Install Backtrack 5 rc3 on virtualbox

By | February 25, 2013

Backtrack 5 rc3 is at the present the latest release of backtrack linux and is based on ubuntu. Virtualbox supports such oses very well and installation of guest additions is also very swift and smooth. So now we are going to install the backtrack distro inside Virtualbox.

Get the latest virtualbox for your system (windows, linux or mac). And download the backtrack iso from

In this example we are using the follow :

1. Ubuntu 12.10 - Host OS
2. Virtualbox 4.2.6
3. Backtrack 5 rc3

Once everything is ready open Virtualbox.

Create virtual drive

First of all create a new virtual drive for backtrack linux with the following specifications.

1. Name : Backtrack Linux (or whatever you want).
2. Type : Linux ( yes because it a linux ).
3. Version : Ubuntu or Ubuntu 64bit depending on your backtrack download type. Backtrack 5 rc3 is based on ubuntu therefore the os version can be ubuntu. It can be Debian as well or even plain Linux would work.

4. Amount of RAM - 1 Gb is recommended. 512mb would fall short when running gui apps like web browsers etc.
5. Disk size - 20GB, Back track has quite a lot of things to install. So 20gb is recommended.
After installation backtrack will occupy around 11.22gb of space and a swap space of 895mb would be created.

Boot with the backtrack ISO

Once the virtual drive is created, boot it up and when it asks to select an iso image, select the backtrack iso image. On the backtrack boot screen backtrack would give a lot of options to boot up. Select the first/default item and hit enter. Its "backtrack text - default boot text mode"

Within a minute backtrack would reach a terminal where it would ask for the username/password to login. Enter root/toor as the username and password to login. At the root prompt enter command startx to start the gui.

root@bt:~# startx

Install to hard drive

Once on the desktop look for the icon "Install BackTrack" and click it. This will bring up the ubuntu style installation wizard that would guide you through the installation process. Here is a description of the main screens.

1. Select language
2. select timezone
3. select keyboard layout default is USA
4. At "prepare disk space" I chose "Erase and use the entire disk" option.
5. At "ready to install page" click "Install" and the installation will start

The installation would complete in less than 20 minutes. After installation backtrack would prompt to restart computer. Go ahead and restart. After restart same terminal would come up. Login and do startx to reach the desktop.

Install virtualbox guest additions

After the desktop comes up, click Devices > Install Guest Additions in the virtualbox window. A prompt would come up to autorun the content. If it doesnt come up, navigate to the mount location of the guest addition disk in a terminal and run the program.

root@bt:~# cd /media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.2.6_82870
root@bt:/media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.2.6_82870# ls
32Bit        cert                    VBoxSolarisAdditions.pkg
64Bit        OS2                     VBoxWindowsAdditions-amd64.exe
AUTORUN.INF            VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe  VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86.exe
root@bt:/media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.2.6_82870# ./

The installation should proceed and work without any issues. The status should look something like this

Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 4.2.6 Guest Additions for Linux...........
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
tar: Record size = 8 blocks
Removing existing VirtualBox non-DKMS kernel modules ...done.
Building the VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel modules
Building the main Guest Additions module ...done.
Building the shared folder support module ...done.
Building the OpenGL support module ...done.
Doing non-kernel setup of the Guest Additions ...done.
Starting the VirtualBox Guest Additions ...done.
Installing the Window System drivers
Installing X.Org Server 1.7 modules ...done.
Setting up the Window System to use the Guest Additions ...done.
You may need to restart the hal service and the Window System (or just restart
the guest system) to enable the Guest Additions.

Installing graphics libraries and desktop services components ...done.

The important line is "Building the main Guest Additions module ...done." If that is done then its successfully done.
Now reboot backtrack. Reach the desktop again and this time the screen resolution etc should all be perfect.

Autologin and Auto desktop

You might want to login straight to the desktop without having to type the username/password and the startx command. Read our earlier post on doing auto login in backtrack.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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