Top 20 Kali Linux Commands You Need to Know Right Now

What is Kali Linux Command?

Kali Linux Command is an advanced penetration testing distribution by offensive security. It is available in 32-bit, 64-bit, and ARM flavors. It’s features allow users to create custom complex images with ease. Kali Linux command terminals offer certifications such as OSCP, OSWE, OSEP, OSWP, OSEE, and KLCP. The testing tools of Kali Linux commands can be categorized into information gathering, web applications, vulnerability assessment, password attacks, exploitation tools, sniffing and spoofing, maintaining access, system services, and reporting tools. 

Kali Linux comes with tools that could be used for wireless attacks, reverse engineering, forensics, stress testing, and hardware hacking. it can be installed using a USB disk, hard disk, and Live DVD. Network services are HTTP, MySQL, and SSH. These are extremely helpful in operating the Kali Linux commands. 

Kali Linux operates on certain android devices. Its predecessor is BackTrack which got carried over to Kali via the live boot. The system is easy to use once the user gets a command over it.

Top 20 Basic Kali Linux Commands List

1) date command

data command is used to set the current date and time in the system. It is one of the basic Kali Linux commands. 

2) cal command

cal linux command displays the recent year and month formatted calendar on the screen. There is also an option to create an advanced calendar version that provides more options. 

3) whoami command

whoami command is nothing but the concatenation of “who,” “am,” and “i” and displays the details of the current user once the command is applied. It is used to see the activities of the current users that are logged in. 

4) pwd command

pwd kali linux command is used for printing the working directory. It provides information about the current directory that you are located at. This is especially helpful when you’re in the middle of some complicated process and want to access the directory. 

5) is command

is command is one of the Kali Linux command that displays what each file contains and the directories they are stored in. 

6) cd command

cd command is used for navigation. If you want to go to the downloads folder, you type “cd” and then “download,” this will take you to the downloads folder and access the files.

7) mkdir command

mkdir linux command helps to create a new directory. It is used quite often. 

8) cat command

cat linux command enables the user to read files, link them together, exchange their contents, and one of the most commonly used kali Linux commands. 

9) cp command

cp command is used for basic copying text or similar purposes. It can copy one or more than one files to a certain location of your choice. This also helps in moving directories. 

10) mv command

mv command is a basic command in linux which is used to move files between directories. It is extremely convenient when dealing with complicated files. 

11) rm command

rm command in linux is used to removed highlighted texts and is a very basic yet essential command. It is used to remove symbolic links and objects from files. It also eliminates multiple references from objects. References are files with two or three names. 

12) uname command

uname command is an easy command helping retrieve the version’s user name. Adding a hyphen to uname would provide further details of the version. For instance – It will mention the machine, release date, note name, etc. 

13) uptime command

uptime command in Kali Linux command which is used to find out the longevity of the system that is active (running). This command returns a set of values that involve the current time and the amount of time the system is running, the number of users currently logged in, and the load time for the past 2, 6 & 16 minutes, respectively. It basically provides the duration of time. 

14) less command

less command presents all the activities that are going on with a certain file but only partially loads it. It also saves some RAM.

15) more command

more command is one basic command that helps in viewing the contents of a file conveniently, providing a bird’s eye view of the contents of a file. It saves the user’s time in scrolling through the whole thing. 

16) sort command

sort command as the name stands is used to sorts out the information and arranges contents in an orderly manner. The reverse switch could also be used to organize the contents in reverse order.

17) vi command

vi command is a Kali Linux command that provides multiple options, such as inserting at the cursor, writing after the cursor, terminating the insert mode, opening a new line, undoing a certain action, and deleting lines or images. This tool can be combined with others to perform more actions. 

18) free command

free command is used to display the memory usage of the current system. This is particularly useful when you wish to download new software and need to know the exact memory in your system. As free displays the details of the memory related to your system, its syntax doesn’t need any arguments to be passed but only options that you can use according to your wish. 

19) chmod command

chmod command is a basic command in Kali Linux that is used to change the mode restricting user access to a certain file as per the instructions provided. It is a popular command on this operating system. 

20) history command

history linux command is used to get a record of previously applied commands. This can further be applied to delete previously entered entries or attributes depending upon the requirements. There are modified ways of using this command. For instance – to view the last 25 commands, history | 25 can be used; to view the last 10 commands, history | less could be used. 


Kali Linux uses the Live DVD Linux distribution system that has been specially developed to help you in the penetration testing process. The listed basic top 20 Kali Linux commands are the most widely used commands on the system.

Kali Linux is an operating system that can be installed on the user’s PC. It is an alternative to windows 8, windows 10, windows 7, and MAC. It can be installed for free on your system. This operating system is used for the hacking purpose and digital attacks. Kali Linux operating system prevents users from creating long programming for penetration testing, application security checking, or website hacking. Its biggest advantage is the availability of readymade tools. Many big organizations use this operating system to teach hacking. 

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