I've installed BackTrack 5 R3, a security testing distro, onto a USB drive, and I can get it to boot up, but I'm stuck in the BusyBox shell. Everybody says "just log in with username root and password toor, then type startx to launch the GUI, but startx reports "command not found". I've tried various commands such as "login" and "sh", but no luck. sudo is out of the question, too.

I suspect that I need to mount the system squashfs somehow, but I can't figure out how I'm supposed to do it. I haven't had much experience with SFS's before.

  • Daang, what's with all these downvotes? Apr 30, 2013 at 23:42
  • +1 not because I would have upvoted otherwise, but to reverse undeserved downvotes. Jul 14, 2017 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


Posssible Fix #1

I found this youtube video that shows how to fix this particular issue. The video is titled: BackTrack 5 Bootup startx problem fix.

The video outlines the following steps to fix a startx issue (not sure if it's your's or not):

rm /root/.kde/cache-root/icon-cache.kcache
rm /root/.kde/cache-root/plasma_theme_Volat­ile.kcache
rm /root/.kde/cache-bt/icon-cache.kcache
rm /root/.kde/cache-bt/plasma_theme_Volatil­e.kcache

Possible Fix #2

I came across this other post on cyberciti.biz titled: Backtrack 5 KDE startx Failed To Load Error and Solution. In this particular fix they mention running the following commands:

cd /root/.kde/
find . -type f -iname "*.kcache" -delete


  • Curious, if you're stuck in the busybox shell, then how are you able to type startx?
    – slm
    Apr 30, 2013 at 2:57
  • The BusyBox shell is like a nerfed version of the "real" shell - I have like 15 commands at my disposal, all of which are just basic Linux utilities. (cd, help, etc.) Typing startx does exactly the same thing as typing foo or lollolllzz - absolutely nothing. Apr 30, 2013 at 3:03
  • 2
    Thanks, I know what busybox is, I was confused where you were typing startx, now I know it's in the busybox shell which will never work, given startx is software installed as part of the distro, not part of the busybox shell.
    – slm
    Apr 30, 2013 at 3:05

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