The DistRogue

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Review-let: nUbuntu 6.10

nUbuntu is, in one word, evil. It's supposedly a tool for securing a network against hackers, but it could, in theory, double as a script-kiddie's wet dream. It's based on Ubuntu 6.10, except that it uses Fluxbox, a lightweight desktop environment that's way faster than GNOME, KDE, or even XFCE. It has a web browser, some basic apps, and a huge selection of hacking tools, like AirSnarf, WireShark, and MetaSploit. Most of these apps, I haven't even heard of.
I tested nUbuntu as a live CD, although it can be installed. It was a 275-or-so megabyte download, meaning it can fit onto a CD-RW. It's a shame it couldn't be a bit smaller- then, it could make it onto a business-card CD. Even as a live disk, apps still ran fast, thanks to Fluxbox, nUbuntu's window manager- also used by Damn Small Linux for small size. CAUTION: Fluxbox does NOT have a panel- you do stuff by right-clicking the desktop.
After starting it, I tried out some of the tools. Firefox 2 worked excellently, and even though nUbuntu didn't have Synaptic for installing programs, it had Ubuntu's apt-get subsystem, which could be used from the command line. If you miss Synaptic, here's how to get it:
sudo apt-get install synaptic
Type that in, and you're set. There were also a number of network/penetration-testing tools, which probe for flaws in a network.

Of course, nUbuntu isn't really for hacking. It's for securing a network against hackers. I tried securing my laptop to see if there were any problems. I tried an NMap against it, and it showed ports 139 and 445 wide open- and Samba's an easy target. After killing the Samba daemon from my laptop, I tried again- and NMap said all my ports were closed. Translation: unhackable laptop. Boo-yah!

nUbuntu is a handy tool for black-hat and white-hat hackers alike. The knowledge that something like it actually exists should make paranoid people want to get a copy for the opposite reason.
Friendliness: 2/5- Fluxbox needs work as far as familiarity, but it looks cool...
Performance: 5/5- Fluxbox... Whaddya expect?
Features: 4/5- Lotsa apps, and it comes with some basic apps you know and love- or hate.
Packagng: 3/5- Apt-get, with Synaptic available.
Overall: 3.5/5- Paranoid? Get a copy.
I'm having trouble booting from openSUSE 10.2 to install it, but I'm hoping to get it to work eventually- if it boots once (which it did), it can boot again. After that, let's hope 10.2's better than 10.1- I'm a glutton for punishment, but I've heard praise for it from across the 'Net.
From nUbuntu 6.10,
The DistRogue.



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