I've been using Backtrack for a while now. I was wondering if there is anything better, or on par with, that is worth looking into. Thoughts?

  • 1
    when i see pentest suites, i think of core, immunity, & metasploit... n00bz.net has a review of each from 2010 if that interests you Jul 21, 2011 at 17:45
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    What measures are you using to determine better?
    – this.josh
    Jul 22, 2011 at 0:06

4 Answers 4


First thought - what is it you need?

If it is a wide set of general purpose tools then yes, Backtrack does come with a wide set of tools, but it doesn't do everything. Other options:

  • Darknet have a top ten LiveCD distros from 2008 - some of which have since died, but is a good place to start.

  • The russix LiveCD was ideal for Wireless Penetration Testing - but I think it has been discontinued for a while.

  • Helix is a forensics and incident response toolkit. Some penetration testing functionality, but the core focus is forensics.

I use all 3 of the above plus other tools - depends on what is needed, and to be honest, having each one on a USB stick or a CD/DVD is pretty easy to carry about.

  • I would just like to add one distro which is pure forensics and IDS toolkit, but to some degree can be used in pentesting. S.M.A.R.T. linux - asrdata2.com
    – StupidOne
    Jul 21, 2011 at 18:46

If your looking to do web testing samurai has a large amount of web testing tools. However iv never got the automatic scanners working fully, but it does have loads of other useful tools like burpsuite and firefox with a bunch of addons preinstalled.


I do agree that it is best to select the tools that you need but these suites are a good base to build on.


I've tested many of them (for many different purpose) and my answer is, that it's pretty cool to have a pentest distro such as backtrack when you start pen-testing, but in the end it's better to pick your own tools up (depending on the job), otherwise there are many tools that you'll never use.

btw another good one was gnacktrack (but they stopped it due to BT5, but some tools where in GNT and not anymore in BT5)

Helix (Forensic) 3.0 is available for download , but it is not free.

  • Why is "there are many tools that you'll never use." a problem?
    – this.josh
    Jul 22, 2011 at 0:07
  • Just checked on their webpage - Helix is avaible for download. However, it's not free.
    – StupidOne
    Jul 22, 2011 at 9:47
  • Actually they include some tools that you'll never use if you run a little pentest company, such as VoIP tools or Web tools or you'll always use one tool for many things ( like a proxy such as the OWASP proxy, and not all the others included) -- For Helix I ment that during a long period it was free to download and that now it's not anymore.
    – AdventN
    Jul 22, 2011 at 18:24

One current up-and-coming pen testing distros is Blackbuntu. There's an active dev group focused on it now and it's definitely worth giving a look.

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