Hack Like a Pro: Getting Started with BackTrack, Your New Hacking System

Getting Started with BackTrack, Your New Hacking System

Welcome back, my fledgling hackers!

In one of my recent articles, I showed you how to install BackTrack as a dual boot system on a Windows computer. In this tutorial, I will walk you through BackTrack, giving you a tour of the most salient features for the hacker-to-be.

NOTE: BackTrack Is No Longer Supported; Switch to Kali Linux

BackTrack is no longer supported by the developers, so we have stopped using it as our primary hacking system here on Null Byte. Instead, please check out my guide on installing Kali Linux, which is what we now use for most hacks in Null Byte. Of course, you can still read on below if you'd like to get a little information about what BackTrack was and how it worked.

As you can see in the screenshot above, I've installed the most recent version of BackTrack, version 5 release 3 (generally referred to BT5r3). My install is the 64-bit version with the KDE interface, but the GNOME interface works just as well and has all the same features. I just prefer the KDE.

The BackTrack Menu

Similar to Windows start button, we have a button with the BackTrack icon in the lower left-hand corner along the lower panel.

When you click on it, it opens up a collection of multi-nested menus just like Windows. Let's go through each of them from bottom to top.

Step 1: Leave Menu

The first menu we come to is titled "Leave." This is where we would go when we want to shutdown BackTrack.

The sub-menus here are all self-explanatory.

  • End Session
  • Lock Screen
  • Start a parallel session as a different user

Step 2: Utilities Menu

We're going to skip over a few menu choices as they are not salient to our hacking tutorials, so go up to "Utilities."

  • Akonaditray (a personal information manager)
  • Klipper (a clipboard tool)
  • KWrite (text editor similar to notepad),
  • Terminator (a way of managing multiple terminals)
  • WBarConf (a tool for managing your KDE bars)

Step 3: The System Menu

The next menu we'll look at is titled "System," which contains applications that are crucial to the hacker. When we hover over System we see Airoscript-ng and Airoscript-ng GTK. These are scripts for using Aircrack-ng to hack wireless. I'll do a tutorial on those in the near future, so stay tuned.

We also see

  • Dolphin (a file manager similar to Windows Explorer)
  • EtherApe (a graphical network model)
  • Htop (a process viewer)
  • KinfoCenter (an information center about your computer, i.e. CPU, memory, DMA, etc)

Below KinfoCenter we find probably the most important utility in any Linux system:

  • Konsole (a terminal)

Any true hacker MUST become familiar with the terminal. For the remaining tools, we have:

  • KpackageKit (download packages)
  • KRandRTray (resizing windows)
  • System Monitor (self-explanatory)

Step 4: The Internet Menu

Now we're going to jump up to the "Internet" menu and we can see EtherApe appears here again (it was also under "System").

Also, there's:

  • Firefox (web browser)
  • Konqueror (web browser)
  • Wicd (for connecting to Wi-Fi)
  • Zenmap (the network reconnaissance tool nmap overlaid with a nice GUI).

We'll be using nmap for target reconnaissance in a tutorial coming soon.

Step 5: BackTrack!

At the very top of the menu, we find the "BackTrack" menu! This is where we'll be spending most of our time as hackers. The BackTrack menu has shortcuts to the hundreds of hacking tools in BackTrack.

These tools are too numerous to list here, but as you can see BackTrack classifies them into the following:

  • "Information Gathering"
  • "Vulnerability Assessment"
  • "Exploitation tools"
  • "Privilege Escalation"
  • "Mainataining Access"
  • "Reverse Engineering"
  • "RFID Tools"
  • "Stress Testing"
  • "Forensics"
  • "Reporting Tools"
  • "Services"
  • "Miscellaneous"

Over the next several tutorials, we'll examine each of these set of tools.

Step 6: Exploitation Tools

If we hover over "Exploitation Tools," those of you who have following my earlier tutorials will see some familiar territory. Exploitation Tools opens a sub-menu of numerous types of Exploitation Tools and if we hover over "Network Exploitation" we will see my favorite tool, "Metasploit Framework."

For those of you who are just getting started in hacking, Metasploit is a powerful network exploitation tool and I have a number Metasploit tutorials here, so take a look at them if you aspire to become an expert hacker.

So that's the quick and dirty tour of BackTrack, my fledgling hackers. In my coming tutorials, I'll show you how to use many of the best hacking tools in BackTrack, so keep coming back!

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Cover image via Techie Talks


I have no start button or a task bar only a terminal and I tried to download metaspliot but it gives me an error 404 not found

can u help me ?


In order to help you, I need more information. What have you done so far?


well u helped me already i red your comments in another guide thanks mate :)

I have the same pb please help me

ive down lodged it but my computer said it cannot read file what do i do

Hi Oscar!

Welcome to Null Byte!

Are you trying to burn it to a DVD?


Hey, so I went to backtrack's website and it says that I should download this instead.

I've no clue how is this compatible with my OS (I'm using Win 8 btw)

8 Glasses:

Welcome to Null Byte!

You can go ahead and download Kali. These are Linux distributions, so that are complete operating systems. There is no issue of compatibility, but you have to either install it in a VM (Virtual Box or VMWare) or as a dual boot system.


How do I do that? Do you have any posts about it?

8 Glasses:

In the very first line of this tutorial, there is a link to my tutorial on creating a dual boot system.


Now I successfully install Backtrack dual boots together with Windows 7. But in BT, I can't connect to internet. I followed your Linux basic tutorials until part 10, sir. So please tell me if you need any system information to clarify them. Please help me with the network. I have both wire and wireless options to use. They worked well in windows and the previous Kali.

If it worked well with Kali, use Kali then.

Problem sovled, Sir.

its uselessss os it doesnt work in different network,, if i wud have hack my computer or others then i wud use keylogger,, not this creeping shit backtrack,, i wasted my time in this crap,,

If you would invested the time to learn like the others here on Null Byte, you would have been successful.

Sorry you are having troubles with BT5, Few things to note:

  • BT has evolved into Kali so repos for BT5 may suck some.
  • If you can not use the command line tools you should try and looking on Google for GUI based tools or go back to BT3.
  • As for not changing networks, What you mean?
  • Are so many Pen-Test Distros out there depends on skill of user.
  • BT5 Worked great for me back in the day, yeah its a temperamental bitch but what OS isn't at times?

Is there a way to do this for a mac computer?

Yes. You can install it in a VM or a dual boot system on a Mac.

I have Linux mint on my PC is Kali an is or can I download specific tools from linux ? I use Linux to build android so don't really want to dual boot. Can I download the tools I need using terminal on my current os? Linux mint! Thanks!

Yes, you can, but it will be a lot of work. In addition, the directories will likely be different and some other features of Linux are optimized in Kali for hacking. If you are a Linux, expert, I'm sure you can do it.

havig trouble in connecting to net in Linux using mibile broadband
please help

Can you be more specific on what problems you are having? Can you provide us a screenshot?

hey guys can i still use and update backtrack 5 r3 in 2016

Where is this start button on kali linux I dont have it upside have only the application and places button.

Am having problem in using the backtrack on windows 7. Is there any other alternative.?

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