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varChar
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June 08, 2014, 05:23:29 PM
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In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?
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June 08, 2014, 05:41:41 PM
 #2

In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?

I think the two main ideas behind this are:
#1 Linux is safer than windows and I want safe coins.
#2 Linux is hard, gimme the easiest Linux with a lot of support.

But as you pointed out for a proper airgapped system this is no issue. But why bother with windows when you can have a free (open source, no license for private use) system?

varChar
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June 08, 2014, 06:06:39 PM
 #3

In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?

I think the two main ideas behind this are:
#1 Linux is safer than windows and I want safe coins.
#2 Linux is hard, gimme the easiest Linux with a lot of support.

But as you pointed out for a proper airgapped system this is no issue. But why bother with windows when you can have a free (open source, no license for private use) system?


Thanks for reply! I will take a look into ubuntu, thats for sure!

But as you pointed out for a proper airgapped system this is no issue. But why bother with windows when you can have a free (open source, no license for private use) system?

Because it was installed on the computer I bought. And because I havn't used ubuntu before. That shouldn't be any big problem, but it's one of my reasons Smiley
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June 09, 2014, 03:54:08 AM
 #4

Are you having problems installing it ?
i can walk you through it (for free) if you like. I'm bored today lol.

varChar
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June 09, 2014, 05:49:09 AM
 #5

Are you having problems installing it ?
i can walk you through it (for free) if you like. I'm bored today lol.


hehe no I havn't.
Havn't started install it yet Smiley But it was really nice of you! Maybe I'll get in touch!

The tread is more about why install it.
Got a windows 8 installation running. I've uninstalled all programs that I dont need so its really fresh.
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June 09, 2014, 10:05:12 AM
 #6

I'm in the same conditions as OP, but I 'd want to add a question, is ubuntu the best linux distro for cold storage?

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June 09, 2014, 10:08:37 AM
 #7

I'm in the same conditions as OP, but I 'd want to add a question, is ubuntu the best linux distro for cold storage?

Its just a Linux distro aiming at beginners. What would make a distro "the best for cold storage" in your opinion? IMHO the best would be a Linux that allready has all the wallets you might want to use. Thats not Ubuntu. I dont even know if it exists. But as fare as "I will do this myself" goes, Ubuntu is as good as any other Linux.

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June 09, 2014, 11:46:10 AM
 #8

any linux will do.. their are steps you need to take to secure any *nix distro..
you could have "the best" linux distro and install an app that is vulnerable and then it is all over.

personally I like openbsd... not as user friendly as ubuntu, but if you ask me it is a little more secure out of the box.
Each *nix has alot of kernel tweaks you can do.. plus enable firewalls etc etc... it all comes with experience..
read some books, articles and what not on how to secure your distro.

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June 09, 2014, 01:31:06 PM
 #9

Another thing to consider regarding the distro is how easy it is to get your Bitcoin Core and / or Armory on you air-gapped PC. Ubuntu is probably one of the easier ones.

Why did they choose Ubuntu? Possibly the big community had to do with it. Less "Linux 101" questions being sent to the dev, as answers can be easily googled.

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June 14, 2014, 06:54:07 PM
 #10

In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?

Linux is open source with a world class team of programmers behind it. It's generally a lot more secure than windows. Almost all malware targets windows directly because that's what most people use.

It might be ok to use windows if the computer is cold, but it's still riskier in general.
varChar
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June 17, 2014, 11:09:26 AM
 #11

In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?

Linux is open source with a world class team of programmers behind it. It's generally a lot more secure than windows. Almost all malware targets windows directly because that's what most people use.

It might be ok to use windows if the computer is cold, but it's still riskier in general.

I see!
What is riskier?
The only risk I can see, would be when I do transactions with my usb. Between [cold win 8 computer] and [hot win 8 computer].
Perhaps in the futher there are more malmware targeting this solution. So perhaps the cold computer can be infected that way(?). And in that situation ubuntu would been better?
I've also turned bluetooth and wifi off in bios from cold computer.

