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Linux BackTrack 5 Comparison: R2 R1 vs normal, KDE vs GNOME, 32 bit vs 64 bit. (With official download links)

Updated on January 11, 2013

What is Linux BackTrack?

The Backtrack Linux distribution is based on the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, but it is mainly for hacking-type tasks. (And penetration testing) This Linux distro is NOT for Linux beginners. One of the best parts of it is that you don't have to install it to use it. Simply put the image on your USB and boot into persistent mode. Here is a pretty good video on doing that. ...though you CAN install it if you want to.

To download BackTrack Linux, click here. There are a lot of options for downloading.

  • Regular, R1, or R2: As you may guess, Regular is BackTrack 5, R1 is the second version of BackTrack 5, and R2 is the third version of BackTrack 5. The second version has adding users and bug fixes, and R2 has the same type of upgrades.
  • Window environment - KDE or GNOME: Ubuntu uses a unity shell over GNOME as it's shell.

One version of GNOME
One version of GNOME | Source
This is the KDE environment.
This is the KDE environment. | Source

...Personally I prefer the KDE desktop environment. But, you can choose what you want.

  • 32x of 64x: If your looking at this, and you're about to download the BT5 ISO, then you probably already know what 32x and 64x is, but I'll explain anyway. 32x is for 32 bit processors. (May sometimes show up as 86x) The 64x is for 64 bit processors; these are usually AMD processors.
  • Image type: There's only one choice; ISO.
  • Download type: If you don't have a torrent manager, then I suggest you use the direct download choice. But, if you have a torrent manager, use the torrent download choice; torrents are faster and put less stress on the servers.

Once you have picked your choices, click the "CLICK TO DOWNLOAD" button.

When your download finishes, you have multiple choices. 1. Put the ISO onto your USB stick. 2. Install BT on your USB stick. 3. Put the ISO onto a disc, and install it.

Choice 1: This is simple; just drag the ISO to your USB stick, and hope it's bootable.

Choice 2: To do this, you need a third-party application. I recommend this one. Here is a good tutorial on how to install BackTrack to your USB.

Choice 3: This one I will explain in detail soon. But until I do that, get your favorite DVD burner, and start an ISO project and burn your ISO onto your disc.

To boot from a disc/USB: If you're going to use a virtual machine, the configuration should already be set up. But if you're not, then you are going to have to go into your computer's BIOS if it doesn't already boot to the USB/disc. To do this, reboot your computer, and on the manufacturer splash screen, click one of the F keys to go into BIOS setup. The screen should display what keys to click for certain actions, and one of them should say 'Setup' or 'BIOS setup'. Once your in your BIOS, search for boot order, or something of that sort. Once you're there, use the arrow keys and the enter button to change the boot order so that it first boots from the USB (or disc) and then boots from the hard disk.

Conclusion: BackTrack is full of capabilities. But, as I said, it is not suitable for new Linux users. If you are an experienced Linux user, and you know the commands of the terminal well, I suggest you use BackTrack for your hacking pleasure. Thanks for reading, and remember, this article isn't completely finished yet. Will be finished by next week.


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