2. To change your keyboard layout I think you can just edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file.
In text mode. Type nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf - Hit enter
Use the up and down arrows to find the section that says something like this:
Edit or add this line if it doesn't exist before where it says EndSection:
Option "XkbLayout" "fr"
Press Ctrl+X and type Y to save. Press enter to save as /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Hope that helps
There's also a French Backtrack support forum if you're interested.