What is Kali Linux? A Beginner’s Guide in 4 Simple Points

Ajay Ohri


If you have ever been keen about hacking or just curious about how it is done, you must have stumbled upon a particular operating system, and that is Kali Linux. Let us first understand what Kali Linux is? Kali Linux is an operating system used for ethical hacking.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What is Kali Linux?
  2. Kali Linux Uses
  3. Kali Linux Requirements
  4. Tools in Kali Linux

1. What is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is funded and maintained by Offensive Security, an information training company. It is a Debian-based Linux distribution built with the aim of advanced penetration testing and security auditing. You may ask what the Debian standard is; it is an entire command-line system without an x11 or GUI environment. It is just a primary server. If you don’t use it with a landline connection, you can only use it for learning the command line. It is equipped with a tonne of tools installed with it that makes an ethical hacker can go on a war with these tools in his arsenal. 

2. Kali Linux Uses

 Kali Linux is packed with essential tools for information security tasks, penetration testing, computer forensics, reverse engineering, and much more. As Kali Linux is just an operating software, it is not illegal by itself. But when someone uses it for hacking, it is considered illegal if someone uses it to learn, teach, or understand the intricacies as it is licensed for download. 

Here are a few reasons why Kali Linux is an exciting choice of operating software for you:

  1. It is free: It is free for download.
  2. Multi-lingual support: Although most applications and tools are primarily written in English, Kali Linux provides multi-lingual support. That opens opportunities for people to use these resources in their local language and use it for their customizable purpose. 
  3. Customizable: The developers at Kali Linux have been very liberal while developing this and have left opportunities for customization for fellow developers to come on board and modify it as per their likings. 
  4. Open source: As this belongs to the Linux family, it is available on an open-source platform. The entire development tree, along with codes, is known for viewing and modifying on Git. 
  5. A plethora of tools available: Kali Linux comes equipped with more than 600 different devices.

3. Kali Linux Requirements

Installing Kali Linux cannot get any easier. When do I say it is child’s play? I mean it. The only requirement is to have compatible hardware. It is supported by i386, amd64, and ARM (both ARMEL and ARMHF) platforms. If you have any of the above hardware, or better, you are ready to use Kali Linux. On top of this, the better the hardware, the better the performance. 

  • Space requirements: You need to have a minimum of 20 G of space on your hard disk to be able to accommodate the Kali Linux install. 
  • RAM: for i386 and amd64 hardware, you will need a minimum of 1GB of RAM. However, it is recommended to have a RAM of 2GB or more.
  • USB boot support/ CD- DVD Drive 

4. Tools in Kali Linux

As mentioned above, Kali Linux has a tonne of tools. Shared below is a list of Kali Linux tools that come installed with the operating system. Obviously, this rundown isn’t through using any and all means and can be extended relying upon one’s prerequisite and decision.

  1. Nmap: It is a free and open-source network scanner developed by Gordon Lyon. It is mainly used to search for hosts and services on a system by sending packets and analyzing its responses over some time. It gives a lot of highlights to examining PC networks like working framework identification.
  2. THC Hydra: hydra is one of the most efficient tools when it comes to brute force attacking a remote authentication service. It can be used for making rapid dictionary attacks against protocols like telnet, FTP, HTTP, SMB, databases, and more. It is a parallelized login cracker that bolsters countless conventions that can be attacked. It is swift and flexible like other tools in Kali Linux.
  3. Aircrack-ng: It is not a single tool, but it is a suite of tools for manipulating and attacking WiFi networks. This allows you to put your network interface card (NIC) into monitor mode. Once it is enabled, you can capture network packets. It consists of a detector, packet sniffer, WEP, and WPA/WPA2-PSK cracker and analysis tool for 802.11 wireless LANs. Any network interface controller that supports monitoring mode can be intercepted. Its focus is on assessing critical areas of WiFi security. The process has four steps, namely, monitoring, attacking, testing, and finally cracking. 
  4. Nessus: It is a proprietary vulnerability scanner and used during penetration testing engagements developed by tenable. It is a remote scanning tool that is used primarily for checking computer systems for security vulnerabilities. However, it does not do this on its own. It may have the option to recognize these weaknesses that pernicious programmers could use to access any PC you have associated with an organization. It brings out architectures for easy cross-linking between them after quickly running more than 1200 checks and showing alerts wherever security patches might be needed. 
  5. Wireshark: This is one of the most widely used protocol analyzers for Linux. It is an open-source, free packet analyzer. You can use this tool for monitoring minute details on a network along with pcap file access, advanced warnings, customizable reports, alerts, triggers, etc. While scanning the web, you will intercept and view results in a readable format that makes it easier to find potential threats, problems, and vulnerabilities. It also supports up to 2000 different network protocols and is available on all major operating systems. It supports all Kali Linux basic commands.


As we reach the finish of this list, we have had a look at Kali Linux applications in various learning and ease of accessibility opportunities this platform provides us with without any charge as it is an open-source, free platform. Upon having a detailed look at the Kali Linux features, we can conclude that it offers a plethora of customizability options and reasons why those interested in learning ethical hacking must use Kali Linux.

So, have you made up your mind to make a career in Cyber Security? Visit our Master Certificate in Cyber Security (Red Team) for further help. It is the first program in offensive technologies in India and allows learners to practice in a real-time simulated ecosystem, that will give you an edge in this competitive world.

Also, Read

Top 20 Kali Linux Commands

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