Liberte Linux (How to Install + Features)

Discussion in 'GNU/Linux' started by Brokor, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member


    LINK to official site: DE(E)SU - Liberté Linux

    In the Post-Snowden era of 2014-2015, we recommend TAILS Linux over Liberte.
    The below discussion was before TAILS was absorbed by the TOR group

    Tails - Privacy for anyone anywhere

    STEP ONE - Download:
    You can visit the official site to get alternative downloads, but for most, the .zip extractable binary image is what this install will be based on. Download from the SourceForge project site. Latest version is always the default download, so just click the green button. Note that the top-level liberte folder in all installation package types (.zip / .iso / .ova) is exactly the same.

    You will want a USB memory stick of no less than 1 GB in size, although I recommend a 4GB or larger.

    First, ensure the USB stick is formatted to the FAT32 file system. You can do this through Windows, or use proprietary software such as EaseUS Partition Master (free version works).

    Next, extract the archive into the top directory of the media you want to use (including the liberte archive root) — i.e., in Windows put D: or similar into the “Extract to …” dialog. This is all that's needed when upgrading; however, to upgrade a running Liberté instance, add toram to the boot menu options first.

    STEP THREE - Initiate:
    This can get tricky depending on your OS, since you will have to execute a .Bat file (Windows), Linux users can find help at the official web page. Some Windows operating systems will give you trouble with running the file as Administrator. You must run it as the super user or you will get an error. The files will become hidden after running the .Bat file...

    Windows: Launch setup.bat in liberte folder. You will likely need to right-click and select Run as administrator in Vista and in Windows 7. Watch out for errors in the console messages. Do not permit antivirus software like Avast to run the installer in a sandbox, since the bootloader will fail to install in that case.
    Linux: Run sh /media/…/liberte/ auto as root.

    STEP FOUR - Reboot and Configure BIOS:
    You will need to configure your BIOS to boot first from USB. On every startup, the option to enter the SETUP utility is available, and is often accessed with a Function Key (mine is F2 for example).

    Save settings and exit.

    If your BIOS is password protected, you will not be able to boot from BIOS. This is also a great security feature most do not use, but now you know if you didn't already.

    The computer will restart and load the Liberte initial function:

    You will see it continue and then stop to configure the HD space on the USB stick. BE PATIENT! It can take several minutes, and will seem like it is locked up. This is normal.

    Once configured, it will reboot and take you back through the process, and will prompt you to type in a password for access as a key to load. Picking a secure password for the encrypted volume is extremely important, since all user's persistent data is kept on this virtual partition, accessible via ~/persist directory. Do not take the various security “experts” (typically, trained system administration monkeys) too seriously, and consider writing the (long) passphrase down on something that is secured and that you will not carry with the boot media. Remember your password.

    You will be prompted to type in your password, it is hidden. Hit enter when done.

    Sometimes, the kernel will not boot, just type 'startx' to initiate, as shown above.


    You can find out more, including all the fantastic security and features of this distribution at the official website linked at the top of the post. It is highly recommended you read the documentation before use.

    I use a tiny, bootable USB stick and fasten it to my keychain, loaded with Liberte. If at any time, I wish to access a computer, I can quickly boot into the BIOS, make it bootable from USB, and reboot with the Liberte drive attached. I can browse online and use the encrypted, secure OS on my USB stick, and simply remove it when finished, leaving zero trace.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2015
    stg58 likes this.
  2. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus

    Running it in a VM for a test.

    Have you compared it with Tails on USB? I know there are a couple (and I do mean 2) reviews that compare/contrast the two but any additional eyes/experiences would be appreciated.
  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I am also testing Tails, but there are problems with it.
    Tails - Known issues

    Tails is more secure in many ways, but not as reliable in others. I have had zero problems with Liberte, but I will continue testing Tails.
    melbo likes this.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Tails always lists known issues and they are usually upstream issues (Debian or TOR)
    Always update. Always.
    Ganado and Brokor like this.
  5. 10brokenpromises

    10brokenpromises Monkey++

    Question about Liberte: Are you at all concerned that there haven't been any updates in over 3 years? It's running the hardened Gentoo kernel (3.4.7) which I'm pretty sure I've seen at least as few CVEs since then.

    Not a flame war or poking, just wondering. Tails is updated regularly as vulnerabilities are discovered and I have no idea how many updates to the TOR browser bundle have come out since Liberte was last updated. Come to think of it, OpenSSL on a live CD, would still be vulnerable to HeartBleed, wouldn't it?
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Dunno, dude. I am not a professional spy, nor do I care about Linux flavor wars. To me, Linux people can be a lot like your average elitist ultra-light backpacker --they nitpick over unimportant details. Meanwhile, here I come passing through, my balls swaying as I push on by carrying 80 lbs. in tow and singing cadence. I just need a reliable USB OS which isn't run by Satansoft and therefore subject to every surveillance program on the planet. Liberte does the job fine. Now, if I plan on hacking the FBI mainframe, then giving Tom Cruise a hard time, maybe even cause a fire sale and get Bruce Willis all up in my business, then yes....TAILS is much more preferred.


    Just wanted to add, Liberte leaves zero trace, even if it's not "updated".
    Tails will sometimes fail and that sucks to leave evidence behind. Just saying.
    10brokenpromises, Ganado and melbo like this.
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    lol. (I really did)
    Brokor likes this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    @10brokenpromises by the way, I just realized I may have seemed insensitive in my previous post. I realize your argument, but I just don't have anything useful or intelligent to add, so I said it like I see it. You are always welcome to ask me questions, I am often happy to answer them, in my own ridiculous way. ;)
    10brokenpromises and Ganado like this.
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