In this post, the following stuff is explained:
  • Installing *the latest* GTK
  • Installing a user-friendly packet manager gslapt
  • Installing *the latest* compiz in a sustainable way
  • Installing a KDE pager applet that actually works with compiz
  • Making GTK apps pretty in KDE
  • Making konsole *really* transparent

* Introduction

First of all, thanks to the backtrack team for such a sexy distro and senior members of this forum for many great tutorials:
I've been using bt for a while now and have learned a lot about offensive security in process. Thanks!

Yesterday I successfully upgraded to bt3 final and had to configure a lot of unpleasant stuff once again.
Maybe this post will help somebody who has similar problems but doesn't know how / is too lazy to do anything about them.
Also it'd be great if other people shared their secrets on making bt more attractive.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I installed to HDD from cd-iso [using pureh@te's method], so don't be surprised if you already have some of the packages.

* Getting the latest GTK

First, let's get the newest GTK for apps like gslapt, pidgin and firefox to use.
This is fairly simple: go to and download the stable releases from the linux/unix section,
and install them manually (first glib & pango, then gtk+) with the standard
./configure, make && make install
Note 1: you might first want to remove old versions if you have any, just type
into a shell and see if you can find them under 'remove'

Note 2: In case you are hacking as root, you might want to use
./configure --prefix=/usr
instead of plain configure (uses /usr/local by default), so that pkgconfig won't get confused later on

* Getting a friendly packet manager

This section isn't exactly about the looks, but a good packet manager for slackware,
where you have to deal with dependecies yourself, is really indispensable, especially
for a person (like myself) used to the comfort of apt. I used gslapt to get through
some of the next points aswell.My install didn't seem to have gslapt (although it had the icon in the menu), so I had to get it.

To obtain it, go to, get slapt-get and gslapt packages (note that bt3f is 12.1)
and install them from konsole with
(first slapt-get, then gslapt)

* Getting the latest compiz

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you have the video card drivers installed and xorg.conf configured properly:
I had a nvidia card, installing a driver for one is nicely explained by ShadowKill here in the forums.

Installing compiz from the lzm wasn't too pretty though. Getting compiz
with gslapt ensures that we have the latest version & it's easy to update in the future.

Installing compiz on bt can be done in the same way that is done for any slackware distro:

First, get some good repos (in gslapt, open edit -> preferences -> sources, and add):
If you don't like these, you can search google for some on your own.

Then in slapt-get, search for the following packages and make sure they are installed
(in the correct order):
pygobject, pycairo, pygtk,sexy-python, pyrex, libwnck
Then search for compiz and install: (see notes for errors)
fusion-icon (in case you'd like a compiz-config tray icon)
Try starting compiz (I used the tray icon). See notes for errors

Note 1: When installing compiz packages, some dependency errors might occur,
intltool and glibc-solibs were mentioned in my case. That seems to be okay though

Note 2: If anything goes wrong when starting compiz - titlebars dissapear etc, disable it and try just writing
compiz --replace
to the konsole, it will usually give you an error message to google for. If it says some plugin
can't be started, it means you have version mismatches, and you have to reinstall plugin packages in gslapt. (make sure the versions of all compiz packages are the same)

* Fixing the KDE pager

If you are using multiple virtual desktops with compiz, then the default KDE pager widget on the taskbar
gets big and ugly. Remove it from the panel (right click, remove from panel->applet->desktop preview&pager) and get a new pager:
Build and install from source (follow the instructions in the INSTALL) and add to panel
(right click, add applet to panel->desktop preview & pager - compiz)

* Fixing GTK apps gone ugly

Somewhere during the previous steps my gtk apps started looking like tcl/tk and that was nasty.
If yours did that too, then get
from slapt-get, open KMenu -> system -> settings -> appearance and themes -> gtk styles and fonts
and change the GTK style to QT.

* Making konsole *really* transparent

In KDE you have a special flag for starting konsole with transparency:
konsole --real-transparency
You could probably add some symlinks to /bin, but out of laziness I was happy with the following:
Next to the KMEnu, right click on the console shortcut, configure Konsole button -> Application,
and add --real-transparency to the command.
Also use your favourite editor to add --real-transparency to Exec in
Phew, that's it for now.