Welcome to the SecurityisFutile blog

I welcome comments and suggestions, I take criticism very lightly (at least most of the time). My goal for this blog is to document various experiments and research projects I feel are both relevant and prominent in the field of computer security (or lack there of) and share my results and experiences with other fellow computer security enthusiests. Most of my topics are based soley on open source technology and methodology, mostly due to availability and cost. I believe that effective security measures help keep people honest with their technology, for the most part. Security is futile (usless) or at least it feels that way when an inspired opportunist comes around and exploits your weaknesses. With that being said I leave you with a quote of inspiration; There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity.-- General Douglas MacArthur

Sunday, February 21, 2010

HTPC made simple with Element 1.0

Element v1.0 is a linux-based operating system (based on Ubuntu) for you Home Theater PC (HTPC) featuring a ten-foot user interface that is designed to be connected to your HDTV for a digital media and internet experience within the comforts of your own living room or entertainment area. I recently evaluated the product to see if was suitable enough for the average home PC user. You can get the latest Element OS from http://www.elementmypc.com. Version 1.0 comes with many different home PC features to help you manage internet media, games, music, video and photos.

The built-in media center application is XBMC (Xbox media center). However, you can download and install other media center apps like Boxee, Moovida and Hulu. These applications can also be downloaded from the element web site. Element provides its users with a full fledged computing and home entertainment experience. After evaluating the product I wouldn't see it being to difficult for the average PC user to figure out. I could also see myself replacing my cable and DVD boxes at home with a new HTPC.

How To Set it up
I used a Virtual environment to install/test the Element OS. I was pretty surprised how well it ran with a 10GB hard drive, single processor and 1024mb of memory. However, I would not recommend this for an official HTPC. You can find the minimum/recommended requirements for running Element on their website.

1.) I downloaded the Element v1.0 iso image (Live CD) from the Element website

2.) Then built my virtual machine using VMware Player v3.0
- 32bit Ubuntu
- 1024 mb
- 10 GB hard drive
- Host-only network (will allow you to get out on the Internet from your Host computer)

3.) After configuration was complete I setup my virtual machine to boot from the iso image I just downloaded

4.) Then log in to Element using username "element" with no password

5.) Then install the Element operating system to the virtual machine's hard drive.
- Click the File Manager launcher on your center bar and then click the Install Element icon.

- This will walk you through the installation process

6.) Now install VMware tools so you can optimize your virtual machines performance

7.) In the virtual machine window, click "VM" and "Install VMware Tools"
- follow the install instructions
- reboot your virtual machine

8.) Now configure your display, click on the Element "Application Finder" in the top left hand part of your screen

9.) Click on the "Settings" radio button then double-click "Display"
- optimal 1262x658
- logout then log back in or reboot

10.) Now you are ready to install some other media desktop apps, surf the web or do what ever! You could even try connecting it to your TV using a converter for AV inputs or HDMI.


-User Forum

- Official web site


  1. Hey thanks for the write up, we appreciate it. We'll link to your blog when I get the review section of the Element site up. Thanks again.

    Lead Dev over at Element


  2. Kevin,

    No problem. I am diggin the hulu plugin/app you designed for element. I hope more people get tuned into what HTPC has to offer.