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Best Operating Systems for Hacking?

Best Operating Systems for Hacking?

I want to quickly address the question if you should use Windows, Linux, or Mac. And I guess also answer the question of what I'm using? You use Windows. Have you ever used Arch? I'm a social influencer and I added photos for my Instagram. Real hackers use Kali Linux. If you follow me you will know that I use Mac. I use Linux and I use Windows.

Criticisms & disadvantages or advantages of the different devices

I absolutely understand the criticism about Apple. I understand the value of open-source and the idea behind Linux and its usefulness. And I grew up with Windows and I like to play games that are only running on there. But personally, I'm not really emotionally invested in any of the operating systems. I see them as any hardware and software just as a tool something that I can use to do my work.

It's always a combination of a couple of things. It's mostly what is available to me right now. And where do I have the most experience with or what am I most comfortable with? And I guess there's sometimes the stereotype that people that use Windows can't be real hackers or people that use a mac, Ill like stupid Instagrammers. But I don't know just look at conferences and look at the laptops that the people are using to present their stuff. You will find Linux, Mac, and Windows.

And for example, Greenville is obviously a very experienced at IT security researcher and as part of the very successful Drang sector CTF team. And he's mostly using Windows. I mean when necessary he will also use Linux. So he's here setting up an Ubuntu VM but for the most part, he's using Windows as his main operating system.

I think about malware research most malware runs on Windows so you need a good understanding of Windows which you will only get if you also use it and do your research on it. But in the end, it's just the tool you're using because that's what you need. And when you're interested in iOS speed writing apps or even doing some research and checking out jailbreaks then maybe you need a Mac.

A lot of the work that I do requires me to have run tools or writing my own scripts. And Yes I really like developing on Linux. I have most of my experience there. A lot of that knowledge is transferable to Mac and I can do that on Mac as well. Using some kind of VM or just renting, we host a server somewhere on the Internet to get a Linux host.

For me, Linux is the best environment to write applications for programs, run scripts, and so forth. But a lot of the daily work also is just like writing emails and writing on slack, writing reports, or documentation just browsing and researching on the Internet for these kinds of tasks. I just like Mac a lot. And even though when I'm at home I have huge monitors and desktop stations I loved the trackpad on Mac.

Seriously the biggest reason why I like Macs is because of the track pan. The trackpad is just so useful and for other people, this is just a stupid detail they don't care about. And then Mac makes no sense. Also Yes it's absolutely overpriced and way too expensive. And the state of repairs on Mac is absolutely terrible. I have nothing to counter that argument. I fully agree with you. It doesn't change that. I like to click on it.

I guess the main question that I get asked a lot is what I would recommend getting started with IT Security is something necessary. And please don't look at all the different devices that I have and think that you need that this is curated over many years. And I'd like to invest money into this because this is the field I'm working in.

But when I started I also had just a Windows PC and then at some point, I got a laptop and I installed Ubuntu I believe was it on there? But if you have Windows you can run a Linux VM or you can do a boot for just a couple of dollars per month. You can also rent a very small Linux machine somewhere online which is very useful because then you also have a public static IP basically. I usually use Digital Ocean for no particular reason.

But what I find fascinating is there are even people participating in a kind of like this jailbreak iOS world. I mean they are not doing like the Jailbreak stuff but they are writing and programming tweaks. And I've seen people do that just on their phone. They don't even have a laptop. They're using a text editor on their phone for programming. Absolutely insane in mind-blowing.

A Raspberry Pi is extremely cheap and they can run Linux on it so it can run Python and whatever you need. It's not very powerful but for basic programming, basic web application stuff, it's completely sufficient. Also, I don't sit with my five devices and pretend that it's not a privilege to have all these different devices. It makes a lot of things easier. I don't need to worry about if a tool is not running I can just try it out on any of the machines I have.

That's definitely an advantage and I guess a privilege of money that I have. But I would say it's definitely wrong if you think you absolutely need that to get started and that it's like holding you hugely back. I do think it's an advantage. It's a little bit of a privilege something that gets you a bit forward. But the main part that you need is like the motivation dedication to look into this regardless.

