Home Lab for researching, learning and testing

Hey everyone,
how do you realize you lab used for testing, reversing, playing around, etc? Do you use virtualization or do you have seperate hardware, or do you even simply work on your normal working system?

At the moment I am thinking about building up a small network testing lab using several raspberry pis, two TP-link routers and in future may also some old x86 Linux and Windows SoC. The first use case for this setup would be to learn more about IP-Sec, sniffing, spoofing and general network setup.

If you run a laptop, or something low relatively low-spec’d, you’ll notice VM’s can be a killer to performance.

I have a NAS on my network with phpvirtualbox installed. That way I can remotely login, and set up VM’s that can be always running, unlike my main machine. Baremetal is also quite nice for a lab, but can be pricey.

For your purposes, you may want to try out Proxmox. @L3akM3-0day made a tutorial on how to install this and use it, essentially it is an OS with virtualising and sandboxing built in.


Working at home on a powerful work-station to handle different VM’s easily, where all my tools, binaries etc for playing around with are stored:

  • Windows VMs
  • Basic Debian based OS
  • some “pentesting” OSs like parrot

All are set up differently to fit the purpose…

Never attempted that one. The chances to fuck up something or just fill everything with garbage is way too high. :smiley:

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@pry0cc The thread-editor also showed this topic. I’ll have a look. Seems pretty nice :thumbsup:

I would never try it :smiley:. But apparently I’ve seen many people test exploiting on their main machine without any thougt about what could happen, if they fuck up.

I have 1 main workstation PC that I dual-boot Win7 or Linux from.

I have a laptop.

I also use my Raspberry Pi configured for ssh and VNC.

It gives me a good variety. I can practice with ARM, x86, and x64.

I recently bought a great wireless dongle to plug into my pi(for use of Kali with it) or my laptop(same thing).

I think having 16-32gb of RAM is necessary, since running multiple VMs allows for time-efficient flexibility, and you are much safer but not totally safe, by any means.

I actually just built a pretty beefy machine to run multiple VMs. It’s dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu, with the idea that Windows 10 is there for playing video games and ubuntu is for work. I usually run virtualbox to play around with different OS’s, open source VMs are easy to find online and you can get limited functionality versions of Windows (most versions, I think) off of the Microsoft website. I haven’t used proxmox yet, but I do use vagrant to spin up lightweight stuff, mostly because it’s familiar and I’m lazy.

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