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/tech/ - Technology

"Technology reveals the active relation of man to nature" - Karl Marx
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I'm trying to educating myself and my local org on basic digital hygiene, free software, de-spooking, etc.

But, I just don't know this stuff :\

What setups would you suggest or recommend if the goal is to get a small local org up to speed?

We've also budgeted $70 for any old laptops or whatever just so we have something.


What are the needs of your org? You want a setup to do what? Without knowing your case it's hard to say anything at all, if you literally have no idea about anything and not even about what you need or want, you can start with the rise up resources and tutorials:



GNU/Linux for desktop computing (recommend Arch or Linux Mint or whatever, really)
GnuPG for e-mailing (Claws Mail or Thunderbird are ideal clients)
XMPP OMEMO for instant messaging
https://dyne.org/software/tomb/ for disk encryption


oh, also antiX is great for old laptops
Cryptostorm, Mullvad and Njalla are good VPN providers, you can use Wireguard to connect to them
there’s also TOR and I2P of course


id just buy old thinkpads in bulk if i were you


use a basic linux distro (not ubuntu) something like mint or popOS idk much
making an email server isn't extremly hard to do might take like an hour so you can make those pretty easily
try move away from massive corp stuff like google and use stuff like firefox (maybe librewolf since it's more secure by default)
old laptops just get some thinkpads in bulk, my x220 with upgraded 8GB ram can run everything fine only issue is the battery


Those are valid points. Frankly the "goal" as far as there is one is just to set the initial groundwork for day-to-day operations (admin, outreach, "media") with local liberal organising on top.
More proactive leftist organising and education would be later in the year, but only once we had enough "gtg" so new members can just jump straight in with one of our laptops or what have you.
I'll check out RiseUp thanks.

Is an old Toshiba okay? I'll give these a go thanks :)

Yeah, we're looking for bulk deals inc. junkers we can cannibalise. But around here they seem to have been poached.
That's really it, we're trying to get out of the fediverse as much as possible, but we also understand that having to use some of it just because other groups/orgs/outreach do too and imo it's not always worth the effort of dealing with different files, etc.
But as much as we can do interally and in our personal lives, ideally, yeah.


Linux is not user friendly, asking normies to use command lines is already to much


You can teach anyone to use Linux? Go to /g/ if you want to feel like a special snowflake.


the "normies" inside your head all use a web browser exclusively and basic stuff like document viewers/editors maybe, loonix is only a pain if you want to play the latest video games or use high-end music/design software


Thanks, these look comprehensive.
That's what I was worried about. Initially I thought of just sticking to Apple or Google stuff that's hardened (if that's what it's called), but I guess there was something bugging me about it…


Linux is ok if they stick to the bundled apps and the software manager but once they stray from that they're gonna have to do command line fuckery.


>once they stray from that
chances are they wont


How often does somebody install an Android/iPhone app that's not from the app store? Never. It's the same with most Linux users, in fact, the app store was inspired by Debian's package manager.


you can teach the unix command line to a fucking 5 year old it's really not that deep
it's so much more intuitive especially compared to some GUI thing that you still don't completely know your way around despite having used it for years
idiots want their unnecessary bells and whistles for basic computing tasks so badly


> How often does somebody install an Android/iPhone app that's not from the app store?
Once, when they install F-Droid.


why not LUKS for encryption?

Also for VPN anon should set up wireguard (which admittedly i havent had luck with) or openvpn (which admittedly is a long process but the digital ocean tek (look it up, digital ocean is a lifesaver) is good). No reason to pay to get spied on. Also it'll allow and actual VPN not just an internet proxy, which could be used to host org-specific info without needing a domain, share info, set up email and/or XMPP+OMEMO, etc. All of these things except email I've done and I'm a n00b. I can share a blog from a chinese dude with a quick and dirty way to set up nginx to share files if anyone wants.

