This question just rolled in a few hours ago. I'm unfamiliar with BackTrack but it appears to be a highly modified Ubuntu installation which from the site's appearance - dropped most ties to Ubuntu. I know we've discussed "What distros we should allow" and seem to have agreed on the entire Ubuntu Family (Kubuntu, Edbuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Studio, etc) Those which stay close to the project.

How should Distros like BackTrack be handled?


2 Answers 2


I think if it is something we can help with no problem... If the question or problem only occurs on that distro and not at all on any of the "official" flavors, we should politely refer them to the distro in question.


BackTrack is an odd edge-case. It might be based on Ubuntu but its uses are very different.

The problems people will tend to have with it will likely fall into one of two categories:

  1. Networking hardware issues (eg: I can't set my wifi card to promiscuous mode, doesn't work, etc). These we can probably help with as the same applies to Ubuntu.

  2. Application support. These might range from acceptable answers about portscanning and nmap through to legally grey issues like WEP key cracking, and traffic sniffing.

I don't think we should explicitly turn away any BackTrack related question (just as we don't for other "less-relevant" questions) but I don't think we should advertise this.

And... When do we draw the line between security testing and hacking? Do we make the distinction? If so what's not acceptable to ask?

  • 1
    We send other non-official derivatives, etc. to unix.se, why not this one too? Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 23:21

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