Cooking up a Comodo OS

There’s been a lot of requests lately for Comodo to develop an OS. I still disagree that you need to do anything to make anything more secure, though I guess it doesn’t hurt to try to make one myself.

There’s a lot of readings littered across the net, but perhaps my favorite among them would be bodhi.zazen’s. Not too long, well organized, and easy enough to understand. If you wish to start making your own secure OS, I strongly suggest you start with this.

There are also numerous requests here in the forums asking to do the same, and members here have already supplied reasons why they are for or against it: (merged topics)

To sum it up, basically, people want Comodo to develop an OS because it’s Comodo…Err…okay… For the people who doesn’t want it, it’s because there’s no point to it. Why? Because there’s nothing else to do except slap Comodo’s brand on it. Change the wallpaper, the start menu button, the theme, and maybe install Comodo AV by default. Other than that, you’re practically still on your own. How do I know? I built one just for the sake of knowing if it does any good.

If you wish to know what went through my head, here, I’ll be your tour guide.

To begin with, I thought, “Hey, why build one? What exactly do we need it for?” and I came up with a few answers:

  1. Most people seem to think that viruses are out to get them and ruin their OS, so it’s to protect their files from getting destroyed.
  2. There are some who wants their privacy protected.
  3. People are just going along with the viruses thing propagated by most antimalware companies.

I fall under the second category so it’s them I really understand. Because of that, I decided to build one based on the criteria of privacy. I was thinking of which OS to use as my base system and after a while, I was thinking of using TAILS or LPS, but then again, “What the hell, I’m pretty sure people would want something they can configure and not something designed for one purpose only.” While TAILS is fully functional completely with the basic necessities, I assume that there are some other things people might want to consider such as games maybe? an epub reader? WINE for some reason? Its design should already tell you that it’s not something that wants to be used on long periods of time. Oh well, LPS? Hm…seems to be the same, too. So what now?

Something configurable, huh? A persistent desktop OS… Oh I know, what about Ubuntu! So I went with Ubuntu. Well, Lubuntu. Uhm…no, uh Peppermint actually. Why? Because it’s what I already have. And it boots faster. Ok then, now that I have it installed and ready, I can skip the whole shenanigan of installing an OS. But here’s something you might find of interest:
Full Disk Encryption with Ubuntu.

Personally, if this thing is stolen, I’m more worried about the person who stole it looking at my files than booting it. I might even want the person to boot it so he could connect to the internet and trace its location. That’s why I skipped that part and just installed /home on a separate disk while all sensitive files and documents are inside a TrueCrypt-encrypted USB drive. I mean, if we’re gonna be paranoid, might as well consider your laptop stolen. So then what’s left to protect? Oh yeah, the system. Privacy when browsing, huh? Hm… Comodo OS. Privacy. Ok. Let’s start with changing the DNS to Comodo DNS. There’s a good tutorial listed by Google for their Google DNS. Just change it to the appropriate values.

Done? Not quite. Let’s see, let’s go for VPN this time. I plan on using tor. If you want, you can torify applications so you don’t have to worry about anything leaking something. Well, one concern for tor is the exit nodes so you might want to use Chaos theory when communicating. Kidding aside, that’s a concern for all cryptography software. Data has to be decoded to be read. So I’ll leave that for people to ponder on. While tor does admittedly makes it near impossible to locate you physically, it doesn’t stop anyone from decrypting your data. Oh and here’s tor abused. Wahey! So Tor’s an alternative, but I don’t trust it that much. That considered, it really comes down to who do you trust your data with and if you trust that they will forward it correctly without peeking. That’s why I chose a VPN instead. Plenty around, but SecurityKISS meets my needs. Hey, maybe people would want something as simple as that.

Alright, with that covered, let’s move on. Browsers. There’s already a lot of articles about hardening browsers. NoScript, Adblock, Flashblock, and all that. Privacy-wise, all that with Disconnect, Ghostery, and TrafficLight. Why TrafficLight? I don’t know. But people seem to think bad people target everyone without consideration though I’m sure as other people are that that is not true. Well, in any case, peace of mind is welcome. For your leisure needs, there’s always QtWeb which I run in bootable USB disk running Slitaz (with the dependencies needed) with fake credentials (to fool anyone into thinking this is a real person) and running a VPN.

As for viruses, bodhi.zazen’s article should’ve told you already what you need to know. But if you insist, here’s one possible way of installing malware. Jokes aside (though the reason that it’s funny is because it is true), there’s really no point in it, since most AV’s running on Linux detect only Windows viruses. Why? The only way anything is installed is when the user intentionally and willfully installed it from an untrusted source, or in other words, outside the repositories. But since I’m paranoid to unreasonable proportions and this is for the benefit of people who claim they’re not willing to take the chance despite obviously not even making any effort to help themselves except install this and install that (which got them there in the first place), there’s Comodo AV. For the firewall, that’s up for debate, but here’s a primer.

Ah! A secure OS! No wait. Something’s still missing… Oh yeah. Theme. Openbox black theme. GTK…Azenis Red. Wallpaper…here’s a nice one… Change the menu icon. Browser icons…and…done. Comodo OS.

(P.S. I finished downloading CAVL and was planning to install it for the lulz, but I stopped thinking I’m going a little too far just for the lulz…)

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comodo is focusing on Security products for windows. The closest thing they got to an OS is Comodo Rescue disk and the Virtual Kios both provide desktops with comodo logos over it. why doesn’t comodo come up with a windows background for people to use and comodo themes for windows.

That’s true. And I’m not too fond of both. No offence, I think they deserve the credit. It’s just that, well, sometimes it may be a little too much.

Just like when ppl wanted Kaspersky OS.

I see no point in Comodo OS esp with CIS version 6 since you have Virtual Kiosk and can run things fully virtualized. As for Linux I think it would be an overkill.

Same here I don’t see the point of an OS, I a waste of time, we have VK which is more then enough.

I’m afraid developing of new OS will consume resources of COMODO what will give bad effect on maintenance of already developed products.

+1 for developing free secure OS with firewall and Hips

Comodo will not build their own OS. It would take too many resources. How would Comodo make money on a free OS?

Why would Comodo want to develop another OS? This would be a massive task with minimal benefit to anyone including Comodo. The point that NONE of the above posts has mentioned is that an OS by itself is pointless if it can’t run a large variety of existing software. So IF Comodo were to develop another OS it would need to be able to run existing Windows, MacOS, or Linux software.

It might however make sense for Comodo to work on an open source OS like Linux or ReactOS to produce a more secure version.