Part 1 of 3:
Intro: This is a Tutorial on how to install Backtrack 3 (Linux) on Windows XP so you will
be able to run both Windows and Backtrack 3 (Linux) at the same time without rebooting.
It is written "skiny" so you can read it on one side of the screen and install Backtrack 3 in
VirtualBox on the other side of the screen.
The text "hxxp://." means to use http and add "www" .
In this Tutorial we will be using the free virtualization tool VirtualBox. If you have ever
used VMWare then the procedure is similar but there are a few more steps (and the
ability to directly access your hardware (ONLY if you have a NEW computer that supports
either VT-x or AMD-V)).
I have Backtrack 3 working perfectly and can boot from my harddrive, your results may be
better (or worse) depending on: your computer, your "Wireless Network Adapter" driver,
your choice of "Wireless Network Adapter" card and your abilities in general.
It is also possible to use VirtualBox the other way around, to install Windows on Linux.
You can have Linux directly access your hardware and use the virtualization to run Debian,
Windows XP, and Backtrack 3 (Slackware Linux) all at the same time. If you run VirtualBox
under Debian GNU/Linux and use VirtualBox to virtualize both Windows XP and Backtrack 3
then you won't have to worry about not getting direct access to your hardware and all of
Backtrack 3's programs should work correctly.
Running Backtrack 3 under VirtualBox on a Windows Host means that some of Backtrack 3's
programs will not work for some people (depending on your setup) but you can use most
of the tools to analyze packets that you have already captured with OmniPeek for Windows.
One of the best features (other than the ability to run Linux and Windows at the same
time) is that booting is quick and any changes you make are sticky between boots. You
can take Snapshots of your system and restore to previous versions if you get hit with
a virus (or type the wrong command).
Please note that this is an ADVANCED tutorial so Google before you ask for help!
----- Getting the software needed for this installation -----
Go to the Remote Exploit Website and visit the download page, obtain "bt3final_usb.iso".
Description: USB Version (Extended)
Size: 784 MB
Go to the VirtualBox Website and visit the download page, obtain "VirtualBox-2.0.2-36488-Win_x86.msi".
VirtualBox 2.0.2 for Windows hosts x86
----- Installing VirtualBox 2.0.2 for Windows -----
Double click on the "VirtualBox-2.0.2-36488-Win_x86.msi" file. Reboot. Come back here.
----- Installing Backtrack 3 under VirtualBox -----
1.): Start VirtualBox and choose the "New" button.
2.): Name the Virtual Machine "Backtrack 3" and choose "Linux 2.6" for the "OS Type". Click the "Next" button.
3.): For the "Base Memory Size" choose at least 512k. I suggest 1024k if you have 3G of RAM. Click the "Next" button.
4.): On the "Virtual Hard Disk" pane click "New", click the "Next" button.
Choose the "Fixed-size Image" Radio Button, click the "Next" button.
Click the "Select Button" and choose a drive to store your Virtual Disk images.
Click on the "Create New Folder" icon and create a new directory called "Backtrack3".
Click on the newly created directory and type "Backtrack3_boot" as the "File Name", click the "Save" button.
You are back at the "Virtual Hard Disk" pane.
The "Image File Name" would now be something like: "C:\Backtrack3\Backtrack3_boot.vdi".
Leave the "Image Size" at 8GB, click the "Next" button.
Check that everything is correct, click the "Finish" button.
Wait about 2 minutes while the new "Virtual Hard Disk" is created.
Wait until you are back at the "Virtual Hard Disk" pane.
The "Boot Hard Disk (Primary Master)" would now be: "Backtrack3_boot.vdi (C:\Backtrack3)".
Click the "Next" button.
5.): You are now at the "Summary" pane. Check that everything is correct, click the "Finish" button.
6.): You will now have exited the "Wizard" and be on the "Details" tab.
7.): Click on the "CD/DVD-ROM" (Not mounted) area.
Click the "Mount CD/DVD Drive" checkbox.
Click the "ISO Image File", "Radio Button", click on the "Select Button".
In the "Virtual Disk Manager" pane click the "Add" button.
