Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Linux Distribution

Kali Linux (64-bit)

Kali Linux (64-bit)

  -  3.8 GB  -  Open Source
  • Latest Version

    Kali Linux 2024.1 (64-bit) LATEST

  • Review by

    Marian Marinescu

  • Operating System

    Windows XP64 / Vista64 / Windows 7 64 / Windows 8 64 / Windows 10 64 / Windows 11

  • User Rating

    Click to vote
  • Author / Product

    OffSec Services Limited / External Link

  • Filename


Kali Linux is an advanced version of Linux that is optimized from the ground up for penetration testing, ethical hacking, and network security assessments. Built from the ground up to cater to the needs of advanced programmers, network specialists, and security auditors, this Linux distribution comes with over 600 penetration-testing programs that can immediately be used for testing network defenses, security measures, malicious software detection systems, and proprietary data protection platforms present on networks of all sizes.

To enable easier deployment, Kali Linux 64bit can be installed directly on target PC hard drives, or run live from bootable CDs and USB sticks. Of course, it can also be run as a virtual machine.

Kali Linux was originally developed in 2013 by the small team of Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns, and Raphaël Hertzog of Offensive Security who were previously responsible for the creation of the similarly security-themed Linux distribution package BackTrack. While BackTrack was based on Ubuntu, Kali Linux is built on top of Debian Wheezy, with most packages being imported from Debian repositories. The development of this security Linux repo platform was done in a completely secure environment, with the intention to keep the entire development team small to reduce data leaks or security exploits.

Some of the most commonly used security audit packages found in Kali Linux are nmap (a port scanner), Burp suite and OWASP ZAP (app security scanners), Aircrack-ng (for testing wireless networks), John the Ripper (password cracker), Wireshark (a network packet analyzer), Airgeddon (wireless networks audit app), Metasploit Framework, Arjun, DNSGen, Shellshock, Wget, Chiselm, GitLeaks, DumpsterDiver, HTTProbe, PSKracker, Bluesniff, and many others. In the latest version, initial support for auditing security for Apple Silicon (Apple M1) devices via Kali ARM service.

Kali Linux is 100% FREE and is distributed online as a 4GB ISO archive that can run on any modern  PC, starting with ancient i386 all up to modern PCs, laptops, Chromebooks, Raspberry Pi, Galaxy Note smartphones, and many other supported devices.

The popularity of this digital forensics and penetration testing Linux distribution has surged since it prominently appeared in several episodes of the TV series Mr. Robot.

Choose the desktop environment you prefer


Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment designed for UNIX-like operating systems. It prioritizes speed and low system resource usage while maintaining an attractive and user-friendly interface.

Xfce is composed of individually packaged components that collectively offer all the functionalities of a desktop environment. Users can select specific subsets of these components to suit their preferences and needs. By default, Kali Linux uses Xfce as its desktop environment.


Every aspect of GNOME Shell is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. The Activities Overview provides a simple way to access essential tasks. With just a button press, users can view open windows, launch applications, and check for new messages. This unified interface eliminates the need to navigate through multiple technologies and keeps everything conveniently in one place.

KDE Plasma

Plasma is designed to be unobtrusive while assisting users in accomplishing their tasks. Despite its lightweight and intuitive appearance, it offers powerful features. Users have the freedom to choose different ways of interacting with the desktop as needed.

With Plasma, users are in control. Not satisfied with the color scheme? Change it! Want to place the panel on the left side of the screen? Move it! Prefer a different font? Use one of your choice! One-click access allows users to download custom widgets and add them to the desktop or panel.


Vast Toolkit
It boasts an extensive selection of pre-installed tools, including popular options like Wireshark, Nmap, Metasploit, Burp Suite, and Aircrack-ng. These tools cover areas such as vulnerability assessment, password cracking, wireless analysis, and network sniffing.

Users can easily customize their Kali Linux installation by adding or removing specific tools based on their requirements. This flexibility ensures that the operating system can be tailored to suit individual preferences and project needs.

