Kali Linux ,which was formally known as BackTrack, is a Debian-based penetration testing distribution with a collection of security, penetration testing and forensics tools, developed by the security firm Offensive Security
It’s a special Linux distribution with pre-installed security-related tools for pentesters and cybersecurity researchers, which is not recommended for beginners. So, If you’re not familiar with Linux at all, don’t start with Kali. Try Debian or Ubuntu first, then come back to the most advanced and popular ethical hacking distro of all time.
Kali Linux – Hacker’s Favorite Penetration Testing Distribution
Kali Linux is s one of the best open-source security packages of an ethical hacking, which has gained huge reputation and became hacker’s favorite disto. Penetration testing, data recovery and threat detection was the main motives for designers. Kali comes with more than 600 prepackaged tools, including:
- Armitage (a graphical cyber attack management tool),
- nmap (a port scanner),
- Wireshark (a packet analyzer),
- John the Ripper (a password cracker),
- Aircrack-ng (a software suite for penetration-testing wireless LANs),
- OWASP ZAP (both web application security scanners)
- THC Hydra (password cracker)
- Reverse Engineering tools
- Metasploit Framework, etc.
Kali Linux is distributed in 32-bit and 64-bit images for use on hosts based on the x86 instruction set and as an image for the ARM architecture for use on the Beagle Board computer and on Samsung’s ARM Chromebook.
- BeagleBone Black, HP Chromebook, CubieBoard 2, CuBox, CuBox-i, Raspberry Pi, EfikaMX, Odroid U2, Odroid XU, Odroid XU3, Samsung Chromebook, Utilite Pro, Galaxy Note 10.1, and SS808
Smartphones (thanks to NetHunter):
- Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, OnePlus One, some Samsung Galaxy models.
- A minimum of 10 GB disk space for the Kali Linux install
- For i386 and amd64 architectures, a minimum of 512MB RAM
- CD-DVD Drive / USB boot support
Kali comes as a result of a continuous evolution of the platform, from WHoppiX to WHAX, to BackTrack. Now, it presentes a complete penetration testing distribution/framework leveraging many features of Debian GNU/Linux. Therefore, most of the packages available in Kali Linux come straight from this Debian repository.
- More than 600 penetration testing tools included: Details on what’s included are on the Kali Tools site.
- Free (as in beer) and always will be: You will never, ever have to pay for Kali Linux.
- Open source Git tree: it’s open source development model, so anyone can tweak or rebuild packages to suit their specific needs (development tree).
- FHS compliant: Kali adheres to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, allowing Linux users to easily locate binaries, support files, libraries, etc.
- Wide-ranging wireless device support: support for large number of wireless devices (including USB).
- Custom kernel, patched for injection: kernel has the latest injection patches included.
- Developed in a secure environment: The Kali Linux team is THE ONLY one who can commit packages and interact with the repositories
- GPG signed packages and repositories: every package in Kali Linux is signed by each individual developer who built and committed it
- Multi-language support: allows users to operate in their native language
- Completely customizable: you can customize Kali Linux to your liking, all the way down to the kernel
- ARMEL and ARMHF support: fully working installations for both ARMEL and ARMHF systems, Kali Linux is available on a wide range of ARM devices.
- Kali Linux live build recipe – allows flexibility and full customization
- Kali Linux ISO of doom – for the perfect hardware backdoor
- Live USB persistence with LUKS encryption – file persistence or full (USB) disk encryption
- Live USB with multiple persistence stores – supports multiple persistence USB stores on a single USB drive
- LUKS Full Disk Encryption (FDE) – full disk encryption of your sensitive penetration testing computer drive
- Nuking your Kali Linux hard disk with the Kali LUKS nuke option – ability to encrypt your drives
- Mastering Kali Linux tool sets with Kali Metapackages – a bunch of metapackage collections which aggregate different toolsets
- Kali Linux in the cloud – Kali Amazon EC2 images available – easy set up of Kali Linux cloud version in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
- Accessibility features for visually impaired users – for blind or visually impaired users
- Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi and a bunch of other ARM devices – automatization and customization of your Kali Linux installations over the network
- Kali Linux forensics mode – a bunch of forensics tools on Kali (metapackage – kali-forensics-tools)
- NetHunter ROM overlay for Nexus Android devices – custom Android ROM overlay for ASOP
- Running on Android through Linux Deploy – get Kali seamlessly installed in a chroot environment
- Disk Encryption on Raspberry Pi 2 and other ARM hardware – simplified process
Kali Linux Install:
- Download Kali Linux.
- Burn The Kali Linux ISO to DVD or Image Kali Linux Live to USB.
- Set your computer to boot from CD / USB in your BIOS.
You can also check out BlackArch Linux – Lightweight Penetration Testing Distribution.