Review: Kali Linux 1.0

Being based on Debian (Debian Wheezy), Kali also uses its parent distribution’s installation program, the first Debian-based distribution I have reviewed in a while that uses the Debian Installer (DI). What that means is that Kali gives you more features (during installation) than BackTrack, Ubuntu or any other distribution derived from Ubuntu. This screen shot shows the installer’s disk partitioning options.

Unlike BackTrack, where you had to start the graphical desktop manually – even after installation, Kali boots into a graphical desktop environment automatically. The installer allows you to specify the root account’s password during installation, but not a standard user account. When using the Live desktop, the password for the root account is toor, the same as the root account on BackTrack.

As a niche distribution, the most important features offered by Kali are the applications that make it what it is. And since it will be impossible to demo how to use even a small percentage of what it ships with, or list every single one, the best that can do here is offer a screen shot of the menu’s application categories. Note that the developers maintain a repository that syncs with Debian testing repository four times daily, so you get bleeding-edge versions of applications and kernel that Debian has to offer. Kali’s kernel is not a plain-vanilla kernel, but a Debian kernel patched for wireless injection.
Kali Linux kernel Debian Wheezy

About those applications, there’s virtually no open source or Free Software security or hacking tool you might need that’s not pre-installed on Kali Linux 1.0. Most of the applications available on the last edition of BackTrack 5, except those with duplicated features, are on Kali. Whether it’s for hardware hacking, sniffing and hacking wireless networks, hacking Android devices, forensic investigation, and Web applications exploitation, you’ll likely find it installed in Kali Linux. Note: Just be sure that you do not use them in a manner and in an environment that will get you in trouble.

Note also that Kali comes with a graphical application manager (gpk-application) that makes it easy to install any application from the repository, so you can install productivity tools like LibreOffice 3.5 and OpenOffice 3.4, both of which are in the repository.

Because it uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment, it also comes with all the graphical management tools that ships with any distribution that uses GNOME 3.
Kali Linux System Settings GNOME Shell


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