Kali Linux is Linux’s Security Distribution especially designed for penetration testing and digital forensics. Devon Kearns and Mati Aharoni of Offensive Security developed Kali Linux through Backtrack’s rewrite. Backtrack was their earlier information security OS. Kali 1.0.0 was the first-ever iteration of Kali Linux launched in March 2013. At present, Offensive Security supports and funds Kali Linux.

Kali Linux has more than 600 preinstalled penetration testing apps to discover. Every program has its own use and unique flexibility. Kali Linux performs an excellent job of separating the helpful utilities into several categories including the following:

  1. Vulnerability Analysis
  2. Information Gathering
  3. Web Applications
  4. Wireless Attacks
  5. Stress Testing
  6. Exploitation Tools
  7. Sniffing and Spoofing
  8. Forensics Tools
  9. Password Attacks
  10. Reverse Engineering
  11. Maintaining Access
  12. Hardware Hacking
  13. Reporting Tools

Who Uses Kali Linux? Why Do They Use It?

Kali Linux is a really exceptional operating system this is among the few platforms being openly used by the good guys and even the bad guys alike. Black hat hackers and security administrators are extensively using the operating system.

The first group uses it to determine and probably exploit some security breaches, while the second group uses it to identify and prevent any security breaches. The different tools that have been preinstalled and configured into this operating system made Kali Linux earn the moniker of being the Swiss Army knife that all security professionals should add to their toolbox.

The professionals who are using Kali Linux include the following:

  1. Security Administrators – The security administrators are in charge of safeguarding the data and information of their institution. They are using Kali Linux for reviewing their environment/s and making sure that there are no vulnerabilities that can be discovered easily.
  2. Network Architects – The network architects are the ones responsible for creating secure network environments. They use Kali Linux for auditing their initial designs and making sure that nothing was wrongfully configured or overlooked.
  3. Network Administrators – These people are the ones who maintain a secure and efficient network. Network administrators use the operating system for auditing their network. As an example, the operating system can detect those rogue access points.
  4. Pen Testers – The pen testers use Kali Linux for auditing environments and performing reconnaissance on the corporate environments that they are tasked to review.
  5. White Hat Hackers – Just like Pen Testers, White Hat Hackers use Kali Linux for auditing and discovering vulnerabilities that are found in an environment.
  6. Forensic Engineers – There is the so-called Forensic Mode in Kali Linux that helps a Forensic Engineer in performing data recovery and discovery in several cases.
  7. Black Hat Hackers – The Black Hat Hackers use Kali Linux to identify and abuse vulnerabilities. There are several social engineer applications in Kali Linux that can be used by Black Hat Hackers to compromise organizations or individuals.
  8. Chief Information Security Officers – Chief Information Security Officers or CISOs use Kali Linux for internal auditing of their environment and discovering if there are rouge configurations or new applications put in place.
  9. Computer Enthusiast – A Computer Enthusiast is a rather generic term yet anyone who wants to learn more about computers or networking can utilize Kali Linux to discover more about networking, common vulnerabilities, and Information Technology in general.
  10. Grey Hat Hackers – The Grey Hat Hackers are found right in between Black Hat and White Hat Hackers. They can use Kali Linux in similar methods as those mentioned above.

Prerequisites to Installation

  • 20 GB minimum disc space for Kali Linux installation
  • USB / CD-DVD Drive boot support
  • Minimum 1GB and 2GB or more recommended, RAM for i386 and amd64 architectures
Kali Linux Testing Penetration
Kali Linux has more than 600 preinstalled penetration testing apps to discover. | Photo credit: Made with Canva

Kali Linux Hard Disk Installation

  1. Start by downloading Kali Linux. You go options for Gnome, Mate, KDE, LXDE, Xfce, armel, armhf, and virtual images for Virtual Box and VMware.
  2. Burn Kali Linux ISO into DVD or the Image Kali Linux Live into USB.
  3. You can boot from the installation medium you prefer, either USB or DVD.
  4. Choose the preferred installation method.
  5. Choose the language you like.
  6. Choose your geographic location.
  7. Configure your keyboard.
  8. Configure your network.
  9. Key in the hostname for the system.
  10. You can opt to specify a default domain name.
  11. Choose a root password for your system.
  12. Set up passwords and users.
  13. Set the time zone.
  14. The installer is going to probe the disks and give you four options.
  15. Choose the disk you want to partition.
  16. Depending on what you need, you can just keep all files in one partition, the default one, or you can have separate partitions for one or several top-level directories. In case you are unsure of what you want, choose “All files in one partition.”
  17. You will get one final chance to review the disc configuration prior to the installer making any irreversible changes. You can press continue to continue and complete the installation.
  18. You need to configure the network mirrors of Kali that Kali utilizes for distributing applications. You have to enter any suitable proxy information as required. Take note that if you choose No on the screen, it will be impossible for you to install packages from the Kali repositories.
  19. Install GRUB.
  20. Click on Continue to reboot in the Kali installation.

Ways to Run Kali Linux

  1. Directly on Laptop or PC – With the use of Kali ISO image, you can directly install Kali Linux on your laptop or OC. This is the best method if you got a spare PC and you are already familiar with using Kali Linux. If you have plans or you access point testing, it is recommended to directly install Kali Linux on a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop.
  2. Cloud (Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS) – Considering how popular Kali Linux is, both Azure and AWS offer images for Kali Linux.
  3. Virtualized (Citrix, Oracle VirtualBox, Oracle, Hyper-V, VMware) – Kali Linux offers support for many known hypervisors. You can download the available pre-configured images or you can use an ISO for installing the operating system manually in the preferred hypervisor.
  4. USB Boot Disc – With the use of the ISO of Kali Linux, a boot disc can be made to either run the operating system on a machine without installing this or for any forensic uses.
  5. Mac (Single or Dual boot) – You can install Kali Linux on Mac as a primary or secondary operating system. The boot functionality or parallels of Mac can be used for configuring the setup.

Conclusion

Here’s everything you need to know in order to successfully install and try Kali Linux Testing. If you find this article useful, you can like, comment, and share it around 🙂 Also, don’t miss on other cybersecurity-related topics on our website, and protect your laptop, smartphone, network, data and privacy!

Kali Linux Penetration Testing – Special Tutorial for Beginners

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