I have always wanted to play with Linux, so I decided to take the plunge and get into it. I definitely want to play on a system, but I know futzing about inside important files can occasionally cause crashes and damage. What do?
Enter the Virtual box. I’m sure many of you who have grown up in the sysadmin life have known about it for awhile. I have known about it, have downloaded it in the past and tried playing with it, but unfortunately I didn’t know what I was doing. Now I am trying again with slightly more knowledge, and lots more determination.
I downloaded Oracle’s VM Virtualbox, and immediately had to choose what OS I was going to be runnig on. I chose Debian, on a whim.
Step two was to download an image file of the OS. Here is where I ran into my first speedbump: To download the appropriate image file (an .ISO file), I had to determine my processor architecture. So to the googles I went. My particular processor on the machine is an intel i7. Apparently that falls under the category of AMD64 type architecture, so off I go to download that particular image file. In this case, the complete .ISOs are broken up into 3 DVD images, stored as torrents. (Torrents are a very unique type of information storage. I need to research them more.)
***Important: While I waited for these torrents to download, I read some of the instruction manuals for Virtualbox and Debian. I used to read instruction manuals all the time, but when I turned about 14, I stopped doing it. This seems to be around the time I started failing at learning at high speed. Your mileage may vary, but I think this helps.***
After torrenting was complete, I decided to go for the full monty: all drivers, full install, disk partition and encryption, etc. I chose LILO as my boot manager, because I am a total newb and I read online that it is more user friendly than GRUB. I checked off a few more settings, then finalized the install. Suddendly I am left with a command prompt and not much else. This intimidates me, as I don’t know if I successfully installed the OS or not. I know few console commands right now, and fewer in Linux (sudosudosudosudosudo!?)
Ok, round two? Clear that VM, and then reinstall, except this time choose Graphical Install. This one looks more friendly, but is taking a lot longer.
Speedbump number two: during software installation, I am asked to swap out discs to DVD number two, but when I try to load the next ISO I recieve an error message saying the media is locked. I can try to “force unmount” the ISO and the second one tries to load, but then the installer freaks out and asks me to replace the previous disc. This is irritating; why would you ask me to do something, then tell me to undo the action?
Intuition tells me that the problem is somewhere in the Virtualbox. I’m not doing something right, so time to reference back to the instruction manual…While I am searching I’ll try finalizing and rebooting anyway.
Wait, what?! It actually booted up anyway. I am first presented with a command line interface again, asking for the disk encryption password, which I provide. Then the disk decrypts, and lo and behold! I am presented with a GUI login. I jump right in, and a…strange…desktop loads. I am not used to this. Things are similar to a standard windows GUI, but things are also slightly off. I am afraid of change. I go for it anyway. Many programs and packages are loaded already. Excitement builds. I have to find out what these things do. I also need to access the internet THROUGH my VM!! Without that it is worthless. I look for a web browser and find “konquerer”. After reading the tips and tricks splash page, I route to google.com. Success! Through the magic of…something, I can access the web immediately with no modifications.
Now things are getting interesting.
I immediately download some penetration software (John the Ripper, Kali, and search around for more interesting items) and basic stuff for my desktop…and I run out of disk space in a hurry. Guess I gotta upgrade the VM’s virtual disk size, since I am so data hungry.
I’m going to go play now. I’ll let you know what happens.
Thanks for reading!