How to Set Up Our Raspberry Pi microSD Card

You are about to have so much fun.

We assume you have a Raspberry Pi and know how to put it together. Simply place our Fedora Security Spin (FSS) microSD card into your Pi and power it up.

You’ll be prompted for a user name and password, of course. Your user name is hacker and your password is hack2live. Do not leave this password unchanged! Open a terminal and type:

passwd

and then enter a good, stout password. Twice, to prove you can. Don’t forget it; this is for-real Unix and won’t make things easy for you if your do.

Be sharp about installing updates as they become available; Fedora will let you know about these.

Notes on Fedora on Raspberry Pi

This isn’t an installer. This is a ready-to-go pre-installed FSS environment designed for hacking students and security testers.

Our Pi card ships with VNC Server already set up and running. Once you know the IP address of your Pi (an nmap scan is a nice way) you can use any VNC client and connect on port 5910.

The sshd daemon is running too, so you can ssh to your Pi’s IP address using the default credentials.

The screen saver is disabled for two reasons. First, if your Pi goes into standby, it shuts down the wifi adapter and is notoriously bad at bringing it back up. Second, because you Pi doesn’t have a BIOS/CMOS, it doesn’t know what time it is at boot until it syncs to a time server, so as soon as you log in, the screen saver will lock you out, forcing you to log in again. If the screen saver is important to you the configuration can be set up in the GUI desktop tool.

This installation uses the default Fedora ARM kernel. There are other distros available that use an out-of-tree kernel, usually based on Ada’s work, to enable things like tiny touch screens. Compatibility with some of the testing tools is problematic, my kernel developer tells me, so for the sake of a good hacking experience we’ve stuck to the mainstream kernel. This is cool. As new kernels come out you’ll get them (or refuse the update if you want, but you don’t, usually).

Hacking to Live

Gosper's Glider Gun

Hackers are clever techies.

The word “hacker” actually has nothing to do with crime: a brilliant engineer would hack out a smart solution to the problem at hand, and consider it a compliment to be called a hacker. There’s a whole culture built on this idea: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_culture.

We are a community dedicated to learning and teaching. We don’t think knowledge should be deep, dark and secret – far from it. Everyone with the interest should be free to pursue hacking. Sure, if you want to, you can learn Linux and bash and networking. But you don’t have to do all those things, or any of those things, to be a hacker.

Consider how we do higher education: you are expected to take out loans and spend years living in poverty to get a college degree that may not fit anything in the job market, or even worse, might be passed by while you’re getting it. Who makes money on this arrangement? Hint: It is not designed for your benefit. You can be a brilliant hacker by learning skills that give you power – power because you are in demand. Hack the whole system by getting someone else to pay for your education!

We don’t restrict our discussion of hacking to just Linux, programming and networking, though we do talk about those things a lot. Feel welcome to bring us food hacks, lifestyle hacks, hacks of any and every system. Because that’s what we do: hack it to learn it, and hack it to teach it.