I'm doing a Cybrary course that uses this VM from PentesterLab.com. I've downloaded the .ISO and launched it in VirtualBox v5.2.4. The VM boots up into Debian and works fine, but I can't seem to install a GUI.

I've tried Gnome, because that seems to be the most popular one, but none of the following commands work:

sudo apt-get install gnome
sudo apt-get install gdm
sudo apt-get install gdm3
sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment

Trying them with the -f and -m switches doesn't help. All of them say "Unable to locate package" except for gdm3, which actually tries to install but lists a bunch of dependencies and says "but it is not installable" for each one.

When I do sudo apt-get update it runs but with some "Failed to fetch" errors.

The VM is bridged and has network connectivity; it has its own IP address on my network and can ping and be pinged from other computers, as well as ping Internet sites. The VM has base memory of 1024MB and an 8GB virtual hard drive. It's running 32-bit Debian 2.6.32-5-686.

I'm not sure if the problem is related to Linux, the VM environment, or me not knowing what I'm doing.

  • Don't post screenshots of text. They're unsearchable, hard to read, and most importantly here, one screenful does not contain all the information. Copy-paste the complete output from the commands. If you can't copy-paste from inside the VM, save it to a file and copy or upload that file. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 29 '17 at 15:12
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    A distribution designed for pentesting is not a good introduction for Linux. This isn't Kali, it's a different customization of Debian, it might as well be. Usually, you need to know the basics of Linux before you can start with the basics of pentesting. Start with a normal distribution like Ubuntu, Mint, elementary, ... – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 29 '17 at 15:15
  • @Gilles I'm trying to figure out how to export the text. I can save it to a file but can't seem to bring that file from the VM to my PC. – freginold Dec 29 '17 at 15:18

Debian Squeeze went End Of Life in 2016 as can be seen here.

You'll need to edit /etc/apt/sources.list to point your VM at the Debian archive repository:


deb http://archive.debian.org/debian squeeze main
deb http://archive.debian.org/debian squeeze-lts main

In addition, add Acquire::Check-Valid-Until false; to /etc/apt/apt.conf.

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  • I edited sources.list and ran sudo apt-get update which seemed to work. But trying to install gnome or gdm3 fails, saying "Unable to locate package." – freginold Dec 29 '17 at 15:26
  • How would I find out the correct package name? Looking through tasksel doesn't seem to show any desktop environments (or at least, none with names I would recognize). – freginold Dec 29 '17 at 15:47
  • I've looked through all the packages in the tasksel list (locally created, obsolete, and virtual) and there's no option for "Graphical Desktop Environment", a GUI, Gnome, or anything that seems related. Would it be called something else? – freginold Dec 29 '17 at 16:23
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    I've just downloaded and ran the ISO you link to in your question and after applying the changes I state in my answer I get both the gnome-desktop-environment package and a Graphical Desktop Environment option in tasksel. Check everything again :-) – garethTheRed Dec 29 '17 at 16:46
  • Hmm... okay, thanks for checking it. I'll reboot the VM and give it another shot. – freginold Dec 29 '17 at 17:03

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