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I have installed BackTrack 5 R1 in a virtual machine (VMware workstation) which can connect to the internet. However this VM won't have any internet connection anymore once the penetration test starts. Is there a way to update this distribution in an offline mode?

I would need to update the distribution itself with:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

And also the Metasploit framework with: msfupdate

Maybe downloading some files and updating BackTrack via some kind of "local file repository"?

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BackTrack is Ubuntu based system. So I think you can get the updates in some media(CD/Thumb drive) and add that to the repository list. That way when you're offline, apt-get will search the mounted media for updates.

To automatically add the cd-rom to the repo list, mount it in VM, then go to terminal and enter this command to test if it is ok to add the cdrom -

sudo apt-cdrom --no-act add

If everything is alright, then enter this command to add the cdrom to repo list -

sudo apt-cdrom add

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