Backtrack 5 – Full Disk Encryption How-to Published

by kriggins on May 14, 2011

in Uncategorized

My how-to for installing Backtrack 5 to a USB thumb drive or hard drive has been published. There are several changes from the Backtrack 4 how-to, but nothing catastrophic. I do plan to create an updated persistent install how-to also, but it will be a day or two before I can get to that.

Backtrack 5 – Bootable USB Thumb Drive with “Full” Disk Encryption

As usual, please let me know if you notice any problems or typos. You can do so by emailing me at kriggins@infosecramblings or leaving comments on the page itself.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Wood May 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Does this affect performance in any noticeable way?

I’m going to be installing BT5 on an eeepc 900 which isn’t the most powerful device but does have SSD which will help with speed


kriggins May 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Hi Robin,

While it impacts performance a little, it should be unnoticeable with an SSD drive.



Jonny May 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I have a different opinion from Robin Wood regarding the performance difference.

If your HDD has a higher throughput, then there will be more load on the CPU to do the decryption/encryption. When the drive is slow, the CPU makes a couple calculations, and the rest of the time is spent waiting on the HDD. In this case, with the CPU being slower than many, you may notice higher CPU usage during HDD access.


kriggins May 15, 2011 at 7:44 am


Very interesting. That’s a really good point. We’ll have to see what kind of experience Robin has. I don’t have an SSD here to test with.



InfoSecLoser September 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Anyone ever get any performance numbers on SSD?


sciencetor2 February 11, 2012 at 12:09 am

I have encountered either one or several issues with the install, not sure if they’re the same issue. I am installing on a 16gb Sandisk usb drive. I followed your guide to installing backtrack 5 very closely, but when it came time to install hashalot lvm2 with ‘apt-get install hashalot lvm2’ the install finished with a warning that there was an invalid line in crypttab. I ignored this and went about modifying crypttab to use the UUID. when i finished and ran ‘update-initramfs -u’ I again received the warning, this time indicating the line I had just added. I figured this was a mistake, so i finished everything and tried to boot the USB. Nothing. A black screen with not even a hint of attempting to boot anything(aside from the little white line in the top left of the screen). I verified that I had applied everything to the correct disk, so what went wrong here?


neil July 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Did you ever get around to getting persistence to work with disk encryption for BT5? I’ve been searching for a reliable guide online, I’ve only found one guide on the BT wiki which makes reference to syslinux.cfg and a persistent option in the grub menu, but I can find neither of these in the releases I’ve downloaded.


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