If you are looking for the best Penetration Testing OS that is out there, look no further. For decades, the release of numerous OS systems has made it difficult for its users to pick the right one that best serves the needs: whether you are using it for fun, trying it out, want an easier system, or specifically want to learn about penetration testing. With hundreds of OS distributions out there, and thousands of penetration testing methods and tools, Kali Linux is the one that truly stands out.
What is Kali Linux?
For the beginners
Kali Linux is perhaps not the first OS that you should be trying out there. Most users will be discouraged when first trying an advanced OS such as the Kali Linux, so if your only purpose is to have a Linux-based distribution then do not aim for Kali. The first thing you should be learning is how to use Linux-based systems and distributions, and if you’re a beginner at using Linux then I would strongly suggest you start with an easier OS such as Ubuntu or Debian.
Since all Linux distributions are based on a single system, learning one means that you learn how to handle the others, so if you’re a beginner that is fascinated by penetration testing methods, then by all means start off on Ubuntu and work your way to Kali, but if you just want to use Linux because of its smaller size for older computers then definitely try an easier OS.
For the Advanced User
For those who have experience in penetration testing, Kali Linux was formerly known as ‘BackTrack’, but now has re-branded with the new ‘Kali Linux’ name as well as new tools developed specifically for penetration testing.
Kali Linux is a security-focused distribution that is based on Debian and offers its users an experience unlike any other, while maintaining its ability to run even on the oldest computers out there. Kali was released on March 13 in 2013 as a rebuilt of BackTrack that has been the most popular penetration testing OS until the very end.
Why Kali Linux?
As a beginner, every OS is a challenge. They say that when there’s a will there’s a way, but with Kali all you need is the will. As a complete installation, Kali Linux offers the below tools:
- Over 600 tools designed for penetration testing
- It is free
- It is open source
- Supports a wide-range of wireless devices
- It is completely customizable to your desires
- ARMEL and ARMHF support
- Developed securely
The OS offers hundreds of tools that were also included in its previous version ‘BackTrack’ but with modified versions and the removal of tools that are no longer useful in today’s technology. Like any other OS, Kali Linux is free to use, download, and modify to your liking and if you’re a professional in using Linux-based distributions, then Kali will be your best friend as it is customizable to its smallest detail.
Its support of wide-range wireless devices means that it is able to support numerous USB devices. ARMEL and ARMHF support is perhaps the strongest reason why Kali Linux is the best OS for testing: Most technological systems in today’s world are ARM-based and as such Kali Linux is specifically developed to support ARM devices as well as offers ARM repositories that are fully supported with the rest of the system.
Kali also comes with the ability to boot from USB due to its size and is supported literally by any computer. It has been used by beginners and professionals alike in penetration testing and its large community of testers has all helped in modifying this OS into the one it is today.
It is also possible to dual-boot Kali or run it from your Virtual Machine if you decide that your current OS should not be risked. In fact I strongly recommend that you use VM for Kali Linux especially if you have a good computer.
I hope that is rather short explanation of Kali Linux has not discouraged the ones who are willing to really try penetration testing. I have mentioned several facts about Kali Linux and why it is the best penetration testing OS out there.
In the end, the choice will still be yours and the best OS will be entirely based on your experience with it. I recommend that before you make your choice of the right OS, you should always look for secondary information outside of this article.