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Thread: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

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  1. #1
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    Question BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Hello people! I'm a newcomer on the BT community.

    I'm currently using my main laptop as the host of BT, I am running Backtrack 5 R3 under Vbox. (My current laptop is a Alienware m17x R3 with all the hardware at max)
    However, I was really thinking getting a new laptop or net book and run Backtrack as a standalone OS. I want to use this for penetration testing Only, would be to test my own equipment/network (company network/home network)
    I would like to have a more secure environment and I love learning/acquiring knowledge about security matters in IT.

    I have been reading all over the web for the past week on what kind/which model of laptop/netbook to get.
    However, most are talking about Backtrack 5 r1/r2 and want to dualboot windows/BT and thus often requires different bare minimum set up.
    I want to spend as few $ as possible, will be running BT 5 r3 as a standalone OS. I will ONLY use this netbook/laptop for pen testing. (no game, no video watch/editing etc..)

    I need the netbook/laptop to be :
    Light and small (max 14 inch, not too heavy (max 2 kg? unless this is unrealistic for some reason)
    Will use Alfa usb wifi adapter so I don't need a wifi adapter that can inject or sniff integrated to the machine.
    Anything else I don't care, looking for your recommendation on what specs to use.


    NOT A SIGNATURE
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What should I go with? Netbook or Laptop(includes "ultrabook") ?
    How much RAM is enough for anything regarding pen testing (3-4 GB? or 6+ GB?)
    What kind of CPU should I be looking for ? (Intel only? I3+ or the celeron group is plenty)
    Is there any reason why I would want a better graphic card than integrated graphic?
    What kind of extra is required on the machine ? (CD ROM? Ethernet? how many USB? 2.0 or 2.0+3.0?)
    Is there any compatibility issues that I should be concerned with before purchase or any specific requirements to run all the tools of BT5?

    If I can get some information on those questions or if you have an idea of a specific model I could get, it would be great!
    My budget (ideally) would be below 300$, not sure if this is entirely possible.

    Once again, thanks for the precious help and I hope this will be of great help for people looking to buy a netbook or laptop and run BT as a standalone operating system.
    Last edited by gregrtw; 10-03-2012 at 11:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Anyone think that :
    Acer Aspire One AOD270-1806
    or
    Asus 1025C-MU17-BK

    would be sufficient?

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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Oh, also, I didn't realize that the blue was part of your post initially... I thought it was sig and didn't read it.

    For some of your questions:
    What should I go with? Netbook or Laptop(includes "ultrabook") ? Laptop. Netbooks are weak in comparison and don't last as long for a number of reasons, mostly because of heat, though.
    How much RAM is enough for anything regarding pen testing (3-4 GB? or 6+ GB?) The more the better. But 4GB+ should be good. This will max out a 32 bit copy of Backtrack, but will still perform good on 64 bit setups.
    What kind of CPU should I be looking for ? (Intel only? I3+ or the celeron group is plenty) Brand is a personal preference, but I would go with Intel. And I would not be looking at new equipment with less then i3. Again, this is only my opinion.
    Is there any reason why I would want a better graphic card than integrated graphic? Yes. Dedicated cards perform at a much better rate and extremely helpful when cracking hashes. Many programs support CUDA cracking, which has been proven to out perform most CPU's.
    What kind of extra is required on the machine ? (CD ROM? Ethernet? how many USB? 2.0 or 2.0+3.0?) Nothing is required other than maybe at least ONE USB port). But haveing a few USB and at least one USB 3.0 will serve you well. USB 3.0 is much faster, so running a live distro from a USB 3.0 flash drive will perform really well!
    Is there any compatibility issues that I should be concerned with before purchase or any specific requirements to run all the tools of BT5? This I am unsure about. A good question for the more experienced community members.

    I think that for aquality piece of epuipment, that $300 is unrealistic. Look around on the links in my previous post to see what I mean. Even at base configuration, those systems are in the range of $700-$1000. Although that is much higher than what you originally wanted, I honestly think you will be dissaponted with a laptop that costs close to your proposed budget.

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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    So should I just stay with my Alienware m17x gtx580 16 GB 1600 mhz ram and run a VM and completely avoid getting another laptop? (If so, is the gtx580 supported by drivers? and just use the USB adapter ALFA network card that I purchased?) Thanks a great deal! I was going to buy a netbook... seeing i was getting no answer haha. I'll wait for a few replies, to see if other people have an opinion or experience with netbooks etc... Thanks again!


