How to Install Backtrack 5

Updated: December 22, 2012

Download the Backtrack 5 ISO

Head over to:
Then click the download button.

Backtrack-Linux Download Page

After that, you will be able to pick the version of backtrack that you want. I am going to recommend Backtrack 5 R3 since it is the most up-to-date. The window manager is up to you, but I am going to use gnome. Since I will be using backtrack in a virtual machine, the 32 bit version will be fine. We want the ISO because we can use it on a DVD, a USB flash drive, and install on a virtual machine. Direct download or torrent download is up to you. The file is little over 3 GBs, so it may take some time depending on your internet speeds.

Backtrack Download

Setting up a Virtual Machine

A virtual machine (VM) is the software implementation of a physical computer. In other words, it’s having another computer on your current computer. If you have never used a virtual machine it is a good time to start. VMs are excellent when it comes to practice labs which we will get to in another section.

To start, you’re going to need to get VM software. There are many out there, but I will list a few popular ones.

  1. VMware Workstation 9 (Windows/Linux) – $249.00 USD
  2. VMware Player (Windows/Linux)  – Free
  3. VirtualBox (Windows/Mac/Linux) – Free

Whichever VM software you go with, make sure it has a way to network with other VMs. If you don’t want to spend the money, go with VirtualBox. If you plan to get serious with penetration testing, you might want to consider getting a VMware Workstation license. It is full of useful tools and goodies such as sharing VMs and remote access and easy to work with.

I will be use VMware Workstation, but these programs are very similar in function. You shouldn’t have trouble following along if you are using something else.

After everything is installed and running, click “Create new virtual machine”.

VM Install 1

Next you’re going to select “Installer disc image file” then browse for the backtrack 5 ISO.

Vm Install 2

Select the operating system as linux, and the version as Ubuntu.

VM Install 3

Give the virtual machine a name such as “Backtrack 5 R3” and select a location for where you want to save the virtual machine files.

VM Install 4

When asked how much you want the virtual disk drive to be, you want at least 25 GB. This will be the most demanding requirement of Backtrack 5. I went and used 40 GB for my virtual machine. Although the backtrack-linux wiki says you need at least 20 GB, I found you will run out of space by the time you install updates or any other software. Then, you will have the option of storing the virtual disk as a single file, or split into multiple files. Creating a virtual disk as a single file will allocate all of the space right away. Splitting into multiple files means the drive files will grow as you need them. So if your hard drive space is limited on your host system, go with multiple files. If you have a massive drive, and not worried about space, go with a single file.

VM Install 5

And that’s it! The virtual machine is ready to go. I left mine at 1 GB of ram, if you are limited of memory, you can change this in the virtual machine settings. The recommended minimum memory is 512 MB, however you can try lower if you need to.

VM Install 6

Power on the virtual machine and you will be ready to install Backtrack.

Installing Backtrack 5

If you are installing on a hard drive, you will need to burn the Backtrack 5 ISO on to a DVD or a USB Drive. For directions on installing to a USB Drive, see here (link).

First turn on your machine, then insert your DVD or USB Drive. Then press the key that allows you to select your boot drive. You may have to go into the bios to enable this. Most often, F12 will work. Select either your DVD drive, or your USB Drive to boot from it. You should see a screen like this:

VM Install 7

After a few moments, you will see Backtrack Live CD menu. Press enter on Backtrack Text – Default Boot Text Mode.

VM Install 8

Wait about 10 seconds, and you will come to Backtrack shell console. Type the command “startx” to load the GUI.

VM Install 9

After another few moments, you will come to the desktop of Backtrack. Double click on the “Install Backtrack” to begin the install process.

BT Install 1

After you select your time zone, and language, you then have to partition your drive. If you are using a virtual machine, go ahead and use the whole drive. If you are dual booting, you will have to specify your partition for your two operating systems.

BT Install 2

Continue through the installer, and then click finish. Backtrack will then install on to your system. This process takes about 10-15 minutes.

BT Install 3

After it is finish, restart your system.

BT Install 4

Backtrack 5 Login

After restarting, you will come to a login screen like this:

BT Log 1

The default root name for Backtrack is “root” and the password is “toor”. After typing in the root username and password, you will come back to the Backtrack shell. Type “startx” to enter the GUI desktop.

