BitCurator 2.0.6 released

A new production release of BitCurator (2.0.6) is now available at the BitCurator release portal.

You can download the VirtualBox VM and installation ISO directly using the following links:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/bitcurator/BitCurator-2.0.6.tar.gz
http://distro.ibiblio.org/bitcurator/BitCurator-2.0.6.iso

BitCurator 2.0.6 fixes several long-standing issues related to environment stability when the environment is installed as a host operating system on single or multi-boot systems.

A couple of the most commonly reported issues with previous BitCurator releases (when installed as a host OS) have been (a) failure to recognize or mount the host OS drive after reboot with read-only enforcement enabled, and (b) the unintuitive/fragile process required to permanently write-enable specific drives installed in the machine other than the boot disk  – drives that are typically used for secondary or working storage.

These issues are addressed in the 2.0.6 release as follows:

  • Fixed a bug in rbfstab that in some cases caused the contents of the file system mount record (fstab) to be lost on reboot due to automatic cleaning of a temporary directory used by rbfstab, and resulting in a black screen (failure to boot to the desktop). In 2.0.6, read-only enforcement remains off by default, but may be enabled and left enabled between reboots after installation.
  • Updated the read-only enforcement tool (rbfstab) to target only USB devices. Secondary storage devices permanently mounted in the host system will no longer be affected, and multi-boot systems (e.g. BitCurator/Windows dual-boot) should now remain stable between reboots. Dialog text for the mount-policy appindicator on the desktop (the red/green disk icon) has been updated to reflect this change. Drive automounting remains disabled in all states, as with previous releases.

VirtualBox 5.2.16 guest additions are preloaded in the 2.0.6 VM.

Need to find an older 16.04LTS-based release? You can find available releases in the “Release Notes” section of the BitCurator release portal.

Questions? Visit the BitCurator Users Group to speak with members of the community.

BitCurator 2.0.0 released

A new production release of BitCurator (2.0.0) is now available at the BitCurator release portal.

You can download the VirtualBox VM and installation ISO directly using the following links:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/bitcurator/BitCurator-2.0.0.tar.gz
http://distro.ibiblio.org/bitcurator/BitCurator-2.0.0.iso

BitCurator 2.0.0 is the first official Ubuntu 18.04LTS-based release of BitCurator.

  • Desktop performance in the VM significantly improved
  • Various security and power management updates for modern hardware
  • Read-only mount protection for all non-boot devices is disabled by default to reduce commonly reported boot failure issues on installed systems. RO mount protection may still be enabled by selecting the mount status icon in the indicator menu (as in previous releases), but should not be left enabled between boots. Use with caution, or use a hardware write blocker!
  • Attached devices are no longer displayed in the dock (default behavior in Ubuntu 18.04LTS). Since automount remains disabled in BitCurator 2.0.0, you must open a file browser (click “Files” icon in the dock) to view attached devices.

VirtualBox 5.2.16 guest additions are preloaded in the 2.0.0 VM.

Need to find an older 16.04LTS-based release? You can find available releases in the “Release Notes” section of the BitCurator release portal.

Questions? Visit the BitCurator Users Group to speak with members of the community.

BitCurator 1.8.22 released (+ early preview of BitCurator 2.0.0)

A new production release of BitCurator (1.8.22) is now available at the BitCurator release portal.

You can download the installation ISO and preconfigured VM directly using the following links:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/bitcurator/BitCurator-1.8.22.iso
http://distro.ibiblio.org/bitcurator/BitCurator-1.8.22.tar.gz

This is a maintenance release, and includes an updated Linux kernel, VirtualBox 5.2.8 guest additions, and other support software library updates.

Interested in testing out an upcoming release? Visit our revised download landing page at:

https://github.com/BitCurator/bitcurator-distro/wiki/Releases

and scroll down to “Release Notes” for links to an early beta release of BitCurator 2.0.0. BitCurator 2.0.0 will be the first release of BitCurator based on Ubuntu 18.04LTS. Stay tuned to the BitCurator Users Group for more information on this release in the coming weeks.

New white paper: “From Code to Community: Building and Sustaining BitCurator through Community Engagement”

The BitCurator team is pleased to announce the availability of From Code to Community: Building and Sustaining BitCurator through Community Engagement. This white paper summarizes the activities undertaken during the second phase of the BitCurator project, which ran from October 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014. It describes efforts taken to develop and support an open-source software project through the cultivation of the BitCurator user community.

BitCurator 1.0 Release!

The BitCurator team is pleased to announce the 1.0 release of the BitCurator environment, now available for download on our release portal or by following the direct links below:

The BitCurator 1.0.0 Virtual Machine – 2.6GB
The BitCurator 1.0.0 Installation ISO – 2.3GB

BitCurator 1.0 is the culmination of three years of work by our team to provide professionals working in collecting institutions with an integrated environment of open source digital forensics tools geared towards their specific needs. The BitCurator team has approached this challenge by developing new software to assist with born-digital media processing, and by curating a collection of mature, reliable third-party software projects and libraries into a single, well documented system.

As with previous releases, 1.0 is distributed as a VirtualBox virtual machine disk image and as a bootable (“Live”) ISO image. The BitCurator virtual machine can be run on any 64-bit operating system capable of running VirtualBox, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X 10.7+, and most modern Linux distributions. If you would prefer to create your own virtual machine, the BitCurator ISO image can be used as an installation source. The BitCurator ISO may also be used to install BitCurator on a dedicated host.

BitCurator is unique among the digital forensics oriented Linux distributions available today, not only because of the focus on the needs of libraries, archives, and museums, but because of the care that has been taken to ensure the functionality, relevance, and completeness of each tool within the environment. Updated information on these tools can always be found in the Tools in the BitCurator Environment section of the BitCurator Environment wiki.

Of particular note: the 1.0 release introduces an improved version of the BitCurator Disk Image Access tool, a GUI interface allowing you to browse the contents (both regular and deleted/unallocated files) of raw and forensically packaged disk images. The updated tool includes stability and performance enhancements when working with FAT, NTFS, and HFS+ volumes, including better handling of multi-volume disk images and real-time feedback on file export actions.

Our Quickstart guide to help you get started working with the environment can be found on the wiki, in the Documentation folder on the BitCurator environment desktop, or by following this direct link. As with previous releases, the BitCurator environment is built using a customized version of Ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit). For best performance, we recommend a host machine with an Intel Core i5 (or equivalent) and at least 8GB of RAM.

Many of you have been following our progress on the user forum for a couple of years now. In just the past 12 months, we have had 30 official releases, introduced three new GUI-based tools, and conducted dozens of training workshops both in the US and internationally. We’re committed to ensuring the ongoing development of BitCurator to meet the needs of the community. To this end, we’ve created the BitCurator Consortium (BCC), an independent, community-led membership association that will serve as the administrative, development, and community support center for the BitCurator environment.

Details on how to join can be found on our BitCurator Consortium Membership page. Institutional membership costs are modest; membership confers voting rights, prioritizes enhancement requests, and offers discounts to future BCC events. Charter memberships are available through December 2014, and general membership enrollment is open.