I’ve been using Backtrack since the vesion 4 beta. This new version has a ton of updated and new packages.
If you are not familiar with Backtrack, it is a “penetration testing” version of Ubuntu.  Definitely not for the casual user as a GUI login is not enabled and the default user is “root”. I install Backtack in a dual-boot configuration with XP on my laptop.  These are some tweaks I have to do:

  • Install wireless drivers.  Intel IPW2200.
  • Enable the kdm login.
  • Allow the Chrome Browser to run as “root”.

Installing the wireless drivers was incredibly easy.  First download the firmware from Sourceforge into the /lib/firmware folder.  Version 3.1 is the latest as of the time of this post.  Then execute these commands:

tar -xzf ipw2200-fw-3.1.tgz
modprobe -r ipw2200
modprobe ipw2200

And that’s it, should be up and running.  Backtrack uses Wicd for network management.

Next is the kdm GUI login.

Start by editing /etc/init/kdm.conf, remove or comment out the following section:

if [ -n "$UPSTART_EVENTS" ]
[ ! -f /etc/X11/default-display-manager -o "$(cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager 2>/dev/null)" = "/usr/bin/kdm" ] || { stop; exit 0; }
# Check kernel command-line for inhibitors
for ARG in $(cat /proc/cmdline)
case "${ARG}" in
plymouth quit || : # We have the ball here
exit 0

Reboot and you should see the GUI login.

Allow Chrome Browser to run as “root”.

After downloading the appropriate package run this command in the folder you saved Chrome into:

dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_i386.deb

Now you must add an unprivelged user.  This can be done with the command line or you can add the package kuser with the command “apt-get install kuser”.  Once that is done create a folder for that user. Then right click on the desktop of the root user and select Create New, Link to Application.  Now select the Application tab and the Command text box.  Click on Browse and navigate to /opt/google/chome and select the Chome application.  After returning to the Command text box enter this after the text:

%U --user-data-dir="/home/user/folder"

Use the user and folder you created.  You can edit the icon and change the name if you wish.

That’s the extent of the tweaks.  Happy testing. :)


I had some trouble with shutting down with kdm enabled.   Here’s the fix for that little feature.  Get into Settings, System Settings then Login Screen.  Navigate to the Shutdown tab and click on the text box next to “Halt”.  Enter the following text: /sbin/shutdown -h now.

In the “Reboot” text box you should have /sbin/reboot as that seems to work ok.  You can enter /sbin/shutdown -r now if you have trouble.