Backtrack 4 Final Installation in VMware with VMware tools

Backtrack 4 Final Installation in VMware with VMware tools

With the release of Backtrack 4 final a few days ago I decided to make a post on installing backtrack in VMware. There are many ways to run backtrack including a hard disk install, a USB boot install and of course as a live cd. My preferred method is with VMware so I decided to document my steps in case there is any one who would like to install in this way.

I will be covering a few things in this article:

  • Creating a proper Virtual Machine for Backtrack
  • Installing Backtrack to harddisk inside the Virtual Machine
  • Getting up and running with Backtrack and a few first steps
  • Install VMware tools in Backtrack

Tools I am using in this article:

  • Windows 7 as a host
  • VMware 7 workstation

This method should work on any version of VMware and on any platform. I installed in the exact same way on a Gentoo host with VMware server so I know its close if not the same.

Creating the Virtual Machine:

When you open up VMware you will be presented with the initial screen.

What we want to do is create a new virtual machine:


The next screen will ask us if we want to use the typical or advanced install:


For the sake of this article we are going to use the typical install method so go ahead a select that option

The next screen is going to ask us where the media is we want to install:

Backtrack comes in a .iso format so we can point VMware directly at the .iso file with out ever burning it to a disc. If you have already burned it to a disc simply point this screen at you r disc drive. If the .iso is on the host computer tou can just browse to its location.


Next we want to tell VMware which operating system we are installing in order to achieve the best default settings:

Since Backtrack is loosely based off of Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid  we will use the “Linux” and “Ubuntu” selection. Make sure you do not select the 64 bit choice since Backtrack is currently only 32 bit.


Next we are going to want to give our Virtual machine a name:

I am pretty boring and always have lots of Virtual Machines going at once so I just name it the exact name and build of the distro. You can name it whatever you want of course. It will also ask you for the location you want to store the virtual machine. I generally leave this as the default folder VMware created when you installed it.


The next question is the size of the disk you want to make:

The absolute minimum for Backtrack is 5 gigs.  I would highly encourage you to multiply that by four at the very least. I can not tell you how many times I have run out of disc space in a virtual machine because I forgot I would be importing five and ten gig word lists.  I have choosen 30 gigs for my install but like I said its up to you. I also do not choose to split it into two gig files but once again you may prefer this method.


Okay so we are almost done getting our VM base going.

After selecting the disc space you will be presented with the summary screen:

This is a summary of all out options we have selected. You can at this point still change things.


Now there are two last things to change. Lets click on the advanced tab and configure a few things:


The first is memory:

Once again this is personal preference. I use backtrack pretty heavily everyday so I choose to give it two gigs of ram.  One gig would be fine as well since the GUI installer we will be using creates a swap space for us.

After selecting  that we need to set network adapter:

This is another personal preference however I like my Virtual machines to be on the same private subnet as my host is. For example if my NAT address is a address I like my VM’s to share the same addressing scheme. In order to do this we need to select bridged in the network adapters section.


Great so the machine is all set. Now lets get on with the installation.

Installing Backtrack:

The installation of Backtrack is fairly straight forward however we will go through it anyway just to be sure we cover all the bases. Once we are are done with building our virtual machine we want to power it on. If its successful we will be presented with the boot screen of backtrack.


Select the first option on the boot screen which is the default 1024 x 768 option. Once the system gets booted up you will be presented with a shell prompt. In order to get our graphical desktop going we are going to want to type “startx”.


At this point we are looking at the KDE desktop. If you notice on the upper left hand corner of the screen there is a icon which says install. We are going to double click on this icon in order to start the GUI installer.


Most of the GUI installer has been automated by the work of the Backtrack developers so there are only a few steps to make.

The first is to choose your time zone:


Next we need to choose our keyboard layout:


Next we see the partition editor:


I am not going to go into how to partition your drive manually since that would be a whole new article. In a situation like this where we have a virtual machine, it is fine to accept the default partition scheme and use the entire disk.

Ready to install:


I would like to make one side note here. If you are  familiar with Ubuntu at all you will notice that some steps are missing from the installer. You may also notice that in the bottom left corner it jumped from step four to step seven. Do not worry. This is the way we designed the installer. One of the main reasons is that Backtrack is designed to be run as root and not a regular user. You are of course free to add users and whatever else you like however due to various reason that was built out of the installer.

Press install and let it go:


The big finish:


The installer can take any where from ten minutes to forty  minutes depending on the speed of your machine so feel free to go out and grab a cup of coffee. Once its finished go ahead and select restart and lets boot into our brand new shiny Backtrack 4 install.

Getting up and running with backtrack – First steps

The most common question:

The one question we are always asked is what is the log in. As I said earlier we use the root acount by default so the log in name is root. The default password is simply root backwards so its toor.


Next most common question:

How do I get on the internet? By default Backtrack is designed to start up in a “stealth” mode. For this reason there are no interfaces started at boot. This is anoying for many people so I will show you how to change that. There are two ways to bring your interface up.

If you only want to start one interface:


For this method we are only going to start the eth0 interface so we just bring it up and issue the dhclient script to get a addresss from our dhcp server.

I’m lazy and I just want to start them all:


There is a init.d script which tried to start all the interfaces defined in /etc/network/interfaces. You can add or remove them in that file based on your hardware.  SO invoking this script will try to start and get address’s for five or six different interfaces.

I need a static IP:


In the /etc/networking/interfaces file you can also add you static ip information as I have shown. Do not forget to also add a nameserver to /etc/resolv.conf.


I am really lazy and I just want to start all my interfaces at boot:


Adding something to the boot process is fairly easy in Backtrack. We simply add it to the default run level with the command update-rc.d as shown in the picture.

How do I start ssh:

You have to generate the keys in backtrack in order to start the ssh daemon.


After you do that you can start ssh like normal from its init.d script.


And you can also start ssh at boot in the same way we started networking with update-rc.d


I want to change my hostname to something worthy of a hacker:


The file that contains the hostname is called /etc/hostname. Just change this to whatever cool name you think you deserve to be called. The host name will change on reboot but if you cannot wait you can simply restart the init.d script for the hostname. the command is /etc/init.d/hostname start. Once you close the cuurent shell and open a new one you can see your new hostname.


Installing VMware tools

I get asked about this more frequently than anything else so hopefully this will clear up the install of VMware tools. VMware tool greatly enhances the graphics and mouse control in a virtual machine. It also allows shared folders with the host and copy & paste with paid versions of VMware workstation. VMware server is free however it lacks a few of the features.

Select install vmware tools from the menu:


Open up the Konqueror file manager icon which is on the tool bar on the bottom left had corner:


Select Storage Media:


If the page opens up blank thats ok. Either hit the green refresh icon on the tool bar or hit f5. I have never figured out this behavior however its really no big deal. You should be looking at the VMware tools CD icon. Double click on that and you will see the vmwaretools.tar.gz file.

Copy the archive to your desktop:


Once we get the archive on or desktop we can work with it.

Open a terminal and un tar the archive:


Change directories into the VMware tools file and run the .pl install script:


I choose all the defaults for the sake of simplicity. For my purposes all the default selections are fine. If you know what you are doing feel free to look at every question and decide on the best choice for your system. Once it gets done running you will be presented with a screen like this which means the install is complete.


Clean up:


At this point you can safely delete the VMware folder and archive from you system and be finished with the install. Now you can kick back and enjoy the best security distribution around.

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