What is Kali Linux?


What is Kali Linux?- Kali Linux is a Debian-based version of Linux that has been designed primarily for penetration testing and digital forensics. One of Kali Linux’s most notable features is its pre-installed security tool suite, which can be used for a number of cybersecurity tasks such as penetration testing and exploitation. Kali Linux is available for download for free.

Kali Linux has become very essential to cybersecurity professionals and the cybersecurity sector because it includes numerous tools and is available for free. Let’s take a look at why Kali was created and why it’s so critical to the field.

A brief history of Kali Linux

The group Offensive Security, which also offers cybersecurity training and certifications, developed Kali Linux in 2013. Offensive Security evolved Backtrack Linux, a security-focused Linux distribution, into Kali, which is based on the Debian Linux distribution. Kali Linux is free, and it is stated explicitly that it will remain so.

Kali Linux and its role in cybersecurity

One of Kali Linux’s best characteristics is that it comes with pre-installed tools that can be used for a wide range of cybersecurity-related tasks. Kali Linux comes with over 600 tools for penetration testing and cybersecurity, and Offensive Security is constantly updating and improving the Kali distro.

Why do cybersecurity professionals prefer Kali Linux?

The fact that all of the original source code is open source means that the system may be changed to the liking of the cybersecurity professional utilising it is one of the main reasons cyber professionals utilise and frequently prefer Kali Linux. Although this isn’t done very often, it does give you the option of customising Kali for certain cybersecurity needs. Kali Linux also supports multiple languages.

Interestingly, Kali Linux was planned to be used for single root user access up until 2019, which means the user has complete permissions and access to everything. This was recently updated to accommodate people who used Kali Linux for purposes other than cybersecurity.

Can I download Kali as my main operating system?

While it is possible and sometimes done, using Kali Linux as your primary operating system is not desirable or even encouraged by Offensive Security due to the OS’s security focus and the fact that there are more stable Linux versions available. The majority of Kali Linux deployments are either bootable live discs or virtual machines hosted by other operating systems.

Popular tools of Kali Linux

The popularity of Kali Linux is mostly due to the pre-installed cybersecurity features. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular and beneficial ones to see what Kali Linux can do for us as cybersecurity pros.


Metasploit is a penetration testing programme that makes hacking for cyber pros a lot easier. It automates processes that were previously manual, such as acquiring information, gaining access, and avoiding discovery. Metasploit is a popular and widely used tool among information security professionals, and it is an excellent approach to test exploits and vulnerabilities.

John the Ripper

John the Ripper is a password cracking tool that can be customised and combines a variety of cracking modes to meet specific demands. The best aspect is that it can crack passwords in a variety of encrypted formats and uses password cracking techniques including dictionary and brute force attacks.


Netcat is a network tool for reading and writing data via network connections. Netcat has a number of functionalities, including port scanning, file transfer, and port listening. Netcat is a popular tool for port scanning since it can make practically any type of connection.


Wireshark is an open-source packet analyzer that can be used to see and analyse network traffic, making it indispensable for any security professional or systems administrator. It can be useful for troubleshooting and is a real-time indicator of what traffic is happening over the network when executed and analysed live.

The cyber advantage of using Kali Linux

These are just a few of the well-known programmes that come pre-installed with Kali Linux. While all of the programmes on Kali Linux are free and can be downloaded on other operating systems, Kali Linux simplifies the process for the user by performing all of the work for them and assembling them into a single operating system installation.

What is the best way to learn Kali?

Follow the steps below to get started learning about the Kali Linux operating system and how it may be used for cybersecurity.

Start with building a Kali Linux virtual machine

A Kali Linux installation is one of many freeware options for setting up a hypervisor and getting started with virtual machines. You can use a virtual machine environment to set up and tear down one or more instances of Kali Linux, as well as take snapshots along the route.

Begin by downloading and installing a free hypervisor like Oracle’s VirtualBox. After that, you can download the Kali Linux ISO and install it in a virtual system. If you’re new to Linux, you might want to try installing other free Linux distributions and building them into virtual machines, such as Ubuntu or CentOS. If you are stuck or need some instruction, look up videos on YouTube.

Explore the cyber tools in Kali Linux

Examine the many tools that are built into Kali Linux once it has been installed in a virtual machine. They are classified by category, as you can see. A excellent place to start is to pick one tool at a time and learn it one at a time. Choose one tool from each category of interest and begin working with it, referring to online tutorials as needed to navigate the tool’s features. There are various tutorials on YouTube that might assist you in navigating the Kali tools and utilities. Concentrate on studying one tool at a time because mastering one tool will frequently make mastering another tool much easier.

While working with these tools, do not use them against any system that you do not own or have permission to access, as doing so is against the law.

Attempt to use these tools against legal hacking sites

While it is unlawful to attempt to hack into any site that you are not allowed to attack, there are numerous websites that are set up specifically for this reason, allowing you to lawfully abuse them. Look up which sites are available and can be utilised with the programme you’re evaluating on the internet, and read any disclaimers. Finding a website where you are legally permitted to try an exploit for free shouldn’t be difficult.

Conclusion and Key Points

Keep in mind that, while Kali Linux isn’t extremely difficult, it isn’t for beginners, so take your time learning the tools. Every day, try to learn at least one new thing.

If you’re new to Linux, start with Ubuntu or another Linux distribution to get a sense of what you’re getting yourself into.

Never try to utilise Kali Linux’s tools against a system that you are not permitted to access. There are a plethora of legally unrestricted solutions available to help you hone your talents.

Keep in mind that all of the tools you’ll require are completely free. Learning cybersecurity is largely an investment of your time and work, from free virtual machine hypervisors to free operating systems to cybersecurity tools to Kali Linux itself.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.