    Quote Originally Posted by Arndtwe View Post
    Oh, also, I didn't realize that the blue was part of your post initially... I thought it was sig and didn't read it.

    For some of your questions:
    What should I go with? Netbook or Laptop(includes "ultrabook") ? Laptop. Netbooks are weak in comparison and don't last as long for a number of reasons, mostly because of heat, though.
    How much RAM is enough for anything regarding pen testing (3-4 GB? or 6+ GB?) The more the better. But 4GB+ should be good. This will max out a 32 bit copy of Backtrack, but will still perform good on 64 bit setups.
    What kind of CPU should I be looking for ? (Intel only? I3+ or the celeron group is plenty) Brand is a personal preference, but I would go with Intel. And I would not be looking at new equipment with less then i3. Again, this is only my opinion.
    Is there any reason why I would want a better graphic card than integrated graphic? Yes. Dedicated cards perform at a much better rate and extremely helpful when cracking hashes. Many programs support CUDA cracking, which has been proven to out perform most CPU's.
    What kind of extra is required on the machine ? (CD ROM? Ethernet? how many USB? 2.0 or 2.0+3.0?) Nothing is required other than maybe at least ONE USB port). But haveing a few USB and at least one USB 3.0 will serve you well. USB 3.0 is much faster, so running a live distro from a USB 3.0 flash drive will perform really well!
    Is there any compatibility issues that I should be concerned with before purchase or any specific requirements to run all the tools of BT5? This I am unsure about. A good question for the more experienced community members.

    I think that for aquality piece of epuipment, that $300 is unrealistic. Look around on the links in my previous post to see what I mean. Even at base configuration, those systems are in the range of $700-$1000. Although that is much higher than what you originally wanted, I honestly think you will be dissaponted with a laptop that costs close to your proposed budget.

  5. #5
    Just burned his ISO Arndtwe's Avatar
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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    So should I just stay with my Alienware m17x gtx580 16 GB 1600 mhz ram and run a VM and completely avoid getting another laptop? (If so, is the gtx580 supported by drivers? and just use the USB adapter ALFA network card that I purchased?) Thanks a great deal! I was going to buy a netbook... seeing i was getting no answer haha. I'll wait for a few replies, to see if other people have an opinion or experience with netbooks etc... Thanks again!
    With that setup, I do think that a VM would *probably* meet your needs as long as your wifi adapter is USB (Backtrack cannot use your internal wifi as a wifi device, it only sees it as Ethernet...). You could spend even less that the netbook and get yourself a really nice monitor to attach/dedicate to the VM. I think this would suit you well!

    My fist post with my links did not show up... so check out the links I orignally intended you to look at. Both websites sell hardware rigs (desktops/laptops/servers/tablets...) that are designed specifically for Ubuntu (Debian core, same as Backtrack...). Their products are nice looking and should be fully compatible. Something to think about for future purchasing.

    ZaReason
    System76

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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    So should I just stay with my Alienware m17x gtx580 16 GB 1600 mhz ram and run a VM and completely avoid getting another laptop? (If so, is the gtx580 supported by drivers? and just use the USB adapter ALFA network card that I purchased?) Thanks a great deal! I was going to buy a netbook... seeing i was getting no answer haha. I'll wait for a few replies, to see if other people have an opinion or experience with netbooks etc... Thanks again!
    Excellent choice on Alfa usb..Work right out of the box...
    I do not suggest the BT5 R3 64-bit distro..It has some problems..Just read some of the posts about bugs in the 64-bit distro. Sorry, I cannot post the links because I cannot place them in the forum, but they are there...Use the 32 bit version if you want to avoid some setbacks.

    Dual Boot?..Fine..Always much better than VM...

    My personal advice if I were you?....THis is my case: My laptop
    I have my laptop 17 inch 500gb HDD nvidia 256mb video card, Dual core 2.6Ghz, 4 gb ram, bought it used....Wifi?..I took out the broadcom wifi it had. Why?..I read a lot before even buying the laptop, and bought 3 mini pci-e (intel 3945, one with rtl8187L chipset, and one with atheros ath chpset 5xxx series)..All 100% aircrack compatible.
    Bought 2 Ubiquitis pcmcia-small factor with external detachable antena (both with atheros chipset series 5xxx) 100% compatible with aircrack.
    And 2 alfas : one alfa 500 and the othe the 1 watt model. Both usb and chipset rtl8187L..
    I bought all this wifi harware knowing that it was going to work . I read a lot the aircrack homepage, posts here, and many places.
    Multiboot : Win7, Win8, BT5r3, Debian testing (my favorite, first and only OS to use in a daily basis) with VM (WinXP and W7).

