Get the Virtual Appliance

The easiest way to get the REMnux distro is to download the REMnux virtual appliance in the OVA format, import it into your hypervisor, then run the upgrade command to make sure it's up-to-date.

Step 1: Download the Virtual Appliance File

The REMnux virtual appliance approximately 5 GB. It comes as an industry-standard OVA file, which you can import into your virtualization software.

Decide which OVA file to download by making two choices:

  • Will you use VirtualBox or another hypervisor? Unless you're using Oracle VM VirtualBox, get the general OVA file. If you're using VirtualBox, get the VirtualBox version.

  • Do you prefer to Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal) or 18.04 (Bionic) as the base OS? The 20.04 version is newer, and will be supported longer; go with the 20.04 unless you specifically need the 18.04 version.

Then download your preferred OVA file:

General OVA
VirtualBox OVA
General OVA

Download the Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal) OVA file or the Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic) OVA file. These OVA files work with most hypervisors; if you're using VirtualBox, get the VirtualBox version instead.

VirtualBox OVA

Download the Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal) OVA file or the Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic) OVA file. These VirtualBox OVA files are specifically for VirtualBox; get the general version if you're using other hypervisors.

Some browsers (e.g., Brave) change the extension of the OVA file after downloading it, possibly giving it the incorrect .ovf extension. If that happens, rename the file so it has the .ova extension before proceeding.

Step 2: Confirm the Hash the OVA File

Validate the SHA-256 hash of the downloaded file using a tool such as sha256sum or shasum to make sure it matches this expected value:

General OVA Hash
VirtualBox OVA Hash
General OVA Hash

General OVA file based on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic):

bf08a6d2b0b4813131b704c1cfcb921320e81ae917c825fa5c01e2131e0409c0

General OVA file based on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal):

20e7547bcd0c0e6a3f572a5af3de679bce716be965e9def0665a22d5ea977750
VirtualBox OVA Hash

VirtualBox OVA file based on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic):

43f7e4fe7a58bd2012df5624423846307b4a028f655ad02cf40f929b6dc8231d

VirtualBox OVA File based on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal):

d023ad740843939c253ccd3d9d5f07170961874ff21fa24491b6a56af05dabcd

Step 3: Import the OVA File

If possible, upgrade your virtualization software to the latest version. Then, use it to import the downloaded OVA file. If you're not sure how to do that, follow the instructions below:

Direct Import
Conversion
Conversion

When importing the REMnux virtual appliance, allocate resources such as RAM and disk space based on what you have available. REMnux is a relatively lightweight distro, but the more you allocate to it, the faster it will run. As a point of reference, most people find 4 GB RAM and 60 GB disk sufficient.

Step 4: Start the REMnux Virtual Machine

Once you start your REMnux virtual machine, it will automatically log you into the REMnux environment.

There is no logon screen for accessing the REMnux environment, because analysts generally use REMnux on a system to which physical access is already restricted. When you need to elevate your privileges or access the REMnux virtual appliance remotely, note the follow default credentials:

Username: remnux Password: malware

If necessary, change the keyboard layout of your system to match your locale and setup.

Step 5: Consider Special Hypervisor Requirements

Depending on which hypervisor or environment you're using, you might need to take the following steps:

VirtualBox

If running VirtualBox on Windows 10, be sure to disable Hyper-V using the command bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off. Do this even if Hyper-V appears disabled in the Windows Features listing. If you don't, you are likely to run into problems downloading files and updating REMnux.

If your REMnux window is too small when you boot it up the system in VirtualBox, activate the Scaling Mode for the VM via the VirtualBox menu View > Scaling Mode.

If your REMnux virtual machine is unable to communicate over the network, check whether has a network interface other than the loopback ("lo") by running the ifconfig command. If a non-loopback interface is missing, perform the following steps to add it:

  1. Run the networkctl command to determine the name of the adapter ("link") of type "ether". It might be named something like "enp0s17".

  2. Set up the network interface by replacing YOUR_NIC in the following command with the name you've identified in the previous step (e.g., "enp0s17)": sudo ip link set up YOUR_NIC

  3. Edit the /etc/netplan/01-netcfg.yaml file (e.g., use the code command). Under "ethernets:" replace the name there (e.g, "ens33") with the name of your network card (e.g., "enp0s17").

  4. Reboot your REMnux virtual machine.

VMware

VMware sometimes conflicts with the Ubuntu graphical environment, which by default uses Wayland display protocol. The problems manifest themselves through the VM being unresponsive to keyboard and mouse; clipboard sharing and copy-and-paste VMware features might not be working, too.

If you encounter this issue, try configring your REMnux virtual machine to switch from Wayland to Xorg. The change should be unnoticeable to your user experience, but it might address the VMware issue. To make the switch, switch to the root user account (sudo -s) and edit the file /etc/gdm3/custom.conf. Uncomment this line:

#WaylandEnable=false

So it says:

WaylandEnable=false

Then reboot your virtual machine (reboot).

Hyper-V

It's possible to import the pre-built REMnux virtual appliance into Hyper-V, but you'll need to take a few conversion steps. You'll need to extract the contents of the REMnux OVA file to obtain the enclosed VMDK file that captures the virtual disk of the distro, then convert it to the VHD format supported by Hyper-V:

  1. Download the General OVA of the REMnux distro, as outlined above.

  2. Extract the downloaded OVA file using a tool such as "tar". One of the extracted files will have the .vmdk.gz name, such as remnux-v7-focal-disk1.vmdk.gz.

  3. Decompress the extracted .vmdk.gz file using a tool such as "gunzip" to generate a file with the .vmdk extension.

  4. Use qemu-img (qemu-img convert -O vhd) or StarWind V2V Converter to convert the .vmdk file to the VHD format supported by Hyper-V.

  5. Import the generated VHD file into Hyper-V.

Remote Cloud, Such as AWS

The REMnux virtual appliance ships in "dedicated" installation mode, which automatically turns off the SSH daemon. This configuration is generally desirable when running REMnux in a local lab. If you're deploying the virtual appliance in a cloud environment, you might need to keep SSH enabled to remotely access your REMnux system. In that case:

  1. Edit the /etc/remnux-config and change the mode from dedicated to cloud.

  2. Enable the SSH daemon by running: sudo systemctl enable ssh.

  3. Change the default user's password and otherwise strengthen the SSH authentication method according to your requirements and risk tolerance.

  4. Reboot your REMnux system.

KVM/QEMU

If you converted the REMnux virtual appliance to KVM/QEMU, install install the "spice-vdagent" package in the virtual machine to be able to resize the windows of your VM and copy/paste between it and your host.

Proxmox

If you're planning to use the REMnux virtual appliance in Proxmox, follow the steps in this article to import the OVA. Once done, consider taking the following steps using the Proxmox interface:

  1. VM > Hardware > Display > Set to -> SPICE(qxl)

  2. VM > Hardware > Option > Spice Enhancements > Video Streaming: all

Step 6: Upgrade the REMnux Virtual Machine

After installing the REMnux virtual machine, run the following command inside the VM as a regular, non-root user to upgrade it to the latest version of the distro:

remnux upgrade

For more details about keeping your REMnux environment current, so you benefit from the latest enhancements, see the Keeping REMnux Up to Date section.

Step 7: Take a Snapshot of the Virtual Machine

Consider taking a snapshot of your REMnux virtual machine, so you can return it to a known good state if the need arises.