Updated April 20, 2023
Definition of Kali Linux Alternative
Kali Linux is defined as an operating system software distribution that was intuitively built for security auditing and penetration testing purpose and to help Kali Linux in performing to the duties of its building intent there are numerous tools built for the purpose. The type of distribution for kali Linux is Debian based distribution which provides more than a pure OS and accompanies pre-built packages and pre-compiled software for easy installation user’s machine. Prior to Kali Linux, it was known as by some different operating system distribution “BackTrack”. In this article we will discuss on some alternatives of Kali Linux and why and when should the alternatives be used for maximum benefit!
Top 10 Alternative of Kali Linux
Before we learn about the various alternatives present for Kali Linux distribution in today’s world let us understand a brief about Kali Linux distribution itself. Kali Linux distribution was learning from the various predecessor of itself, like Whoppix, WHAX, and BackTrack, but always focused on one utility and that is the security of IT resources. Though there are 2 ways of hacking, one is the ethical one, known as WhiteHat whereas the other one is unethical hacking or BlackHat, Kali Linux is always a step ahead in presenting itself as the deal breaker distribution in many terms and as we are well aware that nothing is perfect in this world and so does Kali Linux is not an exception to that. And as a result of that, we have various options as alternatives for Kali Linux distribution. In subsequent paragraphs we will talk about each of them and why or when are they preferred! So, let get started with the list of alternatives:
Backbox is one of the distributions which is heavily popular with hacking professionals. This alternative is a system designed for penetration testing and security assessment. All the tools used for ethical hacking is present in the repository and caters to hacking, penetration testing, Wi-Fi network security, stress testing, vulnerability assessment, etc. This alternative is very easy to use and is community driven updates and mostly used when one needs to perform continuous security monitoring and vulnerability assessment. It provides a nominal but complete XFCE environment for use.
2. Parrot Security
Parrot security is another widely used distribution by ethical hackers and the set of differences between Kali and Parrot is the maintenance and funding organization. For Parrot, it is Frozen Box and this distribution mainly aims at cloud-oriented penetration testing and computer forensics. The desktop environment for Parrot security distribution is MATE and is available for penetration testing and computer forensics. Anonymity and encrypted tools are also supported by this distribution.
3. black arch
As Kali Linux is a Debian based distribution, BlackArch is an Arch based Linux distribution. The main advantage of Arch based distribution is it is a light weight and flexible Linux distribution which keeps things simple. This distribution is again a choice of preference for someone who is more comfortable with Arch based distribution rather than Debian based. Currently, BlackArch contains 2500 tools and is growing day by day!
Bugtraq operating system comes from bugtraq-team in 2011 and is also one of the widely used OS for penetration testing, which is either Debian or Ubuntu based distribution. There is huge amount of tools present in this distribution and is more well organized than Kali Linux. Tools for mobile forensic tools, malware testing, audit tools for RFID, Bluetooth, wireless, GSM, etc. are present. Variety of desktop environment like XFCE, GNOME, KDE are also available with this distribution.
5. Deft Linux
Deft is again one of most famous distros which is built using GNU/Linux and DART (Digital Advanced Response Toolkit). DART is a toolkit specifically designed for digital forensics and intelligence activities. Deft enjoys the claim of being the top choice among security and law enforcement tasks. This distribution is built with a purpose of live system running without corrupting or tampering the PC.
6. Samurai Web Testing Framework
This is an Ubuntu based distribution which parcels one of the finest tools available for attacking and accessing websites. These tools are used as a mode of reverse engineering so that one can take appropriate steps for safeguarding the system against similar future attacks.
7. Pentoo Linux
This distribution is a Gentoo based distribution and focusses on security and penetration testing. This distribution is one of those few ones which are present in LiveCD. This utility enables persistence support which means that any change in the live environment will be applied to the environment on the next boot of the USB stick. The desktop environment which Pentoo Linux uses is XFCE environment. Overlaying Pentoo over Gentoo is also possible.
The full form for CAINE is Computer Aided Investigative Environment. This is another widely used distribution in alternative to Deft. This distribution is also capable of handling digital forensics use cases with the availability of numerous tools for system forensics and analysis.
9. Network Security Toolkit
Similar to what Pentoo Linux is available with LiveCD, Network Security Toolkit is a bootable live ISO based distribution based on Fedora, in contrast to Debian based for Kali. This distribution enables security professionals to test out loopholes in network security through various tools available in the distribution.
10. Fedora Security Spin
This distribution is available for security auditing and testing purpose and enables users with various tools for the same. But in addition to that there is a twist of another usability of this distribution, which is that it is used for teaching purpose. Here the teachers can support students by supporting them in learning the practicality of information security, web app security, forensic analysis etc.
There is some more distribution that are available as an alternative to Kali Linux, which we will list down below, but the following ones are not that popular as the ones we listed above.
- Sabayon Linux
In this article we have got a flavor of different alternatives which not only serves as a competition to Kali Linux distribution to motivate it to improvise on the different cons which is existing in the distribution but also a healthy alternative to users so that the options fulfills the utility with the best solution available! Rest up to readers where they are free to choose their alternative as per the requirement of the use case.
This is a guide to Kali Linux Alternative. Here we also discuss the definition and top 10 Alternative of Kali Linux along with an explanation. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –