Kali Linux

Kali Linux

README

Some people just want to see the world burning, and sometimes when I am bored I become one of those :D.

Well not really, what I mean is sometimes I prefer the difficult way to do something in my life because many times I have more fun this way. Some days ago I’ve decided to say goodbye to BackTrack from my computer, due to the old repositories it has, the multiple problems with the kernel and because Offensive Security (the guys behind the maintenance of this Linux distribution) released a new project called Kali Linux to replace in the future BackTrack itself.

From the creators of BackTrack comes Kali Linux, the most advanced and versatile penetration testing distribution ever created. BackTrack has grown far beyond its humble roots as a live CD and has now become a full-fledged operating system. With all this buzz, you might be asking yourself.

Seven years of developing BackTrack Linux has taught us a significant amount about what we, and the security community, think a penetration testing distribution should look like. We’ve taken all of this knowledge and experience and implemented it in our next generation penetration testing distribution. After a year of silent development, we are incredibly proud to announce the release and public availability of Kali Linux, the most advanced, robust, and stable penetration testing distribution to date.

BackTrack official announce

Kali Linux

Changelog

The first question for those who used BackTrack for a long time is Dafuq is the difference between BackTrack and Kali?, even Offensive Security have problems answering this question, and they say it depends on how you used BackTrack? because “Kali Linux” is a mix between “everything” and “not much”.

From an end user perspective, the most obvious change would be the switch to Debian and an FHS-compliant system. 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. However, there’s much hidden magic in that last sentence. I’ll quickly list some of the new benefits of this move.

  • Streaming security and Package updates from Debian: Their new streamlined repositories synchronize with the Debian repositories four times a day, constantly providing the latest package updates and security fixes available.

  • Debian compliant packaging of each tool: This is where they’ve been spending most of their time and effort. Relentlessly packaging dozens of useful tools, painstakingly making sure our packages are Debian compliant.

  • Long term packaging and maintenance of high profile tools: Many of the tools in their toolbox need to be bleeding edge. This means they have take on the task of packaging and maintaining upstream versions of many tools, so that the users are constantly kept up to date where it matters.

  • Streamlined development process: As their source packages are now also Debian compliant, we can quickly and easily get the required sources of each tool, then modify and rebuild them with a couple of commands.

  • Bootstrap builds and ISO customizations: One of the many benefits of their move to a Debian compliant system, is the ability to Bootstrap a Kali Installation/ISO directly from their repositories. This means that we can easily build our own customizations of Kali, as well as perform enterprise network installs from a local or remote repository.

  • Automating installations: Kali Linux installations can now be automated using pre-seed files. This allows for enterprise wide customization and deployment on multiple systems.

  • Real ARM development: BackTrack-5 brought with it new support for ARM hardware. Their ARM build-bot was a modified Motorola Xoom tablet, which suffice to say, didn’t last for long. To help remedy this, Offensive Security has donated a Calxeda ARM cluster to their project, allowing reliable and long term development of Kali Linux ARM images.

  • Complete desktop environment flexibility: Their new build and repository environments allow for complete flexibility in generating our own updated Kali ISOs, with any desktop environment we like. Do you prefer KDE, LXDE, XFCE, anything else? Then change your Kali desktop environment yourself.

  • Seamless upgrades between future major versions: Another benefit derived from the move to a Debian compliant system is the ability to seamlessly upgrade future major version of Kali. No longer will us have to reinstall our penetration testing machine due a new version of Kali coming out.

Conclusion

With all these changes (and many more), we can see why they are so excited about this release. Go ahead and give Kali a spin. Head on to the documentation area for some setup guides, and then over to their forums and join the new Kali community!.

Credits

Seven years of developing BackTrack Linux has taught us a significant amount about what we, and the security community, think a penetration testing distribution should look like. We’ve taken all of this knowledge and experience and implemented it in our next generation penetration testing distribution. After a year of silent development, we are incredibly proud to announce the release and public availability of Kali Linux, the most advanced, robust, and stable penetration testing distribution to date.

BackTrack official announce

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