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An Introduction to Backtrack 3

Arrow Image A short guide to getting up and running with backtrack 3 final.

Backtrack 3 Introduction

Ok, the purpose of this article/these articles is to give new users of Backtrack (and potentially other linux based OS\'s) an introduction to the day-to-day use and maintenance of their OS. So what is Backtrack? Backtrack is an all-inclusive pen-testing OS, based on the modular linux distro SLAX. Thats not to say you cant install new packages, just that most of what you need for just about any kind of network penetration/wireless hacking is included and configured gratis.

Backtrack is a live CD, meaning that you can boot from the CD, on virtually any computer, run your attack and vanish without a trace ;). As a personal thing, I prefer to install a permanent copy to my hard drive, as I have an EEEPc which fyi is 100% compatible (even includes patched madwifi drivers for wireless pwnage :p), and makes a very cheap, powerful platform I use to develop my tools and do my hacking. It even works with compiz if you really want :p.

Backtrack 3 Installation

So you\'ve decided your interested in giving backtrack a try? Head on over to and get downloading an iso. If you are planning on running a live CD only, you probably want the CD version. You can also get the extended version, which fits snugly on a 1Gb USB stick and can be made bootable via the included script. If you are going to do an HD install, choose the USB version.

I will assume everyone knows how to set your BIOS up to boot from CD/USB, so il skip that bit and get to making the usb stick bootable. As I said before there is a script located in the boot directory called bootinsh.{sh/bat} (.bat for windows, .sh for *nix). Run that script and the USB stick will be bootable. Simple as!

Booting Backtrack 3

Now you should put your CD/USB stick in and get booting! You will be greeted with a silver lilo screen giving you a number of choices. Compiz is the default, but you can also choose KDE, flux and compiz with experimental nvidia drivers. Choose one, I use KDE, and would recommend it for no nonsense ease of use. The boot looks pretty standard if you\'ve dealt with linux before it will be nothing new. Assuming all goes well, you should now be greeted with an X environment, with whatever window manager you chose. If not, I would suggest getting on the remote-exploit forums, they are very knowledgeable and helpful.

You should now have a K menu in the bottom left of your screen. In that are a variety of menus, most for day to day use, music, system config, etc. The very top one is called Backtrack, and contains all the wonderful tools (and there are a lot) organized by category. In the fulness of time you should have a good look through these tools, many are extremely interesting. If you do not intend to install to the hard drive, then you are done. You have a brand new version of backtrack (19th june) so label that disk and enjoy! However if you want to make Backtrack your permanent OS read on.....

Versions prior to BT3 included an easy to use installer, where you just partitioned your drive and clicked install, now however this feature has been removed, so installing has become somewhat of an initiation test. Luckily you aren\'t expected to work it all out on your own, pureh@te, one of the senior members on the forums wrote this guide:

Thats all from me at the moment, this is rather longer than I expected it to be, leave comments if this helped you, if there\'s enough interest il write another on the general maintenance and further configuration.



catintheboxon June 30 2008 - 10:00:31
i ask, "why would a noob be using bt?"
cis_slayeron July 02 2008 - 23:52:32
@catinthebox why? um lets see you cant learn about something just by reading a intro tutorial, Hands on experimenting is the way to go.
Zephyr_Pureon September 01 2008 - 06:51:47
A short and very light article, but not bad discussion. Oh, and eeePCs rock... I love mine. Put Gentoo on it for a while, then tossed Arch on it... trying to decide between Debian Lenny and BT3; will probably go with BT3, just to save time. Naturally, I have a 2GB stick of RAM in it and a 16GB SD card. Alright, enough of my OT... write more articles! Smile
K_I_N_Gon December 30 2008 - 23:36:08
I think you could write how to set your BIOS to boot from a USB stick but other then that, its pretty good.
Blizzunt09on March 02 2009 - 19:26:40
I thank its a good article, I certainly used it whilst setting my usb for backtrack.Thanks for taking the time to write this article, now to move on and figure out how to use bt!GrinGrin
worldblackstaron February 15 2011 - 10:07:46
Good stuff. I'm eager to download backtrack 4. I hope i can also become one of ethical hackers.
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