BackBox is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It has been developed to perform penetration tests and security assessments. Designed to be fast, easy to use and provide a minimal yet complete desktop environment, thanks to its own software repositories, always being updated to the latest stable version of the most used and best known ethical hacking tools.
BackBox Linux Hard Disk install
Make sure that your computer is set to boot the external device containing BackBox.
- Insert the BackBox disk into your CD drive.
- Start or restart your computer.
- Select Try BackBox without installing
- Click Install BackBox Linux. The Language screen appears.
- Select your desired language and click Forward
- Select the location closest to your location and click Forward.
- Select where you want to put BackBox and click Forward.
- Enter the requested information, and click Forward. The Ready to install window appears.
- Verify that the language, layout, location, and personal information are correct and click Install. The installation wizard begins.
When the installation wizard finishes, the Installation complete window appears. Click Restart now to restart your computer.
Hot to Download BackBox Linux
Getting the ISO image
BackBox Linux can be easily downloaded from its official download page. Although both direct and torrent downloads are available, it’s usually recommended to use the latter.
Verifying the ISO image
After downloading the ISO image, a verification step is required in order to exclude any potential file corruption during the download. This verification is done calculating the sha256 digest (md5 is weak nowadays) of the downloaded file and comparing it with the sha256 value of the file in the download page. It’s as easy as opening a terminal and running:
If the string obtained from the output of the above command doesn’t match the one in the download page it indicates that the file was corrupted during the download and the download has to be performed once more.
Creating a BackBox Linux bootable device
Creating a bootable USB drive
The mininimum recommended USB stick size is 4 GB, but this may change in future.
Recognizing the USB drive and partitions Before starting
you need to recognize how your system calls the USB stick, i.e. its device
name. You may use
fdisk, log files or whichever way you prefer for this
task, you will find a device name conforming to the Linux
drive naming convention. For example /dev/sdb is a possible name
for a USB device. Partition names conform to the Linux
partition naming convention, which identifies partitions by an appended
decimal number to the device name. So, for example, /dev/sdb2 is the
second partition of the device /dev/sdb. Please, be as cautious as
possible on this step, since any data residing on the partition/device that is
going to be written will be permanently erased. So backup your
data and double check the drive you are going to write to is indeed the right
Once you have identified the device name, you can create a bootable USB drive. The next sections describe various ways to do that, sorted by decreasing simplicity.
Creating a bootable USB drive with UNetbootin
Using UNetbootin is the recommended and easiest way to create a bootable USB containing any Linux distro, including BackBox.
- Get and install UNetbootin. It runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Most Linux distributions provide a packaged version for it, which you can install using the distro package/software manager.
- Run UNetbootin, selecting in its GUI the local BackBox ISO image you already downloaded and the USB device you want to install BackBox onto. Depending on your system and configurations, you may need to run UNetbootin as superuser, otherwise you may not have the privileges required to write to the USB device. Pay extra attention to this step, since if you select the wrong device you are going to face an unwanted data loss, which is the last thing you want.
- Once it’s done, you can boot BackBox Linux.
Creating a bootable USB drive by hand
Creating a bootable USB drive using isohybrid and dd
BackBox doesn’t provide an hybrid ISO image yet (i.e. an image that can be
directly copied to an USB device using for example
dd utility), even if this is being
worked out. Meanwhile it’s possible to use Isohybrid from the
Project to create it on your own. This section covers the creation of an
hybrid ISO image using the tools just mentioned, from within a GNU/Linux
environment (although syslinux is available for Windows systems too).
This image can then be copied to a USB thumb just using the
Note that in this procedure there is no need to previously create partitions or format them, unless you are going to do a customized install (that we assume you are able to deal with by yourself). You will just need the USB device name.
on your distribution, you may need to get the right tools in different ways.
The important thing is obtaining
syslinuxutilities. Please do a quick query of your distribution packages database to know what to install.
- On Debian, for example, it’s enough to install syslinux and syslinux-utils packages. Debian derivatives like Ubuntu or Mint may have the same or similar packages.
that you have downloaded the right tools, create a backup copy of the BackBox
ISO image, since
isohybridwill inject a MBR and the bootloader code/files into it, and if something goes wrong you won’t have to download the ISO again.
- Converting the ISO image to a dd’able one, should be as easy as:
o # isohybrid /path/to/BackBox/ISO/image
- For UEFI systems you may try (not tested):
# isohybrid --uefi /path/to/BackBox/ISO/image
This may also require the installation of syslinux-efi package.
- At this point the ISO image can be written to the USB stick to make it bootable:
# dd if=/path/to/BackBox/ISO/image of=/dev/<USB_device> bs=2048 && sync
Note again that you must specify the device name
and not any partition name (e.g. /dev/sdb and not /dev/sdb2).
Also note that
dd will not
output any progress information, so take a coffee and be patient while bytes
- When you see your shell prompt again without errors, the USB drive is ready to be booted.