But if I do use ubuntu, loaded from an usb. Is it okey to use windows 8 from the HD?
Not as a hot computer. But to store pictures and other backups? Or can they ever talk to each other when im running two different OS?
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June 17, 2014, 11:31:12 AM
 #12

The main reason why a linux computer might be safer is that most malware is designed for windows and is thus not dangerous for linux.
So when you use a USB stick to transport data from one to another, having two different operating systems will make it a bit safer.
However, linux itself is no guarantee for safety - if you execute malware designed for linux, you're hosed, even though it is a bit more difficult to completely compromise the system. And given that linux is a recommended platform for crypto coin wallets, wallet stealers will most likely target it preferentially in the future.
So whatever OS you use, that main security factor is the one sitting in front of the keyboard.

Onkel Paul

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June 20, 2014, 12:48:27 PM
 #13

nd given that linux is a recommended platform for crypto coin wallets, wallet stealers will most likely target it preferentially in the future.
So whatever OS you use, that main security factor is the one sitting in front of the keyboard.

Onkel Paul

That is a very good point.

It will be interesting to see when this starts to happen. It's a bit scary thinking that there are people writing malware for linux that's going to empty wallets.
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June 20, 2014, 12:50:33 PM
 #14

Let's just use Gentoo without X11 Cheesy

If it's offline, it's safe. Stop being paranoid.
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June 28, 2014, 05:11:03 AM
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Let's just use Gentoo without X11 Cheesy

If it's offline, it's safe. Stop being paranoid.

You joke but when you have lots of BTC it pays to be a little paranoid  Tongue

One of the basics of computer security is to disable unnecessary services.  For an offline Armory wallet, this means most of a traditional desktop install can go.  I would like to see Armory more easily ported to other distros for this reason.  X11 doesn't bother me so much (Armory is GUI only at the moment so you need it anyway) but stuff like the Ubuntu Amazon shopping lens, web browsers, and bluetooth software could be potential attack vectors.  Sure you can remove all those from Ubuntu but I would prefer to start with a minimalistic Arch or Debian install with only X11, a bare Openbox for the WM, and the dependencies of Armory.  Bonus points for blacklisting the kernel modules for the NIC and bluetooth cards so apps can't connect to anything even if they wanted to.
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June 28, 2014, 05:38:08 AM
 #16

In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?

Yes, the OS doesn't matter, the main thing to understand is as long the computer is offline it is safe but he might have mentioned it because usually the computers people don't use for online purposes are old and have less ram and cpu power and which is why ubuntu or other linux distros are recommended as their older versions work well with computers with less powers, also they can be run on a pen drive very easily which is very hard to achieve even if you're trying to run xp. But even ubuntu require some knowledge and experience to use so if you're not comfortable with it just use xp or seven or which ever one you want to use as long as your computer supports it. The only thing you need for a cold storage wallet is a computer capable of running a browser with java enabled.

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June 28, 2014, 06:18:02 AM
 #17

In an Armory tutorial on youtube Andy said he useing ubuntu. But not much into why he did it. When searching Im most finding installation problems. Perhaps I can do a better search. But how come its better to use it when even if the computer is cold?
A cold windows computer should be that secure as ubuntu?

Yes, the OS doesn't matter, the main thing to understand is as long the computer is offline it is safe but he might have mentioned it because usually the computers people don't use for online purposes are old and have less ram and cpu power and which is why ubuntu or other linux distros are recommended as their older versions work well with computers with less powers, also they can be run on a pen drive very easily which is very hard to achieve even if you're trying to run xp. But even ubuntu require some knowledge and experience to use so if you're not comfortable with it just use xp or seven or which ever one you want to use as long as your computer supports it. The only thing you need for a cold storage wallet is a computer capable of running a browser with java enabled.

Really above all else, the point is to do a fresh OS installation on the computer.  If it's been previously online who knows what kind of malware lurks on it (especially if it's running Windows.)  Ubuntu was chosen because it has the largest userbase among desktop distros and the install is probably one of the simplest.

