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.