Multiple operating systems on a single memory card

Fail

The BerryBoot developers have built a serious vulnerability into the configuration dialog of the bootloader. This collection of configuration files, which can be accessed from the Edit config icon, is listed in the wpa_supplicant.conf tab in plain text, so that unauthorized third parties can gain access to the WiFi network with the WPA2 key that is displayed in the clear. If different WiFi accounts are used, however, only the last one is listed in the configuration file, so that only the authentication data of one WiFi network appears in the file.

You can eliminate this security risk by selecting Edit menu in the main window to open the configuration dialog and selecting More options, where you press Set password in the new buttonbar that opens. A password is then entered and verified in an overlapping dialog after you have checked the Protect access to settings with password box. After pressing OK, you are then prompted for the password the next time the settings dialogs are called. In this way, you can protect all the options against unauthorized access.

Maintenance

BerryBoot also lets you repair damaged filesystems on the SD card and reset an operating system to the original image. You can access both functions under Repair file system | Reset OS | More options. Whereas the filesystem repair preserves the original operating system you used with all its settings and only fixes inconsistencies in the filesystem, selecting Reset OS enables the original image from the web. In this case, your personal configuration settings are lost.

Conclusions

BerryBoot is a mature and functional boot manager that is easy to use without training. Although the software is stable, it does not yet offer all operating systems available for the Rasp Pi. The only drawbacks are the security issue with storing WPA2 keys in plain text and the difficulty in finding the function for password protecting the system. BerryBoot is the tool of choice for people who want to choose from several Rasp Pi operating systems in parallel on a single large memory card.

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