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Secure Internet Browsing with the Lightweight Portable Security Platform

Perhaps the ultimate in secure Internet browsing is achievable with LPS. The Lightweight Portable Security Linux distribution developed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory, is bootable live CD/ISO/USB Flash that loads a stripped down version of Linux with Mozilla Firefox installed.  LPS never mounts the local hard disk, so there is no persistent storage.  Each time LPS boots, it's clean and pristine.   The idea is that you can boot up a secure web browser, and browse the Internet without concern about malware, tracking cookies, etc being installed.  Even if malware does get in, it's gone upon the next reboot.

When you boot LPS, you don't get root-level access, but you don't need it.  In fact, you don't want root access. There's no need to patch LPS, just download the latest version when it's released.  Hardware support is good, and if you come across unsupported hardware, you can send them a message and they'll work on adding support for it.

There are two versions of the current LPS release.  The standard version has Firefox, and the deluxe version has Libre Office as well.  Both have Citrix Receiver installed.  If you've got an account on a file storage service (such as Google Docs), you can save your files there, so there's no need for any local storage.

The deluxe version requires 1GB of RAM, which is surprising for a Linux release called "lightweight".  The standard version can get away with a bit less.  If you're trying to get it to run with less than 1GB and it hangs on boot, it's likely that you need more RAM.

I'm running LPS in VMware player.  It works as expected, although there's no way to add the VMware tools package, so the re-sizable scren resolution doesn't work.  My VM has no hard disk, and it just boots from the live ISO image.

I find LPS useful if I want to browse the Internet without fear of running across malicious web sites.  If the browser is attacked in any way, you can power down the VM and all is forgotten.

You can download the latest version of LPS from the US Department of Defence at http://www.spi.dod.mil/lipose.htm

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