Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Using BackTrack 4 applications on a Ubuntu (8.10 Intrepid) build...

There is a security tools distro called BackTrack which in it's own words:

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 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.


  1. thx man just what i was looking for u helped me lots man thx :)

  2. good stuff made it easy but i get the public key error when updating

  3. Hi matt66,

    The second part of my post about getting the PGP should resolve your public key error. What errors are you getting, can you elaborate?

  4. Hi there man, i did get the keys from the server but then again it still says has the GPG error. Is it only works in ubuntu 8.10? I'm currently running the latest ubunty jaunty.. please help

  5. I am getting the key error as well after adding the key

  6. Hi ajack, I have the same problem. i.e. a Gnome person who does want to use rich backtrack features, but on ubuntu 9.10. I used your trick but got this errot at the end:

    W: GPG error: karmic Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY EF4186FE247510BE
    W: Failed to fetch Could not connect to (, connection timed out

    W: Failed to fetch Unable to connect to http:

    W: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

    Your help is much appreciated

  7. @Proksis:

    I strongly suggest you install the BackTrack applications on Ubuntu 8.10 only. There may be libraries and other dependencies which may break your OS or application.

  8. Due to the fact that intrepid does nto support my wireless card, let alone my ethernet card, I cant use it.
    the only linux I found that I can use, that sees my two cards is either backtrack 4 or Ubuntu 10.04. I would prefer to use ubuntu with the tools installed. I have tried installing the ubuntu software into backtrack and what happesns is that everything is removed. Any ideas how to correct this? Or how to install into Lucid Lynx?

  9. @Kith:

    Like I said in my post, this is only for Ubuntu 8.10. My recommendation would be that you use BackTrack 4 instead of trying to run the BT4 tools on Ubuntu 10.04.

  10. I get the error saying that the connection has timed out .
    The Error ---

    W: Failed to fetch Could not connect to ( - connect (110: Connection timed out)

    W: Failed to fetch Unable to connect to

    W: Failed to fetch Unable to connect to

  11. Launch root Bash shell: sudo bash
    Add BackTrack repository to your apt-get sources.list file: echo deb pwnsauce main microverse macroverse restricted universe multiverse >> /etc/apt/sources.list

    Import the Backtrack PGP key and update your sources: wget && sudo apt-key add backtrack.gpg && sudo aptitude update

  12. was old bactrack repository.
    the new repository is located at

  13. i got the folowing error

    E: Dynamic MMap ran out of room. Please increase the size of APT::Cache-Limit. Current value: 25165824. (man 5 apt.conf)
    E: Error occurred while processing liblablgtkmathview-ocaml-dev (NewVersion1)
    E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.offensive-security.com_dists_pwnsauce_universe_binary-i386_Packages
    W: Unable to munmap
    E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.