Linux

Better than BackTrack? Kali Linux offers new brand of pen-testing tools

BackTrack Linux no more. The popular open source package of penetration testing tools now has a new platform and a new name.

BackTrack Linux, a specialized distribution of penetration testing tools, has long been a favorite of security specialists and IT pros. It is often a tool recommended in TechRepublic discussions and in round-ups of open source tools for IT pros. The creators of BackTrack recently announced that in lieu of a new version, they have instead built a brand new distribution called Kali Linux that fulfills the same general purpose.

Writing five days after its initial release, the Kali team reported over 90,000 downloads and had already added more documentation and even an early bugfix. But what exactly is new in Kali and why did they scrap BackTrack and start all over? After putting together a wishlist of what they wanted in the next version of BackTrack, the developers realized they were looking at major changes:

We realized it would be easier to start afresh, using new technologies and processes than to try to patch up our existing environment to conform to Debian policies and standards.

So the first big change was platform -- from Ubuntu to Debian. Debian-compliant packages and Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) compliance were two things that fed into this decision: "What this means is that instead of having to navigate through the /pentest tree, you will be able to call any tool from anywhere on the system as every application is included in the system path."

Here are some of the highlights of Kali:

  • More than 300 penetration testing tools included
  • Still funded by Offensive Security
  • ARMEL and ARMHF support, including for these arm devices: rk3306 mk/ss808, Raspberry Pi, ODROID U2/X2, and Samsung Chromebook
  • Fully customizable
  • Multilingual support
  • Still free!

Here is a link to the download page, where you can read more about their recommendations and the versions available.

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

5 comments
trakunonrat
trakunonrat

wow...the highlights of Kali ^_^ (Y)

iT_BANDiT
iT_BANDiT

After some experimenting with Kali linux over the last month or so, I have come to the following conclusion: KALI LINUX IS BUGGY AS ALL HELL!!! Until Kali Linux get it's act together, I'm sticking with BackTrack 5 R3.

stelellico
stelellico

Finally a distro that comes bundled with all the major penetration testing tools.

blackMOREOps
blackMOREOps

@iT_BANDiT then you surely didn't use Kali much. BackTrack had 11 (5 major, 6 Rn+Beta) releases, Kali had just 1 major and 4 minor ones. Kali is excellent if you understand Debian. Not flaming BT, but it was more unstable when you use multiple applications at the same time. @blackMOREOps   

http://www.blackmoreops.com/

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