Honestly I've found Linux installs to be easier than Windows installs.  The main pitfalls people run into are in getting certain wifi cards and certain graphics cards to work.  Neither are needed for an offline Armory wallet.  In fact it's even better if your wifi card won't work because then it's impossible for any app to connect to anything.  In the case of the graphics card, likely all you'll be lacking is OpenGL acceleration because if all else fails Linux will fall back to the VESA framebuffer driver which will work on damn near anything.  This will still bring up the Xorg GUI and worst case you'll have to live without some of the transparency desktop effects.  Who cares!  The offline wallet is for signing transactions securely, not for looking pretty!

For older computers, look into Xubuntu and Lubuntu instead of the main Ubuntu.  They use the exact same package base (even pull from the same repos.)  The only difference is in the GUI.  They use Xfce and LXDE, respectively.  Lubuntu is going to be the lightest of the two.  Xubuntu, IMO, looks much better but may use a little more RAM.  Both are much more lightweight than Ubuntu with its default Unity interface.  Perhaps the biggest difference is that Unity has no way to turn compositioning off (the thing that enables the fancy desktop effects.)  This means that if you run into problems with your graphics driver like I noted above, Unity will fall back to llvmpipe which attempts to render all those fancy effects on your CPU.  This works but will be much, much slower (and probably unusable if you have an older CPU.)  On Xubuntu you can simply turn off compositioning (if its enabled by default) to have a fast GUI without desktop effects and with Lubuntu I don't think compositioning is even an option in the first place.
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June 28, 2014, 09:04:19 AM
 #18

Actually I may have to eat my words about Ubuntu.  I just found this minimal install ISO.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/MinimalCD

It's a netinstall so the computer will have to be online to grab the packages but I don't see that as a huge issue.  IIRC Ubuntu by default verifies all the packages it installs via GPG signatures.  The plan is to grab all the packages that Armory needs while online then disconnect, blacklist the wifi module, and never connect to the internet again.  Then only after I'm offline for good will I install Armory and generate my private keys.  Updates don't really matter unless it's something that directly effects Armory so I won't even both with those (if it is something that affects Armory I'll just grab the .deb from my online computer, verify it, then copy it over via USB driver... same with updates to Armory itself.)

The downside is they state it doesn't work for UEFI boot.  My UEFI-based desktop supports BIOS emulation (which is actually the default mode) so this isn't an issue there but that's my main online machine.  I have a laptop that shipped with Windows 8 I would like to use as my offline machine so I don't know if I can BIOS boot with that or not.  We'll see in a little bit I guess.  For now, I'm just testing it out in a VM.  Here's a screenshot of the most bare-bones Ubuntu install possible:

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June 28, 2014, 02:07:02 PM
 #19


Hi,

Another *HUGE* advantage Linux has over windoze is it has a far smaller footprint, windoze is notoriously resource hungry. If you want a machine just for bitcoin use you don't want all the latest expensive hardware sitting there unused, with Linux you can use far older hardware that would often otherwise be consigned to the bin.

~S
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July 23, 2014, 12:25:56 PM
 #20

Hi,

I use Ubuntu for offline (and for online too) computer because:

1) I buy very fine and low cost small ASUS computer (model X200ma, cost ~$240 without tax). This price for clean without OS computer
2) The cost of Ubuntu $0
3) It's fine and easy OS
4) In any time a can reformat whole computer (if i decide wipe all soft from where) and install new Ubuntu OS. Price $0. No activation and other shit from Windows
5) I can make an easy encryption of whole HDD disk with password during installtion process. It's super for offline computer if it will be stolen. And for online of course.
6) It fine works in all modes - sleeping, waking up and so on.
7) It understand all format of file systems: fat, vfat, fat32, ntfs, ext3 & ext4 in write modes and so on. It's fine for USB flashes
Cool It's open OS so i think there no hidden bugs from NSA Smiley
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