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Thread: General thread on prettifying bt3f

  1. #1
    Just burned his ISO fatou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default General thread on prettifying bt3f

    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.

  2. #2
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    May 2008


    nice tut! Thx a lot, im gonna try it out

  3. #3
    Jenkem Addict imported_wyze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    Nicely written tut, which I'm sure will be appreciated for those into aesthetics... or as you say 'prettifying'
    dd if=/dev/swc666 of=/dev/wyze

  4. #4
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    thank you for your prettification tutorial fatou not only are things looking a lot nicer but everything seems to be running alot smoother as well

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    That was a good write up. I have also had my gtk apps go ugly. It happened when I tried to install liferea and it had a bunch of dependency problems. I had just installed BT3 so instead of figuring it out I just reinstalled it.

    As for "prettifying" BT3, and for those interested there is a great post on getting font rendering jazzed up a bit. I believe that in the post it is similar to Clear type in Windows. I noticed a clear difference in BT3 fonts when I upgraded the packages as well as a custom build of FF 3.0.1. The forum thread is for Slackware 12.1 but I have successfully applied it to BT3 (Slackware 12.0). Here's the link if anybody is interested.
    The first two pages are probably the most important.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I finally upgraded the programs you have mentioned in this post. You were right as I had to install glib, pango, and then gtk2 in that order. I needed the gtk2 library to compile the new truecrypt program, which depends on wxwidgets. I ran into a problem where wxwidgets gave me a compile error saying that it couldn't find the libraries for gtk2. I did a quick google search and found a way to resolve the issue. Put the following command into your terminal and the error should disappear.
    bt ~ # export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
    Unfortunately, this is only temporary until the next reboot. I'm not sure how to make this change persistent. I tried putting it into my ~/.bashrc file but that didn't work. Not sure how to make it persistent after a reboot.

    fatou: I do have one question though. I've upgraded the files and made the changes you mentioned, especially, installing gtk-qt-engine. My question is this. Can I revert back to the previous theme and/or settings and still keep the upgraded libraries? What I mean by this is that the new libraries seem to have changed the settings on my computer to where the title bar of each window is bigger, certain fonts have increased in size, and the icons in my Kmenu seem to have enlarged as well. I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear but I guess I was hoping for a quick fix or at least pointed in the right direction.

    Edit: fatou: Never mind about my question. I figured it out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    If its a hard drive install than simply edit the LD_LIBRARY_PATH in /etc/profile to reflect the change. Don't delete any thing just add the new directory to the library line.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    Thanks pureh@te. That did the trick. I wasn't planning on deleting anything as I believe there was a simple solution and yes I do have a hard drive install.
    For those interested there was a slight modification to my previous post. The command to enter into /etc/profile is:
    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib
    Not sure if this will help anybody else but at least its documented.

  9. #9
    Junior Member imported_spudgunman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    might also note that you must link some files (well I did) to get GTK to build all updated but still cant get the newest w3af to run but thanks for the list of packages that all are needed for deps.

    Im still stuck on GTK API 2.10 havent figured out how to get it rollin 2.12 yet

  10. #10
    Just burned his ISO
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    wouldn't it be faster to just removepkg and install new versions of glib, pango, and gtk?

    removepkg /var/log/packages/glib2* 
    removepkg /var/log/packages/pango* 
    removepkg /var/log/packages/gtk+2*
    wget -N -q slackware.mirror/pub/slackware/slackware-12.1/slackware/l/glib2-2.14.6-i486-4.tgz && installpkg glib2-2.14.6-i486-4.tgz 
    wget -N -q slackware.mirror/pub/slackware/slackware-12.1/slackware/l/pango-1.20.0-i486-1.tgz && installpkg pango-1.20.0-i486-1.tgz 
    wget -N -q slackware.mirror/pub/slackware/slackware-12.1/slackware/l/gtk+2-2.12.9-i486-1.tgz && installpkg gtk+2-2.12.9-i486-1.tgz
    pm me

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