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GNOME Security

A Fedora Remix Based on the Fedora 13 Security Spin

Download Now (Live CD Image, 699MB):
Kickstart Files (For Making Your Own Spins)

GNOME Security In Action

GNOME Security is an unofficial “Fedora Remix” based on the Fedora 13 Security Spin. The spin¬† “provides a safe test environment to work on security auditing, forensics, system rescue and teaching security testing methodologies”, and includes many tools for security auditing on a Live CD or USB Flash Drive. The Fedora Security Spin (and therefore also GNOME Security) is similar in nature to BackTrack, based on Ubuntu. But often people prefer to stick with what they know; sometimes that means sticking with Fedora!

The GNOME Security Boot Screen

The GNOME Security Boot Screen

So what is GNOME Security? How is it different than the Fedora Security Spin?

The Fedora Security Spin comes with the LXDE Desktop Environment, a fast and lightweight GUI. I’m not a big fan, however. I’ve been using the GNOME Desktop Environment for many years, and its what I know best and find easiest to use. GNOME takes much more space than LXDE, though. To make it fit on a Live CD (700MB or less), I have removed some of the less popular utilities from the Fedora Security Spin. The result is a fast and easy to use security auditing tool set based on Fedora that easily fits on a standard 700MB CD. GNOME Security can be booted from this CD without touching your hard drive, installed to a USB Flash Drive, or installed on to your hard drive if you need a more permanent solution.


  • Familiar interface of GNOME combined with the speed and reliability of Fedora
  • Fully-featured security auditing tool set
  • Read/write live CD filesystem allows users to install packages to the RAM-based filesystem until reboot; meaning if the CD hasn’t provided what you needed, you can still download and use it without modifying your hard drive
  • Fully-featured, fast, and FREE

Download Now (Live CD Image, 699MB):

How To Install To a USB Flash Drive

Fedora Live USB Creator

Fedora Live USB Creator, a free (and wonderful) utility for installing any flavor of Fedora Linux onto a USB flash drive

Download the GNOME Security Live CD image from the above link and save it to your Desktop or Downloads folder, we’ll use this later. Now you’ll need to download and install the liveusb-creator utility published by the Fedora people. Clear off as much free space as you can from your flash drive. Absolute minimum free space is 725MB, a full 1GB free space or more highly recommended.¬† Yes, a 1GB USB flash drive works just fine, if you are wondering.

Put the flash drive in your computer if you haven’t already. Run the liveusb-creator utility and click Browse and find the Live CD image you downloaded a bit ago. Make sure that “target device” is your USB flash drive. Now the important part, the persistent storage option. Persistent storage refers to how much space you’ll have for downloads, extra installed software, internet cache files, etc. Trust me, you’ll want to make this big.

I recommend taking that slider all the way over as far as it will go to the right. If you don’t feel like dedicating all the space that’s fine, but at 200MB is the absolute lowest you’ll want to go if you ever plan on adding on new software packages. Now press the “Create Live USB” button and away you go! Once the process is finished just put it in the target PC and boot it up.

Advanced USB Flash Drive Creation: Extra Stuff

If you don’t want technical jargon for experts, you can consider your work done; experts: let’s keep moving!

Now you’ve booted into your new USB flash drive installation of GNOME Security. First thing: let’s get real accounts going (by default the ‘live’ account automatically logs in and isn’t password-protected). If you aren’t already in the automatic login account, go ahead and click it. Once you are at the desktop, do “Applications” -> “System Tools” -> “Terminal”.

Issue the following commands:

  • su
  • passwd root
    (you’ll be asked to set your new root password, don’t forget it!
  • useradd tony
    (replace tony with whatever login you’d like)
  • passwd tony
    (set a new password for your standard user account, not to be confused with the root password)

Go ahead and close Terminal now. Do “System” -> “Log Out xxxxx”. When you get to the login screen, choose to login to your new account. Now you are in your more permanent, secure, and all-around amazing account. If you can’t login (it keeps sending you back to the login screen when you click the new account), you’ll have to restart the computer, this is a bug.

Feel free to delete the automatic login account at this point. That’s found at “System” -> “Administration” -> “Users and Groups”.

Go ahead and restart your computer to get the full changes to take effect.


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