I was asked by one of my friend to write Linux-related articles about personal security testing using BackTrack Linux distribution. Actually, i have heard about BackTrack reputation as the most-used Linux distribution for penetration testing (sometimes also used for hacking), but i have never used it before up to now.
Few days ago i have download the ISO (the latest version - Beta) and burnt it to CDROM and today i tested it out on my office desktop (it's a LiveCD Linux distribution, meaning that you don't need to install it on your system to use it as it boots directly from CD/DVD ROM). At first, i didn't know that it was based on Slackware, until i saw the message displayed during boot process. It's the same as the Slackware's script. It looks like that the author has switched several times and finally decided to use Slackware as the basis.
When i tested on my office desktop, it was quite fast (the main memory is only 256 MB). It has most of the basic packages in Slackware, but the rest are optimized for penetration purposes. Every packages for that purposes has it's own menu on the top of the menu list and it's very well structured. Each application is ordered and placed according to the category it falls into. It also has a nice black dragon as the default wallpaper. It's splash screen was also fantastic. It's like logging in into a secure system
By the way, BackTrack gives you several option at first boot. The first option is to use KDE as the window manager. If you don't like KDE, you can use Flux or even text-mode.
Unfortunately, the installation script is not yet tested, so i don't know whether it's possible to install the backtrack on the hard disk. If it's possible, then i guess it will be a good distribution for lower specs system, like Slackware or VectorLinux.