Windows 7 Dual-Boot BackTrack 5 Boot Menu

BackTrack Linux is now known as Kali Linux. You may read all Kali Linux articles and tutorial at http://linuxbsdos.com/category/kali-linux.

BackTrack is a Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu, designed for hackers and/or security professionals, and loaded with the best Free Software and Open Source penetration testing applications available.

The latest edition is BackTrack 5 R2 (the “R” is for Revolution), and the most recent article about it published on this website, before the publication of this one, is Install BackTrack 5 Revolution 2 on external hard drive.

In this article, the steps required to dual-boot the KDE edition with Windows 7 (there is also a GNOME edition), are presented. To begin, download an installation image from here. Burn it to a DVD, then place the DVD in your computer’s optical drive and reboot. The system will boot into a console and you will see a prompt just like the one in the image below. To boot into a Live KDE desktop, type startx and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
BackTrack 5 R2 Startx

Once in the Live desktop, click on the Install BackTrack icon on the desktop. And when the installer launches, click through the first few steps until you get to the one shown below, It is the fourth of eight steps of the installation process. Notice that you have four disk partitioning options. How you want to set up the dual-boot system will determine which one you select.

Since the objective is to set up a dual-boot system, you obviously do not want to choose the second option (Erase and use entire disk). Select the first option if all the space on the disk is taken up by Windows and you want the installer to shrink Windows and install BackTrack. Select option 3 (Use the largest continuous free space) only if there is unpartitioned space on the target disk and you want the installer to auto-partition the space. Use the fourth option (Specify partitions manually (advanced)) if you want to create a custom set of partitions. This assumes that you have some knowledge of disk partitioning in Linux. If you do not, and want to go this route, you might want to read guide to disks and disk partitions in Linux and tips for dual-booting Windows and Linux.
Just to show how this can be done manually, the last option is selected for this tutorial.
BackTrack 5 R2 Disk Partitioning Options

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And it just so happens that the target disk has some unpartitioned space. So the next step is to select it and click the Add button. By default, the BackTrack 5 installer creates just two partitions – one for the root partition, and the other for Swap. For a distribution of this sort, that is likely all you need, unless you want to add an NTFS partition at the end for whatever reason you can think of. For this tutorial, just two partitions will be created.
BackTrack 5 R2 Advanced Partitioning Tool

This is the partition setup window. Since there are two existing partitions (the Windows 7 partitions), the installer will attempt to create the BackTrack partitions as logical partitions, which is just fine. BackTrack, like any Linux distribution, can boot from a logical or primary partition. If you are confused about “primary” and “logical,” take a few minutes to read guide to disks and disk partitions in Linux.

What you need to do at this step, is specify the amount of disk space you want to use for BackTrack 5, then select the file system from the “Use as” dropdown menu (the default is ext4). Finally, select the mount point from the “Mount point” dropdown menu.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Partition

This is what the same step looks like after the right values have been specified. Click OK to return to the main window.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Root Partition

For the next partition, which should be for Swap, select “swap area” from the “Use as” menu and specify the amount of disk space you want. OK.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Swap Partition

Back to the main window, click Forward to move to the next step.
BackTrack 5 R2 Create Partition Cmpleted

On the next step, shown here, the installer gives a summary of what it will do, based on the selections you made. And this is also where you specify where you want the installer to install GRUB, the boot loader. By default, GRUB, the GRand Unified Bootloader, is installed in the Master Boot Record (MBR). In setting up a dual-boot system with Windows, installing it there will overwrite the Windows boot loader, which could cause major headaches for you when you reinstall or upgrade Windows, or install certain anti-virus programs. The recommended option is to install GRUB in the root partition of BackTrack, which in this case, is /dev/sda5. So, to change where GRUB should be installed, click Advanced.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install Summary

That should land you here. You can see that /dev/sda is the “Device for boot loader installation.” That is just another way of saying that GRUB will be installed in the MBR.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install GRUB MBR

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For this tutorial, you want to change it to /dev/sda5. OK.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install GRUB Root Partition

Back to the installer summary window, click Install to continue with the rest of the installation.
BackTrack 5 R2 Install

After installation has completed successfully, reboot the computer. It will boot into Windows, which is expected. The next task is to add an entry for BackTrack 5 to Windows 7’s boot menu. To do that, you need another application. The easiest to use that I have found is a free-for-personal-use software from NeoSmart Technologies called EasyBCD. You may download it from here. After download, install it in the same way that you would install any other Windows application.

After installation, launch it. EasyBCD’s main window is shown below. To add an entry for BackTrack 5, click Add New Entry.
Windows Boot Menu EasyBCD

Now, you are here. Click on the Linux/BSD tab. Select GRUB 2 from the “Type” dropdown menu, then modify the “Name” field to reflect the name of the distribution. Click on the Add Entry button, then on the Edit Boot Menu tab to see the result. GRUB 2 is the version of GRUB used by BackTrack 5.
BackTrack 5 R2 Add Windows Boot Menu EasyBCD

This is what the result should be. Exit EasyBCD, then restart the computer.
BackTrack 5 R2 Windows Boot Menu EasyBCD

You should now see a boot menu that looks just like this one. Boot into both operating systems one after the other to verify that everything is alright. Happy hacking.
Windows 7 Dual-Boot BackTrack 5 Boot Menu

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18 Responses

  1. Also ran into the broken support for crypted disks when trying to install Gnome Ubuntu 14.04 next to Windows. Having to type my high entropy disk crypto passwords multiple times is not an acceptable option to me.

    So I used the steps below to get all my partitions into a single crypto container.

    —-

    Follow guide upto the point where you created 1 encrypted volume.
    Then push the back button to leave the partitioning tool.
    Goto the shell ([ctrl]+[alt]+F1) and execute the following commands

    Create LVM volume groups:
    # sudo -s
    # vgcreate gnome /dev/disk/by-id/dm-name-sda5_crypt
    # lvcreate -L 2G -n swap gnome
    # lvcreate -L 20G -n root gnome
    (next command assigns remaining space to home partition)
    # lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n home gnome
    # lvs

    Switch back to the installer([ctrl]+[alt]+F7)
    select “something else” again and “continue”.
    Once the tool is done rescanning you should now see the new devices(if not go back and forth again).

    Reconfigure the /boot partition as done earlier.
    Continue with the guide/installation, upto the point it asks for a reboot.

    DON’t reboot yet.

    Switch back to the console.

    Create crypttab:
    # blkid /dev/sda5
    # echo ‘sda5_crypt UUID=(uuid from prev cmd without quotes) none luks’ > /target/etc/crypttab

    Regenerate initramfs and grub config
    # mount -t proc proc /target/proc/
    # mount –rbind /sys sys/
    # mount –rbind /dev /target/dev/
    # chroot /target
    # update-initramfs -u
    # update-grub2
    # exit

    Now reboot, and you should be able to boot into you’re newly installed Ubuntu.
    (note: if booting hangs with a black screen, press [esc])

    1. Hey

      when i type: vgcreate gnome /dev/disk/by-id/dm-name-sda5_crypt i get an error.
      The error is: please enter a physical volume path.
      I need to encrypt my whole computer (dualboot win+ubuntu) and dont want to type in my encryption password for ubuntu 2 or 3 times…
      I use ubuntu mate 14.10
      I hope its possible with ubuntu mate.
      I cant find an article about it.
      Thanks!

      1. Have you verified that sda5_crypt is the device name of your unlocked crypto container?
        # dmsetup table
        sda5_crypt: 0 512989948 crypt aes-xts-plain64 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0 8:5 4096

        The steps above are written for my setup. Other setups(eg. Distro/Distro version/partition setup) might use other names and numbers. I’m sure that with the man pages and some googleing you will figure out how to get this working for your setup.

        1. Thanks!

          Now its working. But now i have another problem…
          The command: mount –rbind /sys sys/ gets an error.
          The error is: mount: mount point sys/ does not exist.
          I hope you can help me with this problem too.
          Sorry for the questions. 🙂

          1. The solution might be something as simple as creating the directory yourself. If /target exists, try creating /sys under it with:

            mkdir /target/sys

            Then retry the original mount command. Just a guess, but nothing breaks if it doesn’t work.

    2. Thank you David – your instruction helped me to properly encrypt my disk with three partitions! Linux Lite 3.4.

  2. thank you for this post!
    just to make the boot faster, is there a way to type the encryption password just once? (even for the prize of having the same password for all separate partitions)
    thanks!

    1. support for good LVM and disk encryption setup in the current installer is not that good, so, no, that’s not possible at this time.

      Note that in this situation, having the same password for all partitions is ok.

  3. These steps no longer work under 14.04. I’ll list some details below. Can you provide any guidance on how to do a similar setup with 14.04?

    Details:
    I’ve been building similar test systems under 13.10 for months now, and they have all booted sucessfully. However, with 14.04 I’ve found that none of the systems will boot. I’ve built the systems the exact way I have before (identical to these instructions). When booting, I never get as far as being prompted for a pass-phrase. I get the initramfs prompt after the boot sequence times out. One thing I’ve noticed, is that dm_crypt is missing under the module list that I pull from initramfs.

    1. I just installed 2 systems using the same instructions, minus the /home partition. Both booted successfully. One is in a virtual environment (250 GB storage) and the other is on real hardware (320 HDD). Will publish a tutorial using screenshots from one of them in a few hours.

  4. Thanks for this – surely someone cleverer than I could describe how to use initramfs (or similar) so that the passphrase only has to be entered once?

    1. But Swap also has to be encrypted. Otherwise you are not really getting full disk encryption.

      I don’t even consider that a bug. That’s the installer just telling you to encrypt the Swap partition.

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