Look for your file: "bt3final_usb.iso" and click on it, choose open. Click "Select".
The "ISO Image File" would now be something like: "bt3final_usb.iso (C:\Downloads)".
8.): In the left panel of the "Settings" pane click on "General". You should be on the "Basic" tab.
9.): In the "General", "Settings", "Basic" tab you can change the "Video Memory Size" from
8MB to 120MB (120MB). If you use 120MB (120!) of memory for the "Video Memory Size" then
you should be OK. If you choose 128MB of memory then VirtualBox will crash on my machine
(but you should test it on yours). When I look at KDE's "Start", "System", "System Information",
"PCI" it says my "InnoTek VGA Compatible Controller" has only 8MB of memory, that makes
little sense since I can run 1024x768x24. If someone can get 32 bit graphics let us know.
When you get the X Window started (try the boot option "VESA KDE") there are only three video
modes available in KDE's "System", "Settings", "Hardware", "Configure Display". These are
"1024x768x16x85Hz", "800x600x16x85Hz", and, (least of all), "640x480x16x85Hz". Not great.
It is likely you will want to read Section 4.3.2 of the VirtualBox "UserManual.pdf", edit
Backtrack 3's "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" and then add this (or alter existing) section in xorg.conf:
Read Section 9.5 of the Sun xVM VirtualBox Help "Custom VESA Resolutions" if you want to
Advice about "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" was deleted, see bottom of post.
change the 'text mode' screen run this command (and modify your kernel params) (this did
not work for me but the error message gives other numbers to use):
"C:\Program Files\Sun\xVM VirtualBox\VBoxManage" setextradata VMNAME "CustomVideoMode1" "1400x1050x32"
The VESA mode IDs for custom video modes start at 0x160. In order to use the above defined
custom video mode, the following command line has be supplied to Linux (by editing your boot
command line ("TAB" key when booting):
vga = 0x200 | 0x160
vga = 864
I tried to run xorgconfig to create an updated "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" and found that the
VirtualBox Video Driver will only support certain modes while letting the X Server reinitialize
the GUI correctly. It is possible to choose amongst many video modes but unfortunately
most will confuse the X server as to what the actual screen size is and result in the
Toolbar being drawn offscreen. If you get in this situation just right-click on the Desktop
and choose "Configure Desktop", "Display" and choose screen size 1024x768@85Hz
(assuming you don't delete this setting from "/etc/X11/xorg.conf").
Revision - Fixes for ' /etc/X11/xorg.conf ' :
You could add this section to enable translucency and shadows (it may slow things down
(depending on your theme, some translucency is very slow) but allows fancier themes).
Option "Composite" "Enable"
You should add / change these sections to enable more choices of Display size.
Prior to the "Monitor section" add these lines (CHANGE the BusID line to suit your system - you
might get away with commenting it out):
Identifier "Generic Video Card"
# Monitor section
In the ' Section "Monitor" / Identifier "My Monitor" ' section try these settings:
In the ' Section "Device" ' section try this:
# Identifier "VESA Framebuffer"
Identifier "Generic Video Card"
In the ' Section "Screen" ' section try this:
Identifier "Screen 1"
# Device "VESA Framebuffer"
Device "Generic Video Card"
Monitor "My Monitor"
Now you should be able to change this subsection in the ' Section "Screen" ' section and have the
values work properly. Check this in [Start] -> System -> Settings -> Hardware -> Display .
No more "Draw ToolBar Offscreen" Bug.
# Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
Modes "1024x768" "1280x1024" "1152x864" "1400x1050" "1600x1200" "1800x1400" "800x600" "640x480"
ViewPort 0 0
I am more familiar with Debian (Lenny) than Slackware. I am able to boot Lenny in 24Bit mode
without VirtualBox's annoying messages about screen mode that occur when booting Slackware.
These changes to /etc/X11/xorg.conf work in VirtualBox on both Lenny and Slackware so they are
more specific to X11 in VirtualBox than they are to either Operating System. This is good.
I am still using the "VESA KDE" boot option.
Continued in Part 2.