I have come across a non-conventional way to fix some of the GPU issues you might be experiencing with the new Kernel. The specific issue that I was facing was that my resolution was stuck at 1024x600 even though I had a native resolution of 1366x768. As well, my function keys for controlling the brightness did not work either. I am not sure if this affects any GPUs aside from Intel; however I have provided generic instructions for all.

Regarding the files you will need to incorporate this fix, I don't want to host these myself, however if you follow the instructions, grabbing them will be simple enuf.

Balding_parrot, thank you for having some patience with this matter, I know I irked the heck out of ya in IRC that day, but I do believe the payoff was worth it in the end.

I am not the biggest fan of using sources on back|track other than the approved ones via the default /etc/apt/sources.list, so I have tried to isolate and mitigate the dangers of doing so via some of the steps I have taken below. Hopefully this thread takes off and eventually these specific changes are incorporated into a future patch and hosted on the local Back|Track repos.

  • Alienware M11xR3
  • BT5r2 Gnome 64-bit
  • i915 Intel integrated GPU
  • Nvidia GT540M GPU (Optimus-Style Switching)

  1. Load a virgin copy of R2 onto a USB drive and boot it.
  2. Code:
    apt-get update && apt-get -y dist-upgrade && apt-get -y install python-software-repositories
  3. Code:
    apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
  4. Code:
    apt-get update && apt-get -y dist-upgrade
  5. Code:
    mkdir /var/cache/apt/archives/foo && cd /var/cache/apt/archives && mv *.deb foo/
  6. Code:
    tar -cf foo.tar foo/ && gzip -9 foo.tar
  7. Save a copy of foo.tar.gz somewhere safe and do
  8. Boot into your working copy of Back|Track (The one you wish to implement these changes to)
  9. Go ahead and drop foo.tar.gz into ~
  10. Code:
    tar xfz foo.tar.gz

A quick pause is needed here to explain the next couple of steps. I chased and chased my tail on the next steps for a good 8 hours last Saturday. When I performed the ppa addition and did an apt-get dist-upgrade it fixed the system, but it also added a lot of junk that I didn't need to my system, as well as the potential for security loopholes, such that I was adding files to the system from people I don't know too much about other than what is on their website. That being said, I have done the hard part for you and narrowed down the exact packages you need to correct the Intel GPU issues.

For users of non-Intel GPUs, the only way to test this fix out is to do this on your installed version of Back|Track as the following steps require installation of .debs and for the changes to be incorporated, they require a reboot, and therefore the liveUSB version of Back|Track will not track those changes; granted, persistence mode might work, it might not. When I performed this hack I was using an installed version of Back|Track as my testbed. If the apt-get dist upgrade option works properly for you and you would like some help narrowing down only the needed packages, shoot me a message or respond on this thread and I will guide you as best as possible. If you would like to try this method, follow the above steps to avoid adding a PPA to your installed system, decompress foo.tar.gz and dpkg -i *.deb a couple times until all packages have been installed without the needed packages flag getting thrown.

Okay, time to fix your Intel issues, here we go.

The upcoming directions will break the files you grabbed into three categories:
  • GPU .debs
  • Input .debs
  • Extra Needed .debs

  1. Grab the following files from foo and move them into their own directory, name it gpu
  2. Grab these files from foo and move them to a directory called input
  3. Lastly, grab these files from foo and move them to a directory called extraz
    Save the rest of the files until the final reboot, as my system might be a tad bit different from yours. Regarding all this, I have listed what works for me; however if you view the contents of foo after the movement of the above listed files, you will find that you have left behind files such as
    Since it was the intel-gpu-tools .deb, it is probably needed, however my system has not thrown any errors at me, so I decided against installing it.
  4. Perform the following:
    dpkg -i gpu/*.deb; dpkg -i input/*.deb; dpkg -i extraz/*.deb
    Note --> repeat the dpkg -i process until no required flags are thrown at you.
  5. Once you have successfully installed all the .debs listed in the gpu, input and extraz go ahead and reboot your system. Prior to the system bootloading, go ahead and modify your grub line where it says something like: ro splash etc... and insert i915.modeset=1 after ro and before splash. Here is an example of that specific line for my grub.cfg:
    ro text i915.modeset=1
    If you notice above I mentioned two different ways of loading the i915.modeset=1 flag. I contradicted myself specifically to make this point. On an installed system, it didn't seem to matter where the i915.modeset=1 flag is placed. When I was experimenting with LiveUSB options via unetbootin it did matter; for the unetbootin option I modified the bootloading sequence to say:
    ro i915.modeset=1 text
    I am not sure as to why unetbootin has to be all difficult and such, but just know that if you choose to modify your ISOs with the above mentioned fixes and you wish to see those changes via a method such as unetbootin, make sure you load i915.modeset=1 after ro and before anything else.

If you had NO idea that you could modify an iso, or just weren't quite sure how to do it; I have just the tool for you over at Back|Track ISO mod'ing