fediverse refers to federated servers and those kinds of social media and generally the foss-y stuff, like diaspora for example

its user friendly, and more admin-friendly than windows, so where's the problem? Users can use the GUI and icons and a nice 2000s looking desktop environment designed for kindergarten classrooms, and when there's a problem they'll complain to OP or OP's tech goons, and the problems will be easily fixed because Linux tends to be very clean and understandable, as opposed to OSX and Windows which fuck up for no reason and you're limited from doing certain things.

plus command line is like, 90% looking up what to do on a search engine or learning from someone who knows, 9% remembering the command name, and 1% going "man <command>" and "<command> –help".>>15210

Other people say Arch, i've never used it because arch hipsters annoy me, but it does have amazing documentation which will make it a lot easier to use. Personally I recommend Debian since it's a staple, very popular, etc. Debian-based and fedora-based ones are the main distros, so everything works with them. Idk why but most tech nerds I know don't go with fedora, maybe because it is commercialized and the feds use it, but its legit and works well too. They all pretty much just work. Debian is very simple, and I've only had good installs, but the same can be said for most distros honestly. If you have a normal computer, Void is good and will just werk, but it's had some issues with its package manager (which is objectively great) in the past where its servers went down or smth, so i can't recommend it because it has given me trouble, and same with trying to install without internet, it's a pain. But Arch is probably the best since its well documented. The only difference I think is arch is known for community repos or something, whereas other package managers (apt, yum, xbps, etc) are more centralized, with apt being pretty strict. Honestly it's nice being able to trust that shit is somewhat curated and you can just trust it, it werks, etc. Use linux, is fucking cool, not too hard, and you might be surprised how little it crashes, has weird shit happen, etc.


>I can share a blog from a chinese dude with a quick and dirty way to set up nginx to share files if anyone wants.
That'd v cool please


Tomb uses stacked filesystem encryption, encrypting individual files and folders (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Encryption#Block_device_vs_stacked_filesystem_encryption). While block device encryption such as LUKS is more transparent and extensive, it has several drawbacks:

Enciphering/deciphering may significantly degrade read/write performance, depending on hardware acceleration (check with 'cryptsetup benchmark').
The integrity of stacked encryption is protected by the underlying filesystem. Block device encryption needs to ensure this itself. Particularly in the case of LUKS damage to the header will almost certainly result in the loss of the entire partition. Plain dm-crypt is more resilent, because it lacks any header, yet its security depends far more heavily on the passkey, due to the lack of any salt.
Block device encryption on linux (and some BSDs) lacks any alternatives to LUKS. Much research has been invested into cracking it. Loop AES is AFAIK only maintained in gentoo and few other source-based distros.
Block device encryption is often chosen for full disk encryption. In this case the system needs either GRUB or an initramfs to initially decrypt the root partition. This may complicate system setup. OpenBSD integrates FDE very nicely into its bootloader though.

If you should use LUKS, back up the header and don't use the default PBKDF. My specific setup directly loads the LUKS header from a cdrom.



woah thanks for the detailed explanation


openresty is great. lua is perfect for web apps


Just assume everything is bugged. Don't trust developers.

Work offline if you don't want the fed knowing what you are up to.


no no no NOO b-but i thought i was special for knowing how to type sudo pacman -S vlc… /g/bros……



also is this perhaps worth it to help wean people out of the corporaid?



>GNU/Linux for desktop computing (recommend Arch or Linux Mint or whatever, really)
Just choose anything that has mass adoption and frequent security updates. Don't trust any of the bs "tOp TeN bEsT LoOnUx DiStRoS" articles Linux Mint is fine, Debian is good, Fedora is also pretty great (they are particularly good for security). Once you've been using loonux for about a year you realize pretty quickly that they're all the same so you choose the setup that works best for you.


www.privacyguides.org is a good way to start with the basics.


:) thanks


Oh, that's interesting, thank you. Bookmarked.


>why not LUKS for encryption?
tomb is a shell script over LUKS that makes it easier and more convenient for the layperson

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