Kali Linux – The Best Penetration Testing Distribution

Last Release: 02/18/2019    

Kali Linux – The Best Penetration Testing Distribution


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

Kali Linux 2019.2 Released

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.

Supported Platforms

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.

ARM arhitectures:

  • 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

Main Features

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 - Penetration Testing Distribution on Windows

Special Features

Kali Linux Install:

Documentation Box
Download Box

You can also check out BlackArch Linux – Lightweight Penetration Testing Distribution.