Limited environments are where creativity is the highest. When you are being limited by your device you will have to come up with weird ways to get around your restrictions. This requires creativity and you will have a much better understanding of the device later. Like I said some of the kids are not even held back by just having a phone and then programming on there. So it's the best, it's not ideal but you can learn so much on it.

Similar. If you have one laptop or one PC you can run a VM in there. And Yes VM is slower, it's sluggish, it doesn't feel native. And Yes it's a privilege if you have a dedicated Linux machine surely that makes working on it a bit nicer. I'm not going to pretend that this doesn't have an impact on the learning process but if you think you need that that's completely wrong. You can achieve so much with just these machines.

Also, a lot of people recommend Kali Linux if you want to do IT Security. And I have somewhat of a strong stance against Kali not necessarily because I believe like Kali is bad or huge reasons. I just want to be a counterweight against Kali a little bit. I personally don't use Kali. I'm way too overwhelmed by all the tools on there and I prefer to just have a clean operating system and then install what I need.

Also, I believe you should be capable of doing that because you will run into all these different setup issues of programs. Like how do you compile a program? How do you make sure that dependencies when they require different versions and not interfering with each other and all that kind of stuff? This is all useful experience to gain. 

And should I tell you a secret how I got to using a Mac in the early times when I kind of got into IT security and I saw various people that were extremely skilled and I was really looking up to them. I saw them using Macs either working on them or using them for their presentations. Oh if these amazing hackers are using Mac then it can't be bad right? I know this is a completely idiotic influence but that's the truth. Now I kind of like it.


For me the operating system or the kind of device it is it's just a tool and I use whatever is useful to me. And I'm very well aware of the criticisms and disadvantages or advantages of the different devices. And while I do care about these things and I'm glad that people fight for it personally I have to say I'm a little bit more motivated to just learn technical stuff so I just want to get my work done and so I'm just gonna use a Mac.

But if I could cast the vote I would definitely kick Apple in their ass for the terrible repair ecosystem and if you are curious about my Mac setup here are the tools that I always install. First, when I get a Mac.
  • iTerm2 as my terminal emulator.
  • Moom it's not really a full window manager is more like arranging Windows nicely.
  • Little snitch is kind of like a host firewall.
  • In my terminal then I'm using ohmyz.sh with my stt sh to make it look fancy.
  • And then GPG suite has a good integration for PGP in the mail.
  • I'm using Sublime text as a text editor.
  • But recently Visual Studio code is growing on me and I'm also increasingly using Docker a lot as an easy way to run Linux stuff on my Mac.

I can't give you a lot of tips for Windows because I mainly use Windows for the video editing process, streaming, and also playing games. So I guess Here's the Adobe Creative suite that I'm using and I guess recently I'm playing a lot of Apex legends. I don't know how important that was for you to know.

For Linux I go-to two choices are kind of like Ubuntu just because it's an easy entry but also sometimes fedora. Like I said I don't hold any religious views when it comes to Linux. It's just happened to be the stuff that I've been using. I would never claim that there is any good reason for why I'm using it. Okay, don't try to argue with me because I have no in clue what I'm talking about. This is just what I'm used to. That's just the truth.

I tried Arch Linux but I'm too stupid and impatient for it. And typically I also use ohmyz.sh on Linux as well. But please let me tell you what I'm using. Don't take this as kind of the best recommendation. Okay? I have no damn clue. This is like the stuff I come across and that I've been using and I'm sure there are better ways to do things.

In some cases, I'm actually very aware of what would be better to use but I'm so used to my way of doing it that I haven't found the time on motivation yet to transition. So please bear with me all the comments. That other stuff is better. I don't care. Well, I do care. But like I said I'm so used to the stuff how I do it and so it's unlikely gonna change. I'm getting too old. Okay, I'm getting closer to it 30. I don't like change any more.

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