    I decided to buy another used laptop to use it only for auditting. A used and cheap one.
    This time it was a dell inspiron 8600, 2gb ram, 120Gb HDD, one core intel centrino, 1.8ghz processor and DVD, 32mb video card nvidia, 14 inch monitor. I do not need more to audit, that is enough. For $120 bucks.
    It works like a charm...Use BT4 r4 and BT5 r3, both 32 bit version, dual boot. I use both of the alfas when auditting..It came with an internal wifi intel wip2200.

    Very pleased with it...Runs excellent both bt4 r4 (to me the most stable BT I've used) and BT5 r3.

    Is up to you and your pocket.

    The newer the hardware the lesser support from some linux distros..So I decided not to run into problems.

    Again, is my very personal point of view..Always is up to you.

    Luck.

    Then I bought a second laptop: Dell

  7. #7
    My life is this forum Snayler's Avatar
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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    I have a computer only used for studying hacking related stuff, it was a broken laptop someone wanted to throw away and I claimed and fixed it. It's a Acer TravelMate 290 (really old) and it has 1Gb of RAM, 1.6Ghz intel processor (only one core) and 40Gb of total disk space. It's more than enough for studying and you can get a cheap laptop like that on eBay/craigslist/friends/family/etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    What should I go with? Netbook or Laptop(includes "ultrabook") ?
    Personally, I prefer laptop's. Read Arndtwe's answer to know my own opinion on the matter, as it is the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    How much RAM is enough for anything regarding pen testing (3-4 GB? or 6+ GB?)
    Like I said, my testing laptop only has 1Gb of RAM and it serves well for the programs I run.
    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    What kind of CPU should I be looking for ? (Intel only? I3+ or the celeron group is plenty)
    This is also a matter of personal taste, and IMO Intel is the way to go. As for speeds, and considering you don't want to spend much, anything above 1.6Ghz should serve well (fortunately most linux distros usually run well on slower processors, but it depends on your standard of "running well", as some things will still take some time to get done).
    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    Is there any reason why I would want a better graphic card than integrated graphic?
    Yes. GPU cracking software. But for that, and if you want to obtain nice rates, you'll need to spend some large amount of money. And it's not crucial, you can use GPU cracking with your Alienware, and the rest with the other laptop.
    Quote Originally Posted by gregrtw View Post
    Is there any compatibility issues that I should be concerned with before purchase or any specific requirements to run all the tools of BT5?
    I've read some posts complaining about SSD compability, but if you're going to buy a cheap laptop, there's no need to worry about this, I guess.

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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Thanks alot for all those answers!
    If anyone want to give their opinion I will be glad to hear it.
    For the moment will stick with my alienware, running VM an test the usb adapter extensively once I receive it, might consider buying a 14' laptop if im annoyed with carrying about 15 pound of laptop

    Anyone runs their distro from a External harddrive connected throught USB 3.0? Any opinion on that? And would the distro recognize the USB adapter(wifi)?
    Thanks once again!

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    Default Re: BT5r3 Need Info to buy the right laptop/netbook (Stand alone OS)

    Hi,
    Sorry I know this is a few months late. I've run bt R3 on a few different macs. I've ran it as my main OS on my old macbook which lasted 2 days before I reformatted it back to OSX it was just too slow. I've got bt installed on my 2012 basic line macbook air as a vm. It runs ok but not great, if I load up armitage the processor hits 100% and takes armitage a good few minutes to load. The macbook air has an i5 but of course its just the dual core not quad core i5. My main machine is a mid 2011 imac. WOW bt runs well on this beast! I've upgraded the ram in the machine from 4 to 8 GB and it runs the bt tools quickly and smoothly which is great for cracking wi fi etc etc. From what I've read so far on the web and what I've learnt from others is that running a vm is better than having bt as your main os. I've always fancied having a top notch laptop like an alien ware for pen testing etc but atm I use my imac to do all my stuff. So in reply to your question, I would run bt as a vm rather than your main os, that way if it goes wrong you can reinstall it with out having to format your computer. But if your are just playing about and getting to grips with bt and hacking and would rather have a stand alone machine for bt then I would go with Snayler view and get an old computer to play with. Hope this was in some way useful!

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