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August 31st, 2016

Installing BlackArch Linux on a Raspberry Pi

Would you like to use a Raspberry Pi as a topflight security tool? Here’s how to install BlackArch Linux on a Pi to get you on your way.

The Raspberry Pi Report

Currently Kali Linux is the de facto OS for those looking to do security research or penetration testing, but that could be changing in the months and years to come. This month BlackArch Linux, another penetration testing OS, released new ISOs that could put it ahead of Kali. BlackArch now includes over 1,500 tools for penetration testing and security research as well as support for kernel 4.7.1. In the months to come, I’ll write about using select tools from BlackArch on the Raspberry Pi, but in order to get to that point, we first need to install it. Instead of taking any credit for the install steps or reproduce them over again, I’m simply going to provide links to the same steps that I found and followed which lead me to a successful install of both Arch Linux and BlackArch on my Raspberry Pi 3.

BlackArch Linux logoWhile BlackArch is considered a distribution in its own right, it can also be installed on top of a current Arch install, which is the route I recently took. Using that route, BlackArch will serve as a repository, which then allows you to install as many of the BlackArch tools you desire. The steps to install Arch Linux on the Raspberry Pi are pretty easy. If you plan on installing Arch on a Raspberry Pi other than the Raspberry Pi 3, follow the exact same install steps except instead of running the command wget http://os.archlinuxarm.org/os/ArchLinuxARM-rpi-2-latest.tar.gz you would run the command wget http://os.archlinuxarm.org/os/ArchLinuxARM-rpi-latest.tar.gz, which is the same command with the “-2” removed. Another point to note for the Arch install, all of step 5 needs to be run as root, not via sudo. After performing the install steps, you should have now have Arch Linux on your Raspberry Pi of choice.

With Arch now installed, we can continue on with installing BlackArch Linux on top of our new Arch install. The steps for installing BlackArch Linux on top of Arch are pretty straight-forward. I do like the fact that they added the sha1sum check in the installation steps, which has become an important step to take during any install since the Linux Mint hack earlier this year. Another nice feature of the install is that you can choose to either install all of the BlackArch tools, install an entire category or install tools one at a time.

Now with our Raspberry Pi using BlackArch Linux, we can begin taking steps to harden our network of choosing and begin performing security research. I found this to be a fun project, since I have a couple of Raspberry Pis that aren’t doing anything and network/security research provides them some use. If you have any problems during the install process, please leave a comment. Also if there are any BlackArch tools you would like to hear more about or see written about, please leave a comment as well and I’ll make it happen.

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Isaac Carter

In addition to hosting a Raspberry Pi meetup in Washington D.C., Isaac Carter is a co-host on mintCast. He's also a software engineer who enjoys working with Java, JavaScript, and GNU/Linux. When he's not coding, you can find him reading on any number of subjects or on the golf course.

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