Having tried the VMs, and and also installed the 32bit KDE version on one of my laptops (both of which were very straight forward) I thought I would bite-the-bullet, backup the data from my main research system, blow it away, and install Backtrack Linux 5 on that as well.
Unfortunately I ran into a few issues, with installation drives, and graphics drivers.
So here are some notes on solutions (more for me to remember than anything, but may be helpful to someone else?)
There seems to be something odd about the partitioning and boot-loader installation in Backtrack 5. I have multiple drives, one of which is a striped-pair. It didn't seem to be writing the boot-loader to the correct drive. Not sure why, but to work around this, I popped out the cables for my RAID array disks, and installed on the single 500GB OS disk (with no other live disks in the chassis at the time) and that seemed to resolve it.
I have an on-board Nvidia card, which I know has produced some issues before, with my Backtrack 4 R2 install. No surprise, I needed to do some extra fiddling again to get this to work.
After the install, "startx" was crashing-out with various errors telling me that there were no suitable devices for X to run on.
(This was despite the fact that graphics drivers on the live DVD were working fine)
The solution to this was to use a proprietary Nvidia driver-installation script. This also requires the kernel-sources to be downloaded and unpacked as follows:
(If you need to do this, go and make a cup of tea while this downloads and unpacks)
cp -rf include/generated/* include/linux/
However, the configuration script I had previously used with Backtrack 4 R2 (NVIDIA-Linux-x86-195.36.24-pkg1.sh) did not work, but luckily a more recent script did (NVIDIA-Linux-x86-270.41.19.run).
(I hadn't been able to get that one working with Backtrack 4 R2)
I then ran the Nvidia driver install as follows, and bingo, it worked:
You can get the latest drivers from here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html
Setting up the rest of my lab
The VMWare-player install went seemlessly (just using the "VMware-Player-3.1.4-385536.i386.bundle" script file from the VMware website) and I have copied on my archived virtual-victim-lab.
So now I have a working online Backtrack 5. Hurrah!
Here are a few extras I have installed:
apt-get -y install gns3 openoffice.org tftp vlc gimp vsftpd xchat kcalc mplayer kate okular uml-utilities ktorrent k3b kmag ksnapshot
Now it's just a question of getting used to KDE 4.5 (which seems quite different to KDE 3.x).
There seem to be some other things that I am used to seeing on Backtrack 4, that are either not there, or have changed significantly, I guess I will figure those out my immersing myself with some exploit development over the next few days.
Anyway, time for some pwnage...