Secure hardware build for a newbie

Niloticus1

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Hi folks (and happy new year),

I'm a total newbie, both on here and to Linux, but I'm keen to buy or build a (relatively) cheap Linux machine to act as a secure machine for financial stuff (banking, shares, crypto etc). At the same time I'd like to set up a new email address with a very secure service provider (I was recently pwn'd.....).

I'm considering a barebones build using an older nuc (probably an 8th gen i3), or possibly trying to resurrect an old Asus UX32 laptop with a new ssd (I'm much less keen on starting out with this option).

Alternatively, I might be interested in buying a machine with linux pre-installed (although I'm sceptical about this for security reasons, particularly the cheaper machines). I did see that Simplynuc will supply machines with Linux preinstalled, although they seem relatively expensive compared to buying the components.

Edit: I saw that some suppliers will flash Lenovo X series laptops to coreboot/libreboot, which might be an option if I can source a refurbed machine.

I'd be really grateful for any guidance.

Cheers!
 


Nelson Muntz

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I've always had good results with Dell products with Intel inside.

Find a 2 year old computer and create a bootable USB thumb drive and install Linux on it.

No reason to waste cash for something that you can do yourself.

Here's where to start.

Here's a good Linux distro to start with.




 
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jglen490

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The best security solution is the one who is using the keyboard ;)
 

Niloticus1

New Member
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I've always had good results with Dell products with Intel inside.

Find a 2 year old computer and create a bootable USB thumb drive and install Linux on it.

No reason to waste cash for something that you can do yourself.

Here's where to start.

Here's a good Linux distro to start with.




Thanks for the links, very helpful! My main concern with hardware is whether laptops present hardware specific issues with things like trackpads.
 

Nelson Muntz

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[Snip]
the issue I experienced was a data breach at a vendor.
Don't think Linux is bullet proof because it ain't, no OS is bullet proof.

If that is where the breach occurred than it could happen / would happen with any OS.

Any virus attack or malware attack that I have gotten on my computer entered by my hand.
 
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LorenDB

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For your computer:

All are decent, cheap single-board computers that work with Linux. You could even pick up two and use one to set up your own email server.
 

Nelson Muntz

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Thanks for the links, very helpful! My main concern with hardware is whether laptops present hardware specific issues with things like trackpads.
From my experience some laptops can be very problematic and some laptops work OOTB.

Create a LIVE bootable media and give the preferred Linux distro a try and you will find out from the git go as it's hit and miss until you try you will not know.
 

Niloticus1

New Member
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From my experience some laptops can be very problematic and some laptops work OOTB.

Create a LIVE bootable media and give the preferred Linux distro a try and you will find out from the git go as it's hit and miss until you try you will not know.
Thanks, that makes perfect sense!
 

jglen490

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Data breaches within a vendor's domain happen. Those are out of your control.

You can either stop using that vendor, or you can try to understand what solution, if any, they implemented and assume they are good to go. Security solutions provided by a vendor to the Linux community and various distros occur quite often, but not all vendors support Linux. When there is no Linux support, then the distro or the community provides the security solution via a driver or application.

So, unless you have a PEBKAC issue, you are really at the mercy of someone other than you.

And in reference to your question about trackpads, I've not heard of anything consistently wrong with any trackpad driver.
 

Niloticus1

New Member
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Data breaches within a vendor's domain happen. Those are out of your control.

You can either stop using that vendor, or you can try to understand what solution, if any, they implemented and assume they are good to go. Security solutions provided by a vendor to the Linux community and various distros occur quite often, but not all vendors support Linux. When there is no Linux support, then the distro or the community provides the security solution via a driver or application.

So, unless you have a PEBKAC issue, you are really at the mercy of someone other than you.

And in reference to your question about trackpads, I've not heard of anything consistently wrong with any trackpad driver.
Thanks for that. My comments about security were really just to set the scene and give a flavour of my reasons for becoming interested in Linux.

I guess I should have stuck to hardware questions.
 

jglen490

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No problem, just trying to find a problem to focus on :)
 

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