customise incognito, it starts to get tricky because only /home persists.

For example, to connect to my Internet I need to invoke kppp and create a connection. I have to do this every time I turn on the computer. and it involves creating a modem device filling in parameters etc. Fiddly.

http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=29590

in order to get around this, I may be able to compare /etc before and after, notice which files have been modified, and create a script that does this on start-up.

Quote:

Copy /etc to /etc_orig and ~/.kde to ~/.kde_orig - make the changes and then use KDiff3 on both directories.
But now I need to install even the program that is to do the comparison.

Is it important, from a functional, security or aesthetic point of view, that only /home be persistent?

I'm just wondering if anyone has customised significantly their version of incognito, and run into the same problem?

Sy

anonym 07-09-2009 06:24 AM

Incognito is a locked down LiveCD and isn't intended to be customized on the level you want. It aims to help out people without the kind of skills required for that. People with those skills will likely be more happy installing the distro of their choice on some media and set it up exactly the way they want to.

Sylvester 07-13-2009 09:05 PM

I hear what you say. I would love to get to the point of expertise whereby I could construct a system such as incognito from scratch. But it looks like a long journey.

Could you offer any advice on getting started? would it make sense to examine and modify the construction of incognito? is this construction documented from a developer's perspective?

also I have heard that reporters heading into China for the Olympic Games were handed ironkeys containing a live Linux Security enabled distribution. do you know if this was incognito?

anonym 07-14-2009 07:08 AM

Note that once the migration of Incognito from Gentoo to Ubuntu is finished, customization likely will get easier.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3606705)
Could you offer any advice on getting started? would it make sense to examine and modify the construction of incognito?

Not really. If you install incognito to a hard drive you get a Gentoo system that is in a pretty broken state. You'd have to restore portage, bootstrap a compiler, reinstall lots of libraries and headers, and all sorts of other things to get it sane again.

The first steps for making your own system would be to identify your requirements and what parts of Incognito you need.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3606705)
is this construction documented from a developer's perspective?

Again, not really. There's documentation (here) stating Incognito's goals and how they are implemented, but the actual construction process is handled by a LiveCD creation tool called catalyst.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3606705)
also I have heard that reporters heading into China for the Olympic Games were handed ironkeys containing a live Linux Security enabled distribution. do you know if this was incognito?

I have no idea, but I know that there are some Chinese political activists using it.

Sylvester 08-12-2009 03:34 AM

My favourite features are
1. the truecrypt /home partition, and
2. the fact that the filesystem unpacks itself at boot.

I think the second is very good defence against virus.
it is because of these two features that I am reluctant to start with customising my own distribution. my guess is that it would be far from trivial to get this up and running. how much work is it?

I guess my ideal system would be something that:

- boots into a basic desktop, just as does Incognito ( I don't know what customisations are already in place. I know Tor is. I don't know if firewalling / antivirus measures / etc(?) have been set up )

- lets me use Firefox, Skype (I know this doesn't work through tor), some Instant Messenger & X chat

- loads or lets me load Virtual box, so I can run XP things safely, with the virtual box connecting to a Tor'd connection

- shows all Internet activity / running processes, so it is easy to see if something anomalous is going on. I guess this is possible to do from the command line...



it is close enough to the existing incognito that I'm still tempted to try and tweak it. I don't need some generic system where I can do Complicated things.

Anonym - is it possible to download the pre-packed incognito? that way I could add virtual box & Skype and repack it. is Incognito a truly FOSS Endeavour? ie is it possible for Joe-public to assemble it from the ground up, and thus be sure the code is clean ( something akin to compiling your own binaries ).


I'm aware I'm maybe asking too many questions and not doing enough research. Humble apologies. if everyone ignores me I will take the hint ;)

anonym 08-13-2009 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3640168)
My favourite features are
1. the truecrypt /home partition, and
2. the fact that the filesystem unpacks itself at boot.

I think the second is very good defence against virus.
it is because of these two features that I am reluctant to start with customising my own distribution. my guess is that it would be far from trivial to get this up and running. how much work is it?

I don't think you can get 2 to work in a normal distribution without some serious hackery, so you likely are correct. But there are alternatives -- you could, for instance, run a host-based intrusion detection system like AIDE.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3640168)
I guess my ideal system would be something that:

- boots into a basic desktop, just as does Incognito ( I don't know what customisations are already in place. I know Tor is. I don't know if firewalling / antivirus measures / etc(?) have been set up )

- lets me use Firefox, Skype (I know this doesn't work through tor), some Instant Messenger & X chat

- loads or lets me load Virtual box, so I can run XP things safely, with the virtual box connecting to a Tor'd connection

- shows all Internet activity / running processes, so it is easy to see if something anomalous is going on. I guess this is possible to do from the command line...

I'd wager that it'd be easier to install Ubuntu to an encrypted harddrive and set up the above than it is to modify Incognito in its current state.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3640168)
Anonym - is it possible to download the pre-packed incognito? that way I could add virtual box & Skype and repack it.

No, that's not how the building process works really.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3640168)
is Incognito a truly FOSS Endeavour?

Yes, you can check out the sources (building instruction included) through subversion here: https://tor-svn.freehaven.net/svn/incognito/

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylvester (Post 3640168)
is it possible for Joe-public to assemble it from the ground up, and thus be sure the code is clean ( something akin to compiling your own binaries ).

I'm not sure if Joe Public is able to, but Joe Random Hacker should be. That is, it will take some amount of technical knowledge (familiarity with Gentoo Linux in particular) to be able to follow the instructions and work around any of the issues that likely arise during the building process.

zhone 08-14-2009 08:11 PM

So then, as of right now, there is no way to install any software in Incognito? I'm running it off of a LiveUSB was thinking that it would be possible to.

anonym 08-14-2009 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zhone (Post 3643826)
So then, as of right now, there is no way to install any software in Incognito?

No, not really. You can of course try to get a binary from some other distribution and store it the a persistent home, but it's quite tricky when in comes to dependencies.


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