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Old 09-15-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
MX372
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Intermediate(?) Linux user - antiX 32 bit on old laptop, looking for post-install advice


Hello all,

I've been an on-and-off Linux user for quite some time (say, 5+ years), though I will admit not much of an expert when it comes to the CLI. I'm not complete newbie; I have *some* experience with linux.

So, long story short: I have an Acer Aspire One A0751h netbook (32 bit Atom CPU @ 1.33ghz/2gb RAM/240gb SSD) circa 2007 vintage that I've decided I'd like to use as my "learning" machine to get "back into Linux" (since I've spent most of my time in Windows 10 for the last 3 years, and daily at my job). I wanted a lightweight, low-resource distro that I could install some pentesting tools onto, to help me with re-learning linux and also to explore pentesting (since using Kali or Parrot as a daily driver is not recommended). I wanted something that would install and work out of the box with minimal tweaking, since this laptop has the GMA500 video package that can be troublesome to get working correctly.

Therefore, after much research and some trial and error with a few distros, I settled on antix 17.1 32 bit. So far, antiX has met that goal. Here are some questions:

1) how do I disable the trackpad edge scrolling feature (annoying!)
2) how can I add some pentesting tools to my distro?
3) why are YT videos so choppy, but if I play MP4 videos from either a usb drive or the SSD they are fine (I know it's not the internet connection speed, btw)?
4) if I wanted to use a different distro that doesn't come pre-configured for the GMA500 video, how can I get that working (I assume lots of CLI work)?
5) why is it that I can run "distro a" from a live usb and it works fine, but once installed it does not? I tried Kali, LXLE, Lubuntu, Limux Mint, and a few others and they worked fine off live usb, but each had issues when I went to install to the SSD.
6) any recommendations for an alternate distro from what I'm using, if anyone thinks there is something better?

For reference, I've used LXLE 12.04.5 on one of my other old laptops (a Sony VIAO T350 1.2ghz Pentium M/1gb RAM ultrabook from 2005), and I really like that distro, but LXLE does not work out of the box on this Acer (even the graphical install is difficult due to the GMA500). I also have a Dell Latitude E6540 i7-4800Q/8gb RAM laptop running dual-boot Win10/Kali, but I have yet to mess with Kali on that machine other than to make sure it works. Eventually this will be the primary pentesting machine, but I'd like to learn some pentesting skills on the Acer first, as well as improve my overall linux skills. The Acer is small and light, and has great battery life, so it's perfect for "playing around" on the go. I also thought TinyCore was interesting, but I'm not sure if I've got the skills to get it working on this machine (works fine on the Sony) and not sure if I can get any pentesting apps on it either, since the pre-compiled apps are rather limited. Maybe if I compile everything from source???

I have interests in electronics, microcontrollers, FPGAs,, hardware hacking, pentesting, programming/coding, game development and ethical hacking, and have recently decided to start dedicating time to learning these skills, hence the multiple machines. The Dell will also be my primary development machine (hence the Win10 install - most microcontroller dev software is windows-only AFAIK).

Anyhoot, I apologize for the rather lengthy post, and welcome all advice! Thanks.
 
Old 09-16-2018, 01:39 AM   #2
ondoho
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Quote:
1) how do I disable the trackpad edge scrolling feature (annoying!)
check out synclient ("man synclient" in terminal) and add teh appropriate command to your startup applications (a.k.a. autostart).

Quote:
2) how can I add some pentesting tools to my distro?
install them.
not recommended though; you should use a dedicated setup for this (e.g. booting from a dedicated usb stick)

Quote:
3) why are YT videos so choppy, but if I play MP4 videos from either a usb drive or the SSD they are fine (I know it's not the internet connection speed, btw)?
because you're watching them through a browser.
use something like mpv + youtube-dl instead (or other ways to watch youtube, i believe the antix community has the right gui utility for you)

Quote:
4) if I wanted to use a different distro that doesn't come pre-configured for the GMA500 video, how can I get that working (I assume lots of CLI work)?
poulsbo?
be glad it works now (i take my hat off to antix for achieving that).

Quote:
5) why is it that I can run "distro a" from a live usb and it works fine, but once installed it does not?
probably because of poulsbo.

Quote:
6) any recommendations for an alternate distro from what I'm using, if anyone thinks there is something better?
antix rocks. for legacy hardware it's the best choice.
 
Old 09-16-2018, 06:31 AM   #3
individual
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
install them.
not recommended though; you should use a dedicated setup for this (e.g. booting from a dedicated usb stick)
I don't see why it would be a problem for him to install them manually. It would actually be good practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
because you're watching them through a browser.
use something like mpv + youtube-dl instead (or other ways to watch youtube, i believe the antix community has the right gui utility for you)
It comes out-of-the-box with SMtube, which is a little GUI application that you can watch Youtube videos with. It also comes with a command line program called mpsyt (mps youtube), which allows you to play videos (with/without picture) from your terminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
antix rocks. for legacy hardware it's the best choice.
Yes it does.
 
Old 09-17-2018, 12:15 AM   #4
ondoho
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Originally Posted by individual View Post
I don't see why it would be a problem for him to install them manually. It would actually be good practice.
installing them probably is.
but it is a truism that one should not do pentesting on the same install that is intended for regular everyday use.
 
Old 09-17-2018, 10:49 AM   #5
MX372
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Thanks for all the replies, I appreciate them.

I will try out the SMTube or mpv/YTdl to see if that significantly improves YT playback, thanks.

As far as adding the pentesting tools, just to be clear, this machine is not my "daily driver"; I have multiple systems, and this is intended to be a system that I can practice my general linux skills as well as learn how to use some of these pentesting tools. I have already starting adding some of the packages using Synaptic, but I'm finding that many of the tools listed on the Kali website that are included in Kali are not available using Synaptic (at least, by searching for them). I understand the idea that one should not perform ACTUAL pentesting on live systems using their "daily driver", and that using a dedicated distro like Kali or Parrot from USB is "best" way to do it anyway, but I personally don't think what I'm planning to do will be an issue - I only plan to do things in either a sandboxed VM environment on one of my other systems, or on my own network that will not be connected to the outside world using one of my other machines as a live target.

The next challenge I have is adding these tools to the menu of antiX, since it seems they are not automagically added. I think I've discovered how to do this, by way of modifying the menu config file. So, more practice!
 
Old 09-17-2018, 01:51 PM   #6
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX372 View Post
I'm finding that many of the tools listed on the Kali website that are included in Kali are not available using Synaptic
i guess that's why people appreciate kali linux so much.
there used to be something that would enable these on ubuntu systems; i forget the name.
maybe you could try to add the repos to your antiX system - since it's not your daily driver it won't matter so much if you break it. consider yourself warned.

but i agree, getting them manually might be the best learning experience.
afaik, most of these tools are python-based, so there shouldn't be so much actual compiling.
 
  


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