Henry Dalziel | Pentesting Distros, Pentesting Tools, Product Reviews | October 13, 2013
We have now reached over 500 votes on our: “Vote for your favorite Linux Penetration Testing Distribution” poll and, perhaps hardly unsurprisingly, Kali Linux has come in at first place with 284 votes representing 55% of the vote.
Here are the results:
These results are at October 13th 2013. Polling will remain open until we reach 1,000 people.
We are aiming to reach 1,000 votes – so please click here to add your preferred Linux Hacking Distro or Digital Forensics OS.
The Concise Courses Security blog regularly posts content and updates on a variety of specific Linux distros (within penetration testing and digital and mobile forensics) so we are delighted to confirm what our audience uses and likes the most.
Few words on the broad description of Linux Distros:
There are over 600 Linux Distributions that generally fall into these categories: Debian-based, Knoppix-based (which is actually a variation of Debian), Ubuntu-based (again, a variation of Debian), Gentoo-based, Pacman-based, Arch-based, RPM-based, Fedora-based, RHEL-based, Mandriva Linux-based, Slackware-based and finally Slax-based. The distros that we have blogged about over the last year have gravitated towards Debian (Kali Linux) and Ubutnu (BackBox) based distros.
First Position: Kali Linux!
Here’s a brief overview of Kali Linux: derived from Debian, this is a pure digital forensics and penetration testing distro. As proven by our poll, Kali is considered as the ‘most popular’. The Kali project is maintained and funded by the team at Offensive Security. In fact, it’s worth mentioning here that we have had one of the Kali Linux developers, Jaime ‘WiK’ Filson, on our Hacker Hotshots web show.
Kali Linux, like all the other distros that appeared on our ballot-box, come pre-installed with hundreds of penetration-testing programs. Examples of such pentesting tools include nmap, WireShark, and other classics like the AirCrack suite, Metasploit and Hydra.
We see there being two major reasons why Kali Linux is so popular, and why it is the hacking distro of choice for the discerning Penetration Tester. Firstly, that the distro stems from a rich and colorful history with its’ direct association with BackTrack (the forerunner to Kali Linux) and, the fact that it is multi-functional. By ‘multi-functional’ we mean that it supports ARM Architecture which greatly broadens the usage scope of the Operating System.
As well as being shipped in 32 and 64 bit flavors, the distro can also be downloaded and installed on, for example, Raspberry Pi’s and Samsung’s Chromebook – thanks to ARM Support. This was an excellent move on the part of Offensive Security since it clearly increases their footprint on the community as the ‘distro of choice’ since so many platforms and devices can carry the OS.
For an in-depth report and overview of this hacking distro, we’d encourage you to read about Kali in the latest edition of PenTest Magazine. The exclusive Kali Linux edition contains the following articles:
Second Position: BackBox!
Second place according to our poll is BackBox, and admittedly, our favorite distro. Our main reason for liking BackBox so much is their devotion to Xfce, the light window manager. Like Kali Linux, BackBox also includes the most widely used security and analysis penetration tools that assist with the following processes:
One of the solid things about BackBox is that its’ repository core is constantly updated to the last stable version of the most widely used ethical hacking tools. The review and integration of new tools that are included within the the distribution adhere to the Debian Free Software Guidelines criteria.
Should we be surprised that Kali Linux is number one from our poll of 500 people? What is your favorite distro and why? Also, the polling is far from over! We want to reach 1,000 so please cast your vote! The link will remain at the top of the post.