Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Backtrack 5 R1 - Some things fixed, some things broken + workarounds

Sometimes installing the latest releases is a good thing. You get to learn lots of new technology, and improve your understanding and troubleshooting skills at the same time.

However, there is a cost in time, tweaking and fixing things, and learning new ways to do the same things you used to do. Today Backtrack 5 R1 is only 3 days after release, so there are bound to be some issues.

Pluses and minuses

Some things seem to work a lot better (for example I had none of my usual issues with graphics drivers, that I often get during a Backtrack install)

However, some tools that were previously working fine seem to be broken (at least on the BT5 R1 KDE 64-bit version that I am currently looking at).

Problems I have seen so far (and workarounds/fixes):

Wireshark not working

Wireshark won't run - I got the following error:

wireshark: error while loading shared libraries: libwsutil.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or director

The Backtrack development team are aware of this, and currently in the process of developing a fix.

Fix = Rebuild wireshark from source

Workaround = Copy the following files, which fixes the problem:

cp /usr/local/lib/libwsutil.so.1 /usr/lib/libwsutil.so.0
cp /usr/local/lib/libwiretap.so.1 /usr/lib/libwiretap.so.0

Nessus is missing

Fix = Follow the instructions to download and install it here:


VMware Player not working

VMware Player will install, but not compile and run - with the following errors in "/tmp/vmware-root/setup-*.log":

Failed to compile module vmmon

This is pretty essential for my home lab - probably more an issue that VMware need to fix, to make VMware Player work with the latest Linux Kernel.

Workaround = Use Oracle VirtualBox

Download the "Ubuntu 10.04 LTS" version from here: http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads

Run the following command to install it:

dpkg -i virtualbox-4.1_4.1.2-73507~Ubuntu~lucid_amd64.deb

If you already have VMware VMs, make a copy of these, and for each - in VirtualBox, add new machines, and select the *.vmdk files when you come to add the disk.

This seems to work pretty well, and has more or less the same features as VMware Player.

(Guess which VM is the victim ;o)

Workaround2 = See comment from Anonymous below (untested at this time)

Grendel-scan not working

Grendel-scan throws the following Java exception:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: no swt-gtk-3349 or swt-gtk in swt.library.path, java.library.path or the jar file

TBD - I guess I can get along without this for a while.

Mozilla Firefox not up-to-date

Firefox is not the latest version (which could potentially be a security risk).

Fix = Run the firefox built-in updater (to upgrade to Firefox 6.x)

  • In firefox, go to Help > About
  • Click on "Check for updates"
  • Click on "Apply updates"
  • Follow the instructions (this will require a restart of firefox)
  • Follow the instructions to update the version of no-script

Installing flash player for Chrome and Firefox

Flash plugins are missing for Chrome and Firefox.

Workaround = Add the executable in the correct directories

First download the kits at the following locations:


Close both Chrome and Firefox and then do the following:

cd ~/Download
tar xvfz  flashplayer11_b2_install_lin_64_080811.tar.gz
chown root:root libflashplayer.so
chmod 0644 libflashplayer.so
cp -f libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
rm -rf libflashplayer.so

tar xvfz install_flash_player_10_linux.tar.gz
mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins
chown root:root libflashplayer.so
chmod 0644 libflashplayer.so
mv -f libflashplayer.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/

Restart the browsers and this should fix it

Crash issue

I did have an issue where I think it went into screen-save mode where the system seemed to go into a graphics-card test screen and completely lock-up (?! not sure on this one).

Not seen this since

Suspend to disk causes failure to boot

Yeah, this one is not much fun, seems persistent and I'm currently troubleshooting it... Hangs on red BT5 boot-loader screen.

Workaround = Not sure, I re-installed my system, and have not seen the issue since. Weird.

(I will add issues and workarounds as I find them in this post)


  1. actualy for VMware there's a "fix":
    $ mkdir /tmp/vmware && cd /tmp/vmware
    $ cp -R /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/ .
    $ cd /tmp/vmware/source
    $ wget http://weltall.heliohost.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/vmware2.6.39fixed.patch
    # if the link above does not work, an alternative is to wget http://kaslit.com/downloads/vmware2.6.39fixed.patch
    $ for i in ./*.tar; do tar -xf $i; done
    $ for i in ./*.tar; do mv $i $i.orginal; done
    $ patch –batch –force -p1 < vmware2.6.39fixed.patch
    $ tar cf vmblock.tar vmblock-only
    $ tar cf vmci.tar vmci-only
    $ tar cf vmmon.tar vmmon-only
    $ tar cf vmnet.tar vmnet-only
    $ tar cf vsock.tar vsock-only
    $ cp -vf *.tar /usr/lib/vmware/modules/source/

  2. Thanks for the feedback Anonymous,

    Great stuff.

    I am still going to try out VirtualBox for a bit though, and get familiar with the differences (if any).

  3. i think there is problem with radeon and vesa card..which i cant install radeon to bactrack 5r1

  4. flash plugin update doesn't work for bt5r1 gnome 64 bits

  5. http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplatformruntimes/flashplayer11/

    ---> link only goes here: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer.html

    any workaround on this???

  6. Hello,

    the problem with grendel scan is that the packaged SWT libraries are only x86 compatible. A simple workaround consists in getting the latest SWT lib from eclipse (http://download.eclipse.org/eclipse/downloads/drops/R-3.6.2-201102101200/index.php#SWT) and replace the swt libs (the content of the swt.jar file) in grendel's bin.zip. (Or unzip bin.zip and modify grendel.bat accordingly)

    Hope this helps,


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