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Kali Linux vs Linux: What are the differences?

Kali Linux and Linux, both stemming from the open-source Linux kernel, cater to distinct needs. While Linux is a versatile OS, Kali Linux specializes in cybersecurity. Let's explore the key differences between these two Linux-based platforms.

1. Kernel Modifications: Kali Linux has specialized modifications to its kernel that make it more suitable for penetration testing and security auditing. These modifications include features like IP spoofing and packet sniffing, which are not present in a standard Linux distribution.

2. Pre-installed Tools: Unlike Linux, Kali Linux comes with a wide range of pre-installed tools for advanced security testing and forensics. These tools include network analyzers, password crackers, and vulnerability assessment scanners, which are specifically designed to aid ethical hackers and security professionals.

3. Purpose and Target Audience: Linux is a general-purpose operating system that caters to a wide range of users and use cases. On the other hand, Kali Linux is tailored specifically for cybersecurity professionals and enthusiasts who require specialized tools and features for security testing and pen-testing tasks.

4. Release Cycle and Stability: Linux is known for its stable releases and long-term support (LTS) versions that prioritize reliability and backward compatibility. In contrast, Kali Linux follows a rolling release model, where updates are continuously added, making it more cutting-edge and providing access to the latest tools, but potentially sacrificing stability.

5. Documentation and Support: Linux, being a more widely used operating system, has a vast community and extensive documentation available, catering to a wide range of user needs. Kali Linux, being a niche distribution, has a smaller but dedicated community and specialized documentation focused on security testing and penetration testing.

6. Default Configuration and User Interface: Linux distributions typically have user-friendly interfaces and configurations suitable for general users. In contrast, