You first need to download BackTrack’s VMWare Image for the final available release from the following link:

At the time of writing this post the final release is BackTrack 4 so the download gave me the following zip file:

Now we should do the following:

  1. First unzip the file. The result is a folder called: BackTrack4-Final

  2. Move BackTrack4-Final and its contents to the Virtual Machines folder created for you by VMware when you first installed it. Under Windows 7 it is located at:
    C:\Users\{Your User Name}\Documents\Virtual Machines

  3. Run VMware Workstation

  4. From the menu bar, select File –> Open and navigate to the BackTrack4-Final folder. Inside the folder you should find: BackTrack4-Final.vmx. Open it.

  5. Now that the image is loaded into your VMware Desktop, click: Power on this virtual machine.

  6. Most likely, you will get the following dialog:

    “This virtual machine may have been moved or copied.

    In order to configure certain management and networking features, VMware Workstation needs to know if you moved this virtual machine or if you copied it.”

    Choose I copied it and proceed.

  7. If everything goes well, and it should, BackTrack will ask you to log in. The username will be root and the password is toor.

  8. Once logged in as a root, type startx to run the graphical interface.

  9. The internet/network is not connected by default in BackTrack, to start it run the Konsole and enter the start-network command.

  10. If that did not work, open Wicd manager (K menu –> Internet –> Wicd manager) and click Connect. The status bar should show something like:

    Connected to wired network (IP:

If you get that, it means you connected BackTrack to the network successfully! Well done

At the end, make sure you have the latest kernel sources by running the following commands:

apt-get update
apt-get install linux-source
cd /usr/src
tar jxpf linux-source-{version}.tar.bz2
ln -s linux-source-{version} linux
cd linux
zcat /proc/config.gz > .config
make scripts
make prepare

18 Responses to “Install BackTrack in VMware Workstation”

  • Thanks for the tutorial

    I would like to change my resolution into 1366 x 768

    but in the vmware bt4, the highest resolution in 1024 x 767

    i also, i cannot find x11 in etc folder…

    Any help on how to change the resolution in vmware ? thanks!

  • Rey:

    I have the exact same problem as Marcelo.. How can i change the resolution?

    Thanks foo the above steps.

    • awi216:

      U have to update the vmware tools, then u can have access to configure your screen resolution beyond 1024

  • MDR:

    Hi everyone!
    I’m new to linux and I just tried to update BT4 linux vmware image with tips from this site

    root@bt:~# start-network
    Starting Network connection manager: wicd.
    root@bt:~# apt-get update

    Fetched 6409kB in 22s (288kB/s)
    Reading package lists… Done
    root@bt:~# apt-get install linux-source
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    The following extra packages will be installed:
    Suggested packages:
    The following NEW packages will be installed:
    The following packages will be upgraded:
    1 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 77 not upgraded.
    Need to get 71.4MB of archives.
    After this operation, 70.9MB of additional disk space will be used.
    Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y

    Setting up linux-source (3.2-bt0) …
    root@bt:~#cd /usr/src
    root@bt:/usr/src# tar jxpf linux-source-2.6.34.tar.bz2
    root@bt:/usr/src# cd linux
    root@bt:/usr/src/linux# zcat /proc/config.gz > .config
    root@bt:/usr/src/linux# make scripts
    scripts/kconfig/conf -s arch/x86/Kconfig
    root@bt:/usr/src/linux# make prepare
    CHK include/linux/version.h
    CHK include/linux/utsrelease.h
    SYMLINK include/asm -> include/asm-x86
    CALL scripts/
    root@bt:/usr/src/linux# reboot

    root@bt:~# uname -r

    I would like to know if it’s normal that it didn’t update kernel to 2.6.34 ?

  • Sasa:

    This is video i like : Run BackTrack 4 with VMWare Player (FREE)

    And best of, this is FREE VMware player, you can download from link you will find on YouTube.

  • iwanttosaythanks:

    i want to thank you for this very useful tutorial.

  • Munis:

    Thanks a lot I have got the solution and its working. I want to say to all of you that its a very easy and simple process so got it to use it nice.

  • ali:

    after the executing the given commands..will bt4 be automatically installed or still you have to install them manually..?

  • jojo:

    thanks the tutorial is work…

  • Harshit:

    Thanks for such a well written tutorial…Worked perfectly!!

  • […] the .7z file that it downloads, but apart from that you should be able to follow the tutorial as on this site which I shall copy here for […]


  • Shan:

    Bro, i cant install BT in my windows, when i open the image, it take a bit time to load, vmware shows up.. But after that everything stops+vanishes.. What do i do?? Please help..

  • John:

    were from i will download vmware help plxx

  • how to install backtrack vmware in oracle virtual box guide me through this

  • Danesh:

    Hello.I have this problem:
    Invalid configuration file. File “C:\Users\danesh\Documents\Virtual Machines\BT5R3-GNOME-VM-32\BT5R3-GNOME-VM-32.vmx” was created by a VMware product with more features than this version of VMware Workstation and cannot be used with this version of VMware Workstation.
    Cannot open configuration file C:\Users\danesh\Documents\Virtual Machines\BT5R3-GNOME-VM-32\BT5R3-GNOME-VM-32.vmx.
    What should i do ,please help me .

  • marco:

    hei i was wonde ring if did like you did would i get wireless network without a usb adapter and if not do you now how to get wireless nettwork without a usb adapter or card

    • INVALID:

      Only USB dongle as you have already read about it as i have :( Bridged connection using WLAN adapter (with previous host OS authentication to known WiFi network and known WEP/WPA/WPA2 key) and Loopback Interface only gives you network/WAN access not wi-fi networks listed in VMWare/BT5 or anything similar you need!

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