BackTrack is the most top rated linux live distribution focused on penetration testing. With no installation whatsoever, the analysis platform is started directly from the CD-Rom and is fully accessible within minutes.
To know more about BackTrack, click here.
The latest version of BackTrack (BackTrack 4) does away with a simple build that is only good for the next six months (you could never really update the build completely). It now uses Ubuntu (8.10 Intrepid) as a base so that application and updates are easily available and updated.
As much as I like BackTrack which uses KDE, I am a GNOME person. Instead of using the BackTrack build, I wanted to use Ubuntu, yet leveraging on the vast amount of tools that BackTrack offers. To do that, you must add the following into your /etc/apt/sources.list file:
deb http://repo.offensive-security.com/dist/bt4 binary/
Before you can start using the BackTrack repository, you will need to install the GPG key so that the APT tool does not give you an error message saying the repository has no public key. To do that:
sudo apt-key add public.gpg
You can then issue the apt-get update command and download the list of application that the repository hosts and use the Synaptic Package Manager to view what is available and install the applications that you want.
Note, you should only do this on Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid as all the work the BackTrack team does is using this version of Ubuntu. I am assuming you are well versed in the ways of Ubuntu and know when you need to use root access to do some of the actions stated in this article.