System Overlord

A blog about security engineering, research, and general hacking.

Michael Dell runs Linux!

Michael Dell (Chairman of Dell Computer) runs Linux, as evidenced by his computer profile. Pretty cool, and might explain the move to increased support for Linux. That being said, it'll probably still be a while before we see pre-installed Ubuntu laptops from Dell. We can only hope. :)

Battery Disappeared

On my Latitude D620 (my work laptop) the battery has "disappeared".  Both Linux and the BIOS show that no battery in installed.  That being said, the battery charge light is on when the battery is in, and the light is off if I remove the battery, so there must be SOMETHING there.  Any thoughts welcome.

OpenWRT on WRT54GL

My WRT54GL arrived today (nice little birthday gift) and I promptly installed OpenWRT on it.  It was an incredibly simple process, just download a file and upload it to the router as a new firmware.  Very straightforward.

The configuration is amazingly flexible, though you do need to be comfortable with the shell to get the most out of it.  In most cases, you can find a tutorial on the OpenWRT wiki to walk you through the necessary steps.  Most tutorials literally provide you with each command.

What I'd eventually like to do is this: set up the router to have two SSIDs, one for private use and one for when friends, etc. come over. The trick is to have different encryption schemes, authentication, and routing schemes.

One other thing I need to do is completely revamp my firewalling policy on my desktop and laptop.  I don't need tight filters, but I do need to not trust supposedly-local IPs as much.

So, coming soon, Network 2.0 :)

Two Feisty Weeks

I installed the beta version of Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) about two weeks ago.  It has since gone to stable and been deployed on thousands of computers worldwide.  So what do I think about it?

It's amazing.  Everything worked out of the box.  The only thing I had to change was have it mount some of my secondary partitions (I could've done that during the install, but didn't want to mess with them then).   Installing beryl to get a little eye candy was a mere 5 minute process.

I was running Gentoo before this.  Don't get me wrong, Gentoo is great as well, but I'd switched most of my other machines to Ubuntu and decided to standardize.  Also, waiting on the compiles does get a bit old on Gentoo.  While I've run quite a few Linux distributions over the decade I've been using Linux, I've only seriously run 4: Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, and Ubuntu.  Ubuntu is by far the best.  It has  the wonderful Debian package management, great functionality/interface, and gets updated very regularly.  Plus it has the stability of a corporation (Canonical LTD) behind it to help push things and keep the development flowing.

DD-WRT licensing issues

My router is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday (my birthday), so I'm pretty excited about that. However, after seeing this rant, I'm leaning more towards OpenWRT instead of my original plans for DD-wrt. They seem to support similar feature sets, but I'd like something I can work on and modify to my own needs, without worrying about the mixed licenses. I'd like to see multiple SSID support (with different crypto, vlans, etc.) and a handful of other commercial-grade features. Hopefully I can get involved in some of the development there as well.