Currently listening to Desi, waiting for my new USB stick to finish a slow format. So I have been using my wife’s computer to start prepping for the OSCP, and I have to say, that was a bad idea. I have a mac, but trying to create my own virtual lab in there has been rough. I used VirtualBox to do this, but VMWare workstation on a windows machine just seems to get the job done right.
So, my first thought was to go with a souped-up Chromebook. I went ahead and got the i7 Pixelbook. Nice looking machine, and yes, I think ChromeOS is nice – but I wanted to run Linux off of it. So I went two different routes on this, and both didn’t work like I needed it to.
Route 1: I changed my channel to the developer channel and just used the crostini linux that google offered from this channel. It wasn’t a full blown linux like I needed. So scratch that.
Route 2: I put the Pixelbook in developer mode, and ran chroots of linux. After some crazy finagling, I got kali-rolling on a xfce desktop. But, still limited – for example, I couldn’t do any networking – this was just a virtual container running on ChromeOS.
I didn’t try wiping the OS and just installing a linux on metal. Mainly because I was afraid that doing that would lock me into not being able to return the machine. After not being able to successfully do either of the above routes, I put the machine back on the stable channel, main mode, and powerwash.
I haven’t gotten my $ back (it’s still in the mail), but I need a machine that is not my wife’s. Some googling commenced, and I settled on a Matebook X Pro (MXP). I think it’s the best bang for your buck. I almost bought a Surface Book 2, but it was clunky, and $1K more. I don’t really need a 2-in-1. The only thing about the MXP is the resolution is a bit wack. It works, but it’s like 3000×2000 – and then you have to increase the font size. So far, ok, but some of my older Vms (windows 7, XP, Ubuntu) are hard to see/really small. But the ports, the size, and the power of the computer I really like. I am a bit concerned about the build – Chinese products sometimes don’t last as long, and I am hoping this will take me 5 years out. But I hope that I am done with my OSCP at that time, and might be time for a new PC, based on what I learned.
I am going to set up a dual boot on Kali and Windows. The drive is a 512MB SSD and so far, all is well, except for the heat – the computer does come with a 1 year warranty, so I am going to lean on that if something doesn’t go well.