Creating a Bootable USB Drive

Required Items:

UNetbootin is a program that allows you to create bootable USB drives for linux distros and Windows. UNetbootin will download the distribution or use an ISO file you selected from your hard drive.

  1. Once UNetbootin is downloaded you can run it by double clicking (Windows)
  2. Plug in your USB Drive.
  3. Start UNetbooin and select the “diskimage” option, then select your Backtrack 5 ISO.
  4. Select your USB Drive, then click “OK”.
    WARNING: This will format your USB Drive and remove all previous data.

Now you should be able to boot off of your USB Drive with Backtrack 5.


177 thoughts on “How to Install Backtrack 5

  1. sorry for the trouble,i m still a beginner,bt is a great software but i install it on virtual box ,why is it stuck at the bios page,f 12 also no use ,i m using windows xp service pack 3 ,4gb ram,Please help and thank you.

    • Hello and welcome!

      With VirtualBox, make sure the Backtrack ISO is mounted to the virtual drive before booting the virtual machine. If you go to the settings of the virtual machine you created, you should see “Storage”. Under storage look for CD/DVD Device, from there you can browse for the Backtrack iso and select it. From there just start your VM and BT should boot. If you have any further questions please ask!

      • hey guys, wanted to install guest additions to make it full screen on virtual box but since .iso image is mounted on cd/dvd drive it doesn’t allow me to install guest additions, when going to devices-> install guest additions – it says could not mount the drive, any solutions for that?

  2. I’ve made a BT5 R1 bootable USB using Unetbooti…But when I boot it, after selecting the Default boot mode, it hangs at page where some settings are loading. I also tried other things but I’m facing same problem. What can I do?

  3. hi thx 4 all the explaing up there
    this is the best work i’ve watched
    im having a problem
    when i boot the back track and choose the Backtrack Text – Default Boot Text Mode
    the black screen says
    “this kernel requires an x86-64 cpu but only detected an i686 cpu
    unable to boot please use a kernel appropiate for your cpu

    • I guess you are running a 32 bit operating system and you probably downloaded backtrack 64 bit. There’s no way around this than to get a new copy of backtrack 32 bit or installing a new 64 bit operating system

  4. How to connect to a wired network(dialup or broadband) in backtrack 5 r3?????i’m really stuck on this occassion plz resolve my problem

  5. hello there thanks for the tutorial. I have a very unusual problem. I have downloaded backtrack 5 r3 GNOME 64 BIT ISO and when I search for the
    iso image but I can’t find any. When I enter into backtrack folder on my desktop where I have downloaded it, I see sub-folders called .disk, casper, isolinux, preseed etc and some files. so can you please help me. As you know if I can’t give the virtual machine the iso image it will not boot.

  6. hi
    i can not enter the password but i can enter the login…after entring login i make a hit on enter button from keybord and asking me password but it not allow me to enter password..what problem i can not understand!!

    • Hello, with backtrack, when you type your password, notice that you won’t see what your typing so just fill in your password off head enter

  7. Descargue el bt5, pero lo descargo en Winrar, he probado con el Virtual Box, VMware Workstation yno funciona, recordando que transforme el winrar de 2.39 GB a ISO, con el programa ULTRAISO, mas aun probé el Virtual CloneDrive para reparar errores y no corre ni con el Winrar descargado, ni convertido a ISO, me sale este mensaje:
    No DHCP or proxyDHCP offers were received.
    PXW-M0F:Exiting Intel PXE ROM
    Operating System not found
    Necesito una gran guía y ayuda, departe de ustedes.. Saludos cordiales.

  8. How long time it takes to appear “Install Backtrack” on Desktop. I waited more than 15 minutes but nothing appear. Please help.

  9. How long time it takes to appear “Install Backtrack” on Desktop. I waited more than 15 minutes but nothing appear. Please help. I’m using it on Window 7

  10. how to install backtrack using vmware if after i download, the backtrack is in 7z format not in iso format…

  11. im booting this on a Ubuntu machine I get to muy bios I select usb and all I get to the black creen but it sas after the whole peter Anvin it sas no DEFAULT or UI configuration found! helpppp

  12. @kidsnow you can still use ur windows OS, as a matter of fact am using 4OS on ma system “Win7, Ubuntu, Backtrack5r3, Kali linux” and I still use hackademia as my server. All are connected to the server. But I will advuse u to knw what u are doing, when installing backtrack, cos if tomorrow u remove backtrack from ur system, you will have to repair ur MBR “Master Boot Record”. Its more adviseable to use Vmware player.

