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Thread: BT Using Vmware

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default BT Using Vmware

    Since Im having the biggest nightmare of all trying to install backtrack on my new HDD's I was thinking about installing it under windows using Vmware, But have a few Questions first

    Will its work just like a HDD install or will it be limited in its capabilites etc
    Will scanning with nmap etc work normally

    thanks in advance for your help
    Hmmm... Whats this button do?.... OWWWWWWWW

  2. #2
    Developer balding_parrot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    You can easily adapt this method to an internal HDD install.

    There are many reasons not to go for an install in a VM machine, the biggest of which are:
    Hardware issues, like no PCMCIA support, some issues with built in cards.
    Performance, some programs don't like being run in a VM.

    There are more, but I think those are reason enough.

  3. #3
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    I haven't really looked into this much... but my first impression with running an OS in VMWare is the connection type. Might be a bit of a hassle to get your wifi card working within VMWare and not on windows itself. But I would assume there is a way to seperate the two. Maybe not. Anyone know for sure?

  4. #4
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    I've run backtrack (and auditor as well) in vmware for a long time.

    I'm not aware that VMware even attempts to virtualize your wireless hardware, and even if it did would the drivers work on top of another OS? It does pick up USB devices but I haven't tested that would work either - you'd be running linux drivers against a virtualized usb device running on Windows (or whatever).

    As far as scanning, nmap, I have found that they work fine and with decent speed. Not great speed, but good enough for most cases. My last client had about 2200 hosts, and I was able to do most scans through Vmware. Some things lagged a bit, but I booted backtrack natively for that. If you're scanning a small network, vmware is fine.

    The most important thing though is to run your vm in Bridged networking mode. NAT is not going to work - after going through vmware's software nat, your scans will not be accurate at all. This is going to require you to have more than one IP if it's a home connection. That's assuming you are scanning things externally though - if you are just setting up a private security lab and scanning other vm's, NAT is fine.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    I have BT installed on my notebook as a dual-boot, but I also am running a vmware copy ontop of my vista installation.

    Some things i have noticed from my personal experience would be....

    VMWare doesn't seem to talk directly to my network devices, using a vmware virtual network adapter system which means that although most of my network stuff functions as it should in the VM, things like monitor mode for sniffing and the like are not available to me (which might be my configuration, but I am thinking not, I haven't had the time to experiment).

    VmWare tools was kind of a pain to install, but there are loads of tutorials from different sources, one of which is here...

    also, you are stuck with 'basic' hardware, as VMWare emulates a very simple workstation so as to allow for greater compatibility with differing OSs. (Would be cool if someone figured out a way to write other virtual hardware adapters for it, so you could 'install' an NVIDIA graphics setup for testing, or other useful hardware modules).

    VMWare does make it very simply to get all of your primary hardware working, like sound, video, network and even my touchscreen, etc. This is because it's virtualizing the host OS drivers, so if Windows has a driver for it, VMWare is able to share it.

    USB support is pretty functional, I can separate certain USB devices from Windows by activating the VM screen and then plugging in the USB device while in the VM, which brings the device into the VM but keeps it segregated from the host OS (Windows). A good example of this is my USB Bluetooth dongle will NOT work in vista without a wrestling match, but I can load it into my XP VMWare machine and it works fine after I load the XP driver, because XP 'sees' the device but Vista does not.

    In addition, VMWare allows you to clone an existing machine, so you can make a single installation of XP for example, and then clone it when you need to try things out. After you are done, nuke the clone and you still have your fresh, clean Windows XP installation. Of course this works with Backtrack also, and if you plan your cloning strategy right, you can practically eliminate the need for disaster recovery. Basically Vista is mostly a host, I have very little installed on it and instead remain in my VM XP machine most of the time I am forced to use Windows. the huge exception would Fruity Loops, which i run in vista because I have issues with the sound stuff over VM, and I gotta have my FL Studio!

    I use VMWare for alot of my Windows work, and once I get BT completely functional on my notebook natively, I will most likely move to BT as my main OS and run Vista/XP in the VMWare with BT as my host. Wont that be a sweet deal.

    hope that was useful, I fully intended to post something worthwhile but admittedly I am working and partially sidetracked, so I forgot a few things I was going to bring up, if I recall them I will shoot back an addendum.

    "Linux is user-friendly. It's just very selective about who its friends are."

    "Linux users swear by their OS, and Windows users swear at their OS."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007



    I'd like to recommend The_Denv's method for "dual-boot" instead of VMware. That way Windows and Backtrack can live in peace and harmony, no usual dual-boot problems. Yeah, and it's easy and safe (Don't need to worry about mbr-problems or windows-breakdown. Takes about 10minutes (from usb)


    "Changed my life"

    Learn to live, but live to learn, eh?

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