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Back|Track 5 R3 Post-Install

posted Sep 13, 2012, 7:48 AM by William Stone   [ updated Sep 16, 2012, 1:09 PM ]


The following procedures worked for me under Back|Track Linux 5 R3.  There is no guarantee that it will work for you, nor with any other version of Linux.

User Administration

Add a Non-Privileged User

You should not generally log into a *NIX system as root.  To create a fully-working non priviledged user in Back|Track 5R3, perform the following:
  1. Log in as root.  The default password is toor.

  2. Enter the command:

    adduser [userid]

    where [userid] is the user ID that you wish to create.  Follow the onscreen prompts.

  3. Add the new user to the appropriate groups with the following commands:

    usermod -g [userid] [userid] && usermod -G admin [userid] && usermod -G users [userid]

    where [userid] is the user ID name that you just created.

    You'll note the user of [userid] twice in a row:  this is because the user's primary group should be a group with the same name as the userid.

    The other statements will add the user to the admin and users groups, which is necessary for sudo and sudo-dependent programs to function correctly.

Change root's Password

The default root password in Back|Track Linux is toor.  Since this is a highly-publicizsed fact, it is imperative to immediately change root's password.

While logged in as root or via sudo, enter the command:


and follow the prompts.  Be sure to choose a strong password.

Install Network Manager

wicd irritates me.  I understand the intent, but I simply can't get it to function as advertised.  Furthermore, NetworkManager is rubust, stable, and has plug-ins for all kinds of things that wicd doesn't.

Please be aware:  following these procedures will completely remove wicd and replace it with NetworkManager.


  1. Log in as a non-privileged user.

  2. Open a command prompt window and type:

    sudo apt-get remove --purge wicd* python-wicd && sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome network-manager-vpnc-gnome network-manager-openconnect-gnome network-manager-pptp network-manager network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openconnect network-manager-openvpn-gnome network-manager-pptp-gnome network-manager-vpnc network-manager-strongswan

  3. As root or via sudo, edit the file /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf

  4. Change the line under [ifupdown] that reads:


    to read:


Caveats and Gotchas

Be aware that when Network Manager is installed, interfaces configured as, Connect Automatically and Available to All Users will be automatically active on boot.

Install Ubuntu-Tweak


Disable the Splash Screen

In my opinion, a booting computer should display as much information as possible.  It should not hide behind a picture but rather display information that an expert can use to immediately use for trouble-shooting, if necessary.

Fortunately, this is easy to configure in Back|Track.  As root or via sudo edit the file:


Comment out the line that reads:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text splash vga=791"

and replace it with one that reads:


It's possible that you may not have "vga=791"  if so, duplicate the pre-existing value in your new configuration line.  The important step is to remove the words text and splash.

Save the file.  To make this change active, issue the following command:

    sudo update-grub2

Customize the Console Font

I prefer Terminus font for everything related to the command prompt.
Terminus Font

To install Terminus, enter the following command in the Terminal window:

    sudo apt-get install terminus*

Note that this will also install the Terminus font in X-Windows, thereby making it available to X-Terminal applications.

Once the font is installed, you may configure the console font via the following command in a Terminal window:

    sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

It should be appropriate to press <ENTER> until you reach the screen showing the various fonts available.  Use the cursor keys to select Terminus, then use the <TAB> key to highlight Ok.

Press <ENTER> until you reach the screen that reads Font Size.  Use the cursor key to select the font size of your choice.  I prefer 12x6, however I find that most people prefer 14-point or above.

When you have chosen the font you like, use the <TAB> key to highlight Ok and press <ENTER>.  You may then press 
<ENTER> until the program completes.

Add Repositories


Undeniable Truths of IT

posted Sep 10, 2012, 10:08 PM by William Stone   [ updated Nov 18, 2012, 3:03 PM by William Stone ]

  1. Google is the other half of your brain.

  2. Users are losers and if they can figure out a way to screw it up, they will.

  3. It's always the little things that kill you.

Trouble-Shooting Questions

posted Sep 10, 2012, 10:07 PM by William Stone   [ updated Nov 18, 2012, 3:03 PM by William Stone ]

Have YouTried Turning It Off and On Again?

  1. Did it ever work?

  2. When did it stop working?

  3. What changed since the last time it worked?

  4. Have you tried turning it off and on again?

The Onion Router (Tor) on Back|Track 5 R3

posted Sep 8, 2012, 2:48 PM by William Stone   [ updated Nov 18, 2012, 3:02 PM by William Stone ]


These instructions are those that I used to install and configure Tor on my system running Back|Track Linux 5 R3.

Configuration Used

Add Software Sources

  1. Log in as a non-privileged user.

  2. Open a Terminal window.

  3. Enter the command:

    sudo su -

  4. Enter the command:

    nano /etc/apt/sources.list

  5. Add the following line:

    deb http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org lucid main #The Onion Router

  6. Exit the editor saving the configuration file.

  7. Add the GPG key by entering the commands

    gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv 886DDD89
    gpg --export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add -

Install the Required Software

Tor and Privoxy

Enter the commands:

    apt-get update
    apt-get install tor tor-geoipdb privoxy

Install the add-on as directed.

Configure the Required Software


  1. Enter the command:

    nano /etc/privoxy/config

  2. Locate the section reading "5.2. forward-socks4, forward-socks4a and forward-socks5".  Scroll to the end of the section and add the following lines:

    forward-socks4a / .

  3. If your system is behind a firewall or NAT, you will also need to add the following line:

    forward [network]/ .

    where [network] is your current network.  Examples might be 192.168.*.*, 172.16.*.*, 10.*.*.*, etc.


  1. In Chrome, right-click the ProxyAnywhere icon and choose Options.

  2. On the ProxyAnywhere Options page, under Proxy Server, make the following changes:
    1. Change Protocol to read Socks4

    2. Change Port to read 9050

  3. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

Your Firewall

If you are behind a firewall or NAT, you will need to configure your firewall.  you will need to forward port 9050 to port 9050 on your system running Back|Track.

Start the Daemons

Enter the following commands: 

/etc/init.d/privoxy start
/etc/init.d/tor start


  1. Point Chrome to:


    The site should show your Internet-rout-able IP address.

  2. Click the ProxyAnywhere icon in Chrome to activate Tor.

  3. Reload http://cmyip.com

    This should show an IP address other than that found in Step 1.

  4. Point Chrome to:


    The site will show a success message if Tor is active.
If the tests were successful, you may now activate and de-activate Tor in Chrome via the ProxyAnywhere icon.

SMBNETFS Configuration

posted Sep 3, 2012, 2:33 PM by William Stone   [ updated Nov 18, 2012, 3:01 PM by William Stone ]

I use smbnetfs for access to my NAS shares. Unfortunately, this turns out to be slightly more difficult than it should be.

In Back|Track 5 R3, the procedure is:
  1. Install smbnetfs.

    sudo apt-get install smbnetfs

  2. Create a user directory ~/.smb:

    mkdir ~/.smb

  3. Copy /etc/smbnetfs.conf to ~/.smb:

    cp /etc/smbnetfs.conf ~/.smb

  4. Create a file ~/.smb/smbnetfs.auth and put in it:

    auth [workgroup] [domain_or_workgroup/]user password

  5. Change the permissions on ~/.smb/smbnetfs.auth:

    chmod 600 ~/.smb/smbnetfs.auth

  6. Mount with the command:

    smbnetfs -o uid=[user's uid],gid=[user's gid],umask=0022 [path/to/mountpoint]
Optionally, one might create a script containing the required smbnetfs command.

I'm still working on making the hosts visible by default.

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