  13. Is anybody else getting ‘Ubuntu 10.2′ loading screen during boot? Also Ubuntu 10.2 on Grub-2? I made the live usb with Unetbootin on Fedora 17

  14. I need to ask something important:Any advise on how to set the number of cores I want my virtual machine to use?

  15. i tried a lot using UNetbootin to install backtrack 5 R3 on my hard drive but i face the same problem as shows the message like boot error after restarting my computer.i am using windows xp sp3 if anybody have solved the same problem plz share with me. i have also tried using virtual box VirtualBox-4.2.12-84980-Win. i used the same method as written above but after selecting the iso image file but stucked on boot screen…….

  16. Ok I went through the whole song and dance of installing BT5r3 to a San Disk 4 gig flash drive but it wouldn’t boot. However due to my prior experience with BT3 I happened to remember that a boot file might be present in BT3 pry ogram file. So I double clicked it and the flash stick boots. Now I don’t know why you folks do things the way you choose but doesn’t this smack of geek snobbery or at least that flavor. I wouldn’t treat my clients that way. C’mon now guys what’s goin on. Who was the wise guy that said all things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually correct. I mean really now . . . Duh ! ! ! ! !

  17. when i get to step 4, it shows nothing, the screen is just white, i cant install at all, im using a dell inspiron 15z with a uefi bios and a 500gb hard drive and a 32 gb ssd, i dont know what to do, please help me or alternativly email me a solution to

  18. Sir, i’m trying to install it on my laptop, ACER 5742G, after typing “startx” from the root, the screen turn to black and the HDD indicator stops, i’m waiting a bunch of several hours on it but still nothing appeared.

    Sir, Admin, can you help me with this kind of stuff…
    Advanced thank you for your help Sir Admin…

  19. when ever i start intall back track and make 3 add of root/ 10000 swap area ext2 5000 and ext4 30000 after creating its gives error unmount partition why ? it gives error how to solve it?

  20. i followed all the procedure in installation but i think it doesn’t seems install in virtualbox

    first i create in virtualbox and install it just like the procedure and after i reboot it, the console appears and type the default bt login and password

    and then the screen change to
    just like in my first time installing backtrack

    and finally the screen shows again with install bt

    i am doing wrong or anything? please respond thanks

  21. I have a wired problem. I have windows 8 and I used bt5 64 Gnome, I tried using unetbootin and everything worked for it then I restarted my computer and nothing happend. I also tried slecting it in the BIOS menu and still nothing.

  22. I have a wired problem. I have windows 8 and I used bt5 64 Gnome, I tried using unetbootin and everything worked for it then I restarted my computer and nothing happend. I also tried selecting it in the BIOS menu and still nothing.
    Sorry about the same comment i just forgot to check the notify me boxes.

  23. Heloo …. any1 can help meee????? I have downloaded bactrack 5 r3 Gnome 32 VMmare …. don’t know how to install using vm box…. plz help meee

  24. i have a problem after i install backtrack and hit restart to reboot it everything goes great until the last minute when my computer says vm has stopped working trying to find solution windows has closed this program i open the program back up and i do not get the login screen i dont know what im doing wrong

    • I have the same problem, I guess.
      Installation process went great, it asks if to “restart” or “continue testing”
      I clicked on Restart now.
      The prompt says
      “The system is going for reboot NOW!”
      and stuck at that point.
      I’ve waited for an hour or so.
      Its struck there
      Admin, need help…

  25. this one still unanswerred.,
    after hitting install the screen stuck up., and i waited an hour still at the same situation., any sugestions?

  26. Hi guys, I am kind of new to this I have made Linux ubuntu 12.04 on my mac and I have made it take up my whole disk so it is my primary operating system and boots up and runs with no problems, but I would like to run Backtrack R3, as my new primary operating system if I can do that ? I have downloaded the correct architecture and build of Backtrack but I don’t know how to go about making it my default operating system

  27. i have a problem,when change dos to gui using startx command.

    after typing startx, it does not load a gui.the pc is hanged up.and the capslock led is blinking

  28. i have a problem,when change dos to gui using startx command.

    after typing startx, it does not load a gui.the pc is hanged up.and the capslock led is blinking. plz tell me as soon as.

  29. Hello
    I burned the ISO to a DVD-RW, when i restart the computer, it says it can not findkernel image. Does anyone had this problem bevore? what can I do?

    Thanks in advance

  30. i have a problem in BT ….. i just clicked promt icon it shows the error ” sorry – plasma workspace KDEInit Could not Launch ‘/usr/bin/konsole’. ” pls solve this error pls

  31. i have install the backtrack 5 r3 in different drive like d:/ but loader can’t pick up the operating system backtrack

  32. After going thru most of the comment, it seems u guys have not taken the time to understand the tutorial. if i understand properly, what the thread is all about is about running BT5r3 on virtual machine such as VM VB. Nost of u are mixing it up… for me all went smoothly using BT 5R3 in virtualbox on windows 7… please running it on virtual box, when u comfortable, then you can install fully on your system…

  33. I used unetbootin to put the backtrack 5 iso on a usb. When I boot to the USB though it just says something about Linux the date and some other stuff on a black screen and nothing happens. Can someone tell me what to do.

  34. Mine has no wifi drivers installed… I have laptop hp-compaq 6910p and made a live boot usb for backtrack… HOW TO INSTALL WIFI DRIVER FOR BACKTRACK

  35. Dear sir… i have a problem regaarding booyable glash drive.. i installed backyrack 5R3 in usb with unetbootin.. now when m going to boot from usb .. it stops over here.. end trace[some codes i dont remember] … m n deep trouble help me plzzzzz…i also have sreenshot.. where i upoload it… to help u understand my problem…. thanx…

  36. I am using Laptop HP. I have installed BT 5r3 with dual boot.
    In the windows 7 partition I have installed VM ware BT5R3-GNOME-VM-32.7z.
    I use wireless modem to access labs.

    I have the following issues:

    1. If I work with VM, save and quit, after restart the system is not restarting to the last state.
    2. I have to discard BT and restart the same.
    3. I am convenient in using BT5r3 when dealing with the dual boot specifically intended for BT 5r3.
    4. All the guides and suggestions recommend using VM ware.
    5. Of course when I use separate boot, I am unable to copy screen shots, etc.
    6. TFTP server could not be started.

    I seek your guidance in using BT5R3 exclusive boot for accessing labs.
    Any other drivers and tools I have to install in using the same effectively instead of VMware.

    OR it is compulsory to go with VM in Win 7

  37. Thankss for ur all this efforts.
    But, i have a little problem here with my windows 8.
    i want to make a bootable pendrive,i did all the steps exactly as u mentioned above bu when i boot by my Pendrive it just gives me a error everytime “boot failed”.what should i do.i
    i would really appreciate a Quick Reply.

  38. I tried the “fixvesa” and “startx” stuffs but still my machine hangs forever. As for the “fixvesa” = Command unknown. Help since this seem to be common problem. Thanks

  39. i have downloaded backtrack 5 for windows in compressed formet.
    when i dicompressed it several file open but there wan’t any file to install it.
    can u please tell me how do i install it?
    plz give me reply at my facebook account
    my username is Aashishroyal

  40. hello sir i have a 64 bit system so i downloaded a 64bit btr5r3 and i use vmware 7.1 but while backtrack is booting up i am getting error….”kernel panic:not syncing,attempted to kill idle task”

    my specifications
    1 tb hd
    6gb ram
    i5 3rd gen

  41. Hi, I have been doing a professional course in Ethical Hacking and I must say you’ve explained it brilliantly!:) I just had a small question, I use VirtualBox as my Virtual Machine but it doesnt have the Network Options ( NAT/Host something and one more) like there is in VMWare Is there a command to select the type in BackTrack itself?

  42. I followed the outlined instruction with respect to Backtrack5R3 Instalation on Vmware 9 its quite unfortunate everything just seem not to be loading further when it actually started installing the OS and has reached 38% is this a software thing or not just doing something right after watching the screen remain still for more than an hour just showing copying files…. and its not like the system is hanging sort of. Any advice guys?

  43. im having a big problem, im installing the bt5r3 on vmware workstation 10 the BT5R3-GNOME-64 and i do everything but when it starts the screen is only on loading… and no more, i have like 30 mins on that and nothing can you please help me ??? or a tutorial???

  44. installed vmware. And installed BT 5R3. But its not connected to internet. had tried hell lot of times. Tried changing the network adopter from vmware. sstill not working. But if I chech with “ifconfig” its showing the ip address (inet).
    But no webpage is opening..!! need help

  45. I had downloaded back track 5…64bit…iso…but every time a press on Backtrack Text – Default Boot Text Mode…it tells me that This kernel requires an x86-64 CPU, but only detected an i686 CPU .
    unable to boot – please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU….

  46. I ve backtrack 5R3-GNOME-VM-32 n installing it in windows 8; but facing problem in browsing it from my drive: can anyone help me??

  47. hey i have installed virtual workstation in C n then when i go towards creating a new virtual machine to run bck5r3 there is not enough space in c so m gonna install it in the newly made partition that is empty the prase “Unable to create a new virtual machine: Cannot open configuration file “H:\backtrack5r3.vmx”: Access is denied.” apear ..what to do help me plz ? is there any problem in Dynamic disk ? have to convert it into the basic or some other pblm plz tell me

  48. restart it by pressing ctrl+r n then right fixvesa press enter n then backspace this n right startx hen hit enter it work for me ..:)

  49. while installing backtrack on vmworkstation when it is asked to select disk space if we select use the whole disk… will this format my hard??

  50. dear sir
    i will try my lap install vmware and insert blacktrack but still ., no more hosy replay kindly given how to install BT os ,

  51. sir ……please help me……..can i install backtrack 5 without removing windows 7 …dual profile…….? please explain me………..

  52. after installing bt 5 r3 i choose ‘restart now’ while restarting it asks that
    ‘username’ and ‘password’ i entered username-root
    when iam typing password-toor letters are not typing on my window…..pls help me sir.

  53. please the backtrack it is work only for the same pc you put the mail and password but for anther pc or out side my room it is not working so can you help me for that

  54. after restarting its done? coz i dont know how to us it… n also dont knowledge about this… i just want this… after installing i got wholr knowledge about is… now my installing is running to 48% so thanks for this method coz im waiting this..

  55. I’d opted for Dual boot.
    Installation process went great, it asks if to “restart” or “continue testing”
    I clicked on Restart now.
    The prompt says
    “The system is going for reboot NOW!”
    and stuck at that point.
    I’ve waited for an hour or so.
    Its struck there
    Admin, thanks in advance (y)

  56. hey i’ve installed backtrack 5 on virtual machine, am using mini 54M wireless usb adapter (model: W541V2.0) properly connected to the virtual machine and everything seems working fine except that wen i open root terminal ‘n’ write: airodump-ng mon0 ,my usb wireless adapter doesnt detect any wireless around

    pliiz could any one an idea … me!!!

  57. Hi,sorry I’m a beguinner I got a problem when I’m about to finish to install backtrack,I got the black screen appears and it s written :operating system not found what I can do to fix it??

  58. hello, i have made the backtrack 5 R3 usb boot using unetbootin, after do boot on usb drive, all is just fine, i choose the “default mode” in the unetboootin and it shows backtrack shell command, and then i type “startx” after that the problem is show up, my screen goes blank, nothing appear after that, i have wait for an hour, but nothing happen, just a blank screen, any idea guys???? Please reply

  59. i need help,i tried installing backtrack 5 R3 with a live cd and this is what it is saying…this kernel requires an x86-64, but only detected an i686 CPU, unable to boot…. Please help me.

  60. hii i am not able to boot backtrack 5 on my PC though i made a bootable DVD disk of backtrack 5 GNOME ISO image..
    I tried live USB also
    Pleasee help meeeee

  61. I have a Windows 7 x64,and Backtrack 5 R3 working for me 100% !
    I Download BT5R3-GNOME-32 and virtualize it.
    No any problem for me.

  62. To make Usb bootable…
    window key+R
    create-partition primary
    format fs=fat32-quick
    to make usb bootable for backtrack…:)

  63. BTR5R3 GNOME 64 bit sorunsuz ?ekilde yüklendi.benim sorunum BTR5 de a? kart?m? tan?tam?yorum.makinem acer aspire 5740G a? kart?m broadcom.a? kart?m? nas?l tan?tabilirim.

  64. bro m facing this error after choosing text mode…. this kernel requires an x 86 n x 64 cpu but it detected only an i686 cpu…………… pllzzz help bro plxxx…

  65. help me please….i installed backtrack 5 and after typed both name and password ,last login time is appeared but still the system has not started still the screen is waiting for the command to start…what is that command?

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