Wide Device Support
It supports a variety of hardware architectures, making it compatible with a broad range of devices. Whether you prefer running it on a desktop, laptop, or even on ARM-based systems like Raspberry Pi, it offers a versatile platform.

Documentation and Community Support
The OS benefits from an active and vibrant community of users and developers. Extensive documentation, tutorials, forums, and online resources are available, making it easier for users to learn, troubleshoot, and collaborate.

Regular Updates
It receives frequent updates to ensure the inclusion of the latest tools, security patches, and bug fixes. The active development team behind Kali Linux is committed to keeping the software up-to-date and reliable.

User Interface

It provides a user-friendly interface that is both intuitive and efficient. Its sleek design and well-organized menus enable users to navigate through the system effortlessly. The integration of GNOME, a popular desktop environment, ensures a comfortable and familiar user experience for Linux enthusiasts. The customizable desktop layout and visually appealing icons contribute to a visually pleasing environment.

Installation and Setup

Installing Kali Linux is a straightforward process. Users can choose between a traditional installation on a physical machine or opt for a virtual machine setup. The official website offers comprehensive installation guides for different platforms, along with requirements and troubleshooting tips.

The installation process involves downloading the ISO file, creating a bootable USB drive or DVD, and following the step-by-step instructions provided. Once installed, users can configure network settings, set up user accounts, and personalize their Kali Linux environment.

How to Use

It provides a vast array of tools, and understanding how to utilize them effectively is crucial. The Kali Linux documentation offers tutorials and guides on using specific tools for various cybersecurity tasks. Users can learn about reconnaissance, vulnerability assessment, web application testing, wireless attacks, and more. Additionally, the community actively shares tips and techniques through forums and blogs, creating a collaborative environment for knowledge exchange.


Can Kali Linux be used by beginners?
While Kali Linux is primarily aimed at experienced cybersecurity professionals, beginners can still benefit from using it as a learning tool. It provides an opportunity to explore different tools and gain hands-on experience in a controlled environment.

Is Kali Linux legal to use?
Yes, Kali Linux is a legal operating system. However, it is essential to use it responsibly and adhere to applicable laws and regulations regarding network security and ethical hacking.

Can I install Kali Linux alongside my existing operating system?
Yes, it supports dual-boot installations, allowing users to have both Kali Linux and another operating system, such as Windows or macOS, on the same machine.

Does Kali Linux require constant internet connectivity?
While an internet connection is not mandatory, having access to online repositories and updates is recommended for staying up-to-date with the latest tools and security patches.

Can I run Kali Linux on a virtual machine?
Yes, Kali Linux is well-suited for virtual machine environments. Virtualization software like VirtualBox or VMware can be used to run Kali Linux alongside your primary operating system.


Kali Linux is an open-source operating system available FREE of charge. Users can download the ISO file and install it on any compatible device without incurring any licensing fees. The development and maintenance of Kali Linux are supported by the community and donations.

System Requirements

It can run on a wide range of hardware configurations. The following are the minimum recommended system requirements:
  • CPU: 1 GHz processor
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 20 GB of free disk space
  • Display: 1024x768 resolution
  • Comprehensive toolkit for cybersecurity professionals
  • Customizable and flexible installation options
  • Active community and extensive documentation
  • Regular updates and security patches
  • Wide device support, including ARM-based systems
  • Not suitable for beginners without prior Linux experience
  • The extensive range of tools can be overwhelming for some users
  • Requires caution and ethical responsibility when using certain tools
  • Advanced customization may require additional configuration and setup

It stands as a robust and versatile operating system that caters to the needs of cybersecurity professionals, penetration testers, and ethical hackers. With its comprehensive collection of tools, user-friendly interface, and extensive community support, it empowers users to perform various security assessments and protect digital assets effectively.

While beginners may find the learning curve steep, experienced users will appreciate the wealth of features and customization options Kali Linux offers. Overall, Kali Linux remains a top choice for those seeking a powerful and reliable platform in the field of cybersecurity.

Also Available: Kali Linux (32-bit)