BackTrack 5 or Kali Linux 1.0

I get many searches related to BackTrack 5 that makes me wonder if netizens responsible for those searches are aware that the distribution known as BackTrack is old news. If you didn’t and you got here by searching for “backtrack 5,” this article will direct you to the right distribution to use.

BackTrack is/was a specialty Linux distribution for security professionals. It is designed for hacking and penetration testing and is loaded with the best Free and Open Source (FOSS) hacking applications available. The last edition was BackTrack 5 R3 (the R is for Revolution).

After BackTrack 5 R3, the developers decided to retool and revamp their distribution. The result of their effort was released as Kali Linux. So the gist of this article is this: BackTrack is now known as Kali Linux, and if you came to this website searching for information about BackTrack 5 R3, Kali Linux 1.0 is the distribution you should be looking for.

So, aside from upgraded applications and a name change, what’s the real difference between BackTrack and Kali Linux?

The most important differences are these:

1. While BackTrack is based on Ubuntu Desktop and used Ubiquity as the graphical installation program, Kali Linux is based on the latest edition of Debian and uses the Debian Installer (DI).

2. The difference in the graphical installation programs is significant, because with DI comes support for LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, and full disk encryption. Those are features that you didn’t have with BackTrack’s installer.

3. Another significant difference is that because Ubuntu’s packages are not compatible with Debian packages, upgrading from BackTrack 5 R3 to Kali Linux 1.0 is not recommended. So if you have an installation of any edition of BackTrack 5, you should be prepared to switch to Kali Linux.

4. The last difference worth noting here is this: With BackTrack 5, you had a choice of two desktop environments – KDE and GNOME 2. However, with Kali Linux, you could roll your own desktop environment, aside from the default, which is GNOME 3. So, if Cinnamon, KDE, E17 is your choice, the steps for creating them are easy to follow. For example, see how to build a custom KDE image for Kali Linux.

Several article have already been published on this website about Kali Linux, which you may read here. To download the latest edition of Kali Linux, click here.

This is a screen shot from a test installation of the KDE edition of BackTrack 5.
BackTrack 5 R3 Apps

Here’s one from a test installation of Kali Linux 1.0
BackTrack 5 R3 Kali Linux

Related Posts

3 must-have extensions for Fedora 16 and other GNOME 3 installations A default installation of a distribution using GNOME 3 can be a pain to use, but thanks to available extensions, you can make your GNOME 3 installatio...
Have a Happy Holidays and give GRUB a look to match your mood Not too long ago, it was January, and in a few days, it will be another month of January. Time really does fly. But what can we do? Go with the...
Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock Ubuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to i...
How to keep your Boot EFI partition clean of old Linux bootloader folders This tutorial shows how to delete bootloader folders of Linux distributions that you have deleted from a dual-boot system. Imagine for a moment tha...
Using GNOME Boxes to create and access local virtual systems on GNOME 3.14 GNOME Boxes is a native GNOME 3 application for accessing remote machines and local virtual systems, primarily using the libvirt technology. Consider ...
PC-BSD 8 installation guide PC-BSD 8 is the latest edition of PC-BSD, a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD, with KDE as its default desktop environment. It features a graphica...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at ContainerizeThis.com

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


10 Comments

  1. I really enjoy BT Linux. I’ve been using it in a VM for a long while now. I found it odd that the last versions used Ubuntu of all things. BT: one of the most hard core Linux distros, using a Ubuntu feel (one of the most casual distros), Lol.
    Thankfully it seemed to be mostly cosmedic in nature and still remained true to the BT feel and features. Now, time to try out Kali!

    • I really enjoy BT Linux. I’ve been using it in a VM for a long while now. I found it odd that the last versions used Ubuntu of all things. BT: one of the most hard core Linux distros, using a Ubuntu feel (one of the most casual distros), Lol.

      Not hard core so much in difficulty or configuration, but more with how it’s users use it.
      Thankfully it seemed to be mostly cosmedic in nature and still remained true to the BT feel and features. Now, time to try out Kali!

  2. what about a problem sound ??

  3. Hey. So does Kali come with a simple setup and uninstaller because I was installing backtrack and I put it on my hard disk by accident can you tell me how to uninstall it from my HHD. plz 🙁

    • Well, if have another OS on the same HDD, simply log into that other OS and delete BT’s partition.

      Kali uses the same installer as Debian. As for “uninstaller,” the only way to uninstall an OS is to delete its partitions or install another OS atop it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*