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BackTrack Linux

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Title: BackTrack Linux  
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BackTrack Linux

For other uses, see Backtrack.
developer Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns, Offensive Security.[1]
OS family Unix-like (based on Ubuntu)
Working state Active
Source model Open source
Latest stable release 5 R3 / August 13, 2012; 21 months ago (2012-08-13)
Supported platforms i386 (x86), AMD64 (x86-64), ARM
Kernel type Monolithic
Default user interface Bash, KDE Plasma Desktop, Fluxbox,[2][3] GNOME
License Various
Official website

BackTrack is a distribution designed by Jason Dennis based on the Ubuntu Linux distribution aimed at digital forensics and penetration testing use.[4] It was named after backtracking, a search algorithm. In March 2013, the Offensive Security team created a fork of BackTrack named Kali Linux.[5]


The BackTrack distribution originated from the merger of two formerly competing distributions which focused on penetration testing:

  • WHAX: a Slax-based Linux distribution developed by Mati Aharoni, a security consultant. Earlier versions of WHAX were called Whoppix[6] and were based on Knoppix.
  • Auditor Security Collection: a Live CD based on Knoppix developed by Max Moser which included over 300 tools organized in a user-friendly hierarchy.

The overlap with Auditor and WHAX in purpose and in their collection of tools partly led to the merger.


BackTrack provides users with easy access to a comprehensive and large collection of security-related tools ranging from port scanners to Security Audit. Support for Live CD and Live USB functionality allows users to boot BackTrack directly from portable media without requiring installation, though permanent installation to hard disk and network is also an option.

BackTrack includes many well known security tools including:

BackTrack arranges tools into 12 categories:

  • Information gathering
  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Exploitation tools
  • Privilege escalation
  • Maintaining access
  • Reverse engineering
  • RFID tools
  • Stress testing
  • Forensics
  • Reporting tools
  • Services
  • Miscellaneous


Date Release
February 5, 2006 BackTrack v.1.0 Beta
May 26, 2006 First release of Backtrack v.1.0
March 6, 2007 BackTrack 2 final released.
June 19, 2008 BackTrack 3 final released.
January 9, 2010 BackTrack 4 final release. (Linux kernel
May 8, 2010 BackTrack 4 R1 release
November 22, 2010 BackTrack 4 R2 release
May 10, 2011 BackTrack 5 release (Linux kernel 2.6.38)
August 18, 2011 BackTrack 5 R1 release (Linux kernel
March 1, 2012 BackTrack 5 R2 release (Linux kernel 3.2.6[7])
August 13, 2012 BackTrack 5 R3 release[4]
March 13, 2013 Kali 1.0 release[8]

As soon as newer versions of BackTrack are released, older versions lose their support and service from the BackTrack development team.


External links

  • -
  • Kali website -
  • BackTrack Brazilian Community -
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