NST 18 Getting Started

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This page provides a overview of getting started with the Network Security Toolkit using the NST 18 release (nst-18-4509.i686.iso). This page dicusses:

  • Where to download the ISO image from.
  • Different methods to live boot from the ISO image.
  • Installing to hard disk.
  • Initial setting of the passwords (which enables the sshd and httpd services).
  • Accessing the NST Web User Interface (WUI).

Download ISO Image

You should be able to download the nst-18-4509.i686.iso image from the NST area at SourceForge (https://sourceforge.net/projects/nst/files/NST/).

After downloading, you should make sure the MD5 and/or SHA1 check sum values are correct. The following demonstrates how to do this on a Linux based machine:

[pkb@rice iso]$ ls -l nst-18-4509.i686.iso 
-rw-r--r-- 1 pkb pkb 1847590912 Apr 15 07:43 nst-18-4509.i686.iso
[pkb@rice iso]$ md5sum nst-18-4509.i686.iso 
775fb8d99f904df87902ddde9ae9adc2  nst-18-4509.i686.iso
[pkb@rice iso]$ sha1sum nst-18-4509.i686.iso 
a70c8ec708e4f2460455770650ea0b0d3cf96353  nst-18-4509.i686.iso
[pkb@rice iso]$  

If your values don't match what is shown above, then you do not have a good download.

Live Boot The ISO Image

Once you have downloaded the ISO image, there are several ways to live boot from it.

Using USB Flash Drive

The NST distribution is based off of Fedora. Because of this you can use a variety of methods to install the NST ISO image onto a USB flash drive.

The following sections provide a quick reference for some common methods for transferring the ISO image to a USB flash drive. What is described below is just the tip of the iceberg. For full details, refer to the man pages for the various utilities used and visit the "How to create and use Live USB" page on the Fedora wiki.

Using liveusb-creator

If you are more comfortable with graphical applications, you can use the liveusb-creator tool. Look for Fedora LiveUSB Creator under the Activities menu. This tool offers a subset of the features provided by the livecd-iso-to-disk command line utility, but is recommended for beginners (or people that don't have time to read and can live with limitations).

Using livecd-iso-to-disk

Assuming you have booted from a live NST or Fedora system, you should be able to use the livecd-iso-to-disk utility to install to initialize a USB flash drive in the following manner:

rpm -q livecd-tools || yum install livecd-tools
livecd-iso-to-disk --noverify /run/initramfs/livedev /dev/sdx1

You will need to change /dev/sdx1 shown above to the partition of your USB flash drive you want initialized. Add the --format and --reset-mbr options if you need to clear/initialize your USB flash drive to a good working state.

Using dd - Mac System

It is also possible to use the dd command to copy the contents of the ISO image to a USB flash drive having a capacity of 2GB (or more). The following demonstrates how to do this from the command line on a Mac. The diskutil utility was used prior to invoking the dd command determine the device entry for the USB flash drive and to unmount any active partitions.

taco-e:tlp pkb$ diskutil list
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *512.1 GB   disk0
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS Macintosh HD            511.8 GB   disk0s2
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *750.2 GB   disk1
   1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk1s1
   2:                  Apple_HFS TIMEMAC                 749.8 GB   disk1s2
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     FDisk_partition_scheme                        *8.0 GB     disk3
   1:             Windows_FAT_32 tldboot                 128.0 MB   disk3s1
   2:                      Linux                         7.9 GB     disk3s2
taco-e:tlp pkb$ diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk3
Unmount of all volumes on disk3 was successful
taco-e:tlp pkb$ sudo dd if=/Volumes/public/vm/iso/nst-18-4509.i686.iso of=/dev/disk3 bs=$((8*1024*1024))
220+1 records in
220+1 records out
1847590912 bytes transferred in 2957.797273 secs (624651 bytes/sec)
taco-e:tlp pkb$ diskutil eject /dev/disk3
Disk /dev/disk3 ejected
taco-e:tlp pkb$

Here are some things to be aware of when using the dd method:

  • The entire USB flash drive is used. Hence, if you use a 16GB flash drive, you won't be able to store information on any of the remaining disk space.
  • The systems which you want to boot from need to support booting from USB ISO images in addition to or instead of booting from USB FAT images. This may lead to better or worse compatibility.
  • You will not have access to all of the fancy features available when using the Live USB tools (separate writable home partition, overlay, etc).

Using dd - Linux System

The following demonstrates how to use dd on a Linux system to copy the contents of the ISO image to a 8GB USB flash drive ("/dev/sdc") from the command line. An 8GB Block Size ("BS") was used for file transfer optimization. Make sure the USB flash drive is not mounted prior to performing the copy. The cmp utility is used after the copy for verification.

[root@shopper2 Downloads]# ls -al ./nst-18-5413.x86_64.iso 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2002780160 Dec  2 06:21 ./nst-18-5413.x86_64.iso
[root@shopper2 Downloads]#
[root@shopper2 Downloads]# lsscsi -s
[0:0:0:0]    disk    ATA      OCZ-VERTEX3      2.25  /dev/sda    120GB
[1:0:0:0]    disk    ATA      SanDisk SDSSDX24 R211  /dev/sdb    240GB
[12:0:0:0]   disk    SanDisk  Cruzer           1.01  /dev/sdc   8.00GB
[root@shopper2 Downloads]#
[root@shopper2 Downloads]# dd if=./nst-18-5413.x86_64.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=8M
238+1 records in
238+1 records out
2002780160 bytes (2.0 GB) copied, 519.832 s, 3.9 MB/s
[root@shopper2 Downloads]#
[root@shopper2 Downloads]# cmp -l ./nst-18-5413.x86_64.iso /dev/sdc
cmp: EOF on ./nst-18-5413.x86_64.iso
[root@shopper2 Downloads]#

Using a Virtual Machine

If you have a virtual environment (VMware, VirtualBox, etc) installed on your system, you should be able to quickly boot directly from the ISO image. The minimum recommended settings for a virtual machine boot are:

  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 1 CPU
  • 20 GB of disk space (if you want to install NST to a virtual hard disk).

After allocating your virtual machine:

  • Configure your virtual machine to boot from the NST ISO image.
  • Boot from the NST ISO image.
  • Log in and install the NST system to your virtual disk (there is a icon on the desktop).
  • Shutdown your virtual machine.
  • Disconnect the NST ISO image from your virtual machine.
  • Boot from the NST hard disk installation.
  • Log in.
  • Use the icon on the desktop to set the initial system passwords (this will also enable the sshd and httpd services).
  • Install the virtual drivers according to your virtual environment and reboot to make sure they load cleanly (unless you are running under VMware).

If at some point in time you decide to update your kernel, you will need/want to update your virtual drivers as well.

Using DVD

If your machine is unable to boot from a USB Flash drive, you can try burning the NST ISO image to DVD and try booting from the DVD. Be aware that booting from DVD media tends to be much slower than booting from a USB flash drive.

As a side note, if you are not familiar with burning ISO images to DVD, try one of the following searches (or substitute the name of your operating system):

Once you have successfully burned the DVD you should be able to boot from it.

If you can't boot from it, most likely:

  • You got a bad burn. We have seen times where a DVD burned on one system does not seem to work with a DVD drive of another system.
  • You have a bad download. Verify the check sum value of the ISO image you downloaded with what is posted at the web site you downloaded it from.

Initial Login

Installing To Hard Disk

Setting System Passwords

Using The NST WUI