Login to BackTrack

Once the BackTrack is Installed, the default username and password required to log in are root / toor.
NOTE: You will not be able to see the password as you type it.


  • After login give startx command.
  • Getting Networking to work
  • Setting your IP manually

We will first set up the networking manually. In the following example we will assume the following addresses and their purpose:
IP Address -
Default Gateway -
DNS server -

In order to set these up we will run the following commands:
root@bt:~# ifconfig eth0
root@bt:~# route add default gw
root@bt:~# echo nameserver > /etc/resolv.conf

Getting a static IP to stick between reboots

These settings however will only last until you reboot, so if we want to save them between reboots we need to edit the /etc/network/interfaces file like this:
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Edit the file as appropriate, then have the network come up automatically at boot time:

root@bt:~# update-rc.d networking defaults
root@bt:~# /etc/init.d/networking restart

Getting an IP from DHCP

In order to get an IP from a DHCP server we can issue the dhclient <interface> command as follows:
root@bt:~# dhclient eth0
Internet Systems Consortium DHCP Client V3.1.1
Copyright 2004-2008 Internet Systems Consortium.
All rights reserved.
For info, please visit http://www.isc.org/sw/dhcp/ Listening on LPF/eth0/00:0c:29:81:74:21
Sending on LPF/eth0/00:0c:29:81:74:21
Sending on Socket/fallback
DHCPREQUEST of on eth0 to port 67
DHCPACK of from
bound to -- renewal in 37595 seconds.
Using the script to start networking
There is a script to start networking in the /etc/init.d directory which attempts to start every interface listen in /etc/network/interfaces (you can remove the ones you don’t need). To start it issue the following command:
root@bt:~# /etc/init.d/networking start

WICD Network Manager

Another way to set up your networking is using the WICD Network Manager, you can find it in the menu:
Menu > Internet > Wicd Network Manager

Changing the root password

As you know Backtrack comes with a default username and password (root/toor) it is IMPORTANT that we change that root password especially when running services such as SSH. We can change the password by issuing the passwd command:

root@bt:~# passwd Enter new UNIX password: {enter your new password here } Retype new UNIX password: {enter your new password again} passwd: password updated successfully

Starting services

BackTrack has various services such as Apache, SSH, MySQL, VNC, etc. They are all disabled by default. To start a service such as SSH, you can use the service init scripts. For example, to start the SSH service:

root@bt:~# sshd-generate # Specific to the SSH service - needed to generate SSH keys
root@bt:~# /etc/init.d/ssh start
Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server: sshd.
root@bt:~# /etc/init.d/ssh stop
Stopping OpenBSD Secure Shell server: sshd.

When using a ssh server for the first time on Backtrack you will need to generate keys:

root@bt:~# sshd-generate
To enable a service at boot time, you can use the update-rc.d command, for example, having SSH start at boot time:
root@bt:~# update-rc.d -f ssh defaults
Adding system startup for /etc/init.d/ssh ...
/etc/rc0.d/K20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh
/etc/rc1.d/K20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh
/etc/rc6.d/K20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh
/etc/rc2.d/S20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh
/etc/rc3.d/S20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh
/etc/rc4.d/S20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh
/etc/rc5.d/S20ssh -> ../init.d/ssh

Common apt commands

apt-get install <package> Downloads <package> and all of its dependencies, and installs or upgrades them.
apt-get remove [--purge] <package> Removes <package> and any packages that depend on it. --purge specifies that packages should be purged.
apt-get update Updates packages listings from the repo, should be run at least once a week.
apt-get upgrade Upgrades all currently installed packages with those updates available from the repo. should be run once a week.
apt-get dist-upgrade [-u] Similar to apt-get upgrade, except that dist-upgrade will install or remove packages to satisfy dependencies.
apt-cache search <pattern> Searches packages and descriptions for <pattern>.
apt-cache show <package> Shows the full description of <package>.
apt-cache showpkg <package> Shows a lot more detail about <package>, and its relationships to other packages.
man apt Will give you more info on these commands as well as many that are in less common usage.

Common dpkg commands

dpkg -i <package.deb> Installs a package file; one that you downloaded manually, for example.
dpkg -c <package.deb> Lists the contents of <package.deb> a .deb file.
dpkg -I <package.deb> Extracts package information from <package.deb> a .deb file.
dpkg -r <package> Removes an installed package named <package>
dpkg -P <package> Purges an installed package named <package>. The difference between remove and purge is that while remove only deletes data and executables, purge also deletes all configuration files in addition.
dpkg -L <package> Gives a listing of all the files installed by <package>. See also dpkg -c for checking the contents of a .deb file.
dpkg -s <package> Shows information on the installed package <package>. See also apt-cache show for viewing package information in the Debian archive and dpkg -I for viewing package information extracted from a .deb file.
dpkg-reconfigure <package> Reconfigures an installed package
man dpkg Will give you more info on these commands as well as many that are in less common usage.

How do I find more information on a particular command or programs usage ?

Most commands will have what is called a man page (manual page) which can be viewed by typing:
root@bt:~# man <command you want more info on>

Another very good resource on linux command usage can be found at linuxcommand.org Some programs do not have a man page, but you can usually get more information on it's usage by typing: Just the program name without any arguements.
root@bt:~# <program name> -help
root@bt:~# <program name> --help
root@bt:~# <program name> -h

Some programs use other methods, but they are usually just a variation of one of the above five commands.

Hardeep Singh

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