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simple newbie setup macbook air, alpha, pineapple


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Hello all,

Great Forum you have here.

I am just getting started pen testing my own system and one where i work in IT.

My current laptop is a macbook air 5,2 and i have managed to get it to dual boot between mac OSX and Ubuntu. Glad i have it working but don't know if it's ideal.

I am ordering some toys from the website here, namely the pineapple and the alpha wireless. Which would be a more useful tool to operate and do pen testing with this hardware (macbook air, pineapple and alpha).

Just OSX that comes with the macbook and install mac versions of wireshark, ssh, etc..

install something like backtrack linux in a virtual machine with VirtualBox,

Or use a dual boot system?

i suppose if i have access to the pineapple via ssh, and the web interface, it doesn't much matter whether i use OSX terminals or linux terminals. But for the alpha, i am not sure the best route. Linux on the macbook air seems to use battery twice as fast, not so bad, but still, the dual boot issue. A VM would be easier if i am usually in OSX, however, i don't know how to give the VM linux proper control of the hardware (alpha) to run the cool pen testing apps like the cool kids here do.

i have a lot more experience with Linux (IT for 7 years) than i do with OSX, but OSX does seem to be pretty familiar in the shell, and runs nice on the laptop.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

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As a fellow mba owner, I can understand why ubuntu (or windows) dual booting is not ideal. OSX is highly optimized for apples hardware and vice versa. You sacrifice battery life and oftentimes driver efficiency by booting into anything but OSX. Its a tradeoff that 90% of consumers never have to deal with, as they just stay in OSX full time. With that in mind, I would recommend going with a virtual machine of backtrack or ubuntu if you need the tools, but for the most part I just do like you were saying and use the terminal and wireshark in OSX.

The other downside to going with apple, is it doesn't work great with the pineapples ICS (as you saw from the link from an inebriated Mr-Protocol), but it is workable.

These are all tradeoffs we have to make in order to enjoy a great, if not the greatest, laptop.


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Thanks for the great response, telot.

I am curious ( as i am downloading the backtrack 5r3 now), with BT5r3 running in a VM, how do i set that up to give the VM control over the wifi device (either the one in the MBA or the alpha i have on order? .

I am sure NAT will not work like that (but i could be wrong).

What has been your experience? And thanks again for the great advice

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You are quite welcome skrite

In order to have backtrack see the alfa, you forward USB devices to the guest OS. Each virtualization suite will handle this differently, but they all have the feature.

To get a proper IP from your router (not NAT via your host) to the VM - simply setup bridge mode (at least thats what its called in virtualbox) for your VM. That way you can scan as if you're on the network, just as your mba is.


Edited by telot
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