Kali Linux is one of the most popular and used ethical hacking distros around the world. This distro is based on Debian and maintained by Offensive Security Ltd. Although it is not one of the most complete in terms of number of programs, its developers ensure that there are no duplicate tools (as in other similar distros), in addition to offering always the latest versions of this distro.
Kali Linux Features
This ethical hacking distro is based on Debian. This means that users who opt for it will have a known base and with excellent support and maintenance. Personalization is also one of the strengths of this alternative, as well as the possibility of using it in the language we want.
Within Kali we can find a total of 600 hacking and security applications, among which we can highlight:
- Nmap: port scanning software, useful for looking for vulnerabilities and points of attack.
- Wireshark: tool to analyze all network traffic, capture and inject packets.
- John the ripper: program to break passwords, both by brute force and through weaknesses.
- Aircrack-ng– Software to measure the security of a Wi-Fi network and steal passwords.
- THC Hydra– A program to carry out brute force attacks on different protocols, such as telnet, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS and SMB.
- Nessus: software for remote scanning of networks and systems, to look for vulnerabilities.
- Metasploit: public exploit kit to exploit vulnerabilities in computers.
The Kali Linux Kernel is also patched and ready to perform injections. In addition, it has a wide variety of drivers so that any wireless card can work.
Differences with Parrot OS
Parrot OS is another similar distro for security audits. And, for many, he is Kali’s main rival. The main differences between Kali Linux and its rival Parrot OS lie above all in the performance and the out-of-the-box experience. Kali is considerably heavier than Parrot, and users without prior knowledge can have serious problems, as it is much more chaotic.
While Parrot OS is aimed at an amateur audience, Kali wants to open a gap among the more advanced users.
Kali Linux on PC and smartphone
One of the main features that it offers us Kali Linux is that we can use this distro both on a computer and on a smartphone. For computers, just have a computer with architecture i386 or AMD64 to be able to load and install it without problems. We can also find images for systems ARM, which allows us to convert a micro-computer, like the Raspberry Pi, in a complete hacking tool. And also, we can find images for special equipment, such as various models of Chromebook, CuBox, Odroid and Samsung Galaxy Note.
The Kali Linux developers also offer images of an alternative system called Kali NetHunter. This version is designed especially for smartphones, although the compatibility is much more limited. We can install it on various models of Nexus smartphones, on the OnePlus One and on various Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
And finally, indicate that we can also have Kali Linux installed on WSL (Windows subsystem for Windows) to run all tools directly from the Windows 10 console.
Due to the large number of architectures and systems for which it is available Kali Linux, the requirements have been very tight so that no user can have problems.
To make it work on a PC, the first thing we need is an i386, amd64 or ARM processor (ARMEL or ARMHF) on which to run it. In addition, we will need to have on the PC 1 GB RAM memory (although 2 GB is recommended) and 20 GB of hard disk space to install the distro (although we can use it in Live mode).
Of course, we also need a bootable medium, either an optical medium (such as a DVD) or a USB stick.
Download Kali Linux
Kali Linux is a distro developed in secure environments, totally free and open source. The latest version of this distro can be found in the following link. Here we can find a wide variety of different editions, from installers for 32 and 64 bits to Live images to use from RAM and ready-to-use images in virtual machines such as VMware and Virtualbox.
We remember: the default credentials are kali / kali.
Update to the latest version of Kali Linux
It is very important to keep this distro always up to date, as each version fixes bugs, improves performance and updates all available tools. Every time there is a new version we can download it for free from its website. And if we already have it installed on our PC, we can update directly to the latest version by running in a terminal:
sudo apt update && sudo apt -y full-upgrade -y
If the wizard tells us that there are already packages that have been installed automatically and that they are not necessary, we must remove them by executing:
sudo apt autoremove
We run the update command again. We confirm the update message and wait for the entire system to be downloaded and our Kali Linux distro is updated. When it is finished, we restart the PC and, when it starts, we will be using the latest version.
We can check this by executing the command: “grep VERSION / etc / os-release”, since it will return VERSION = “2020.1” and VERSION_ID = “2020.1”, assuming we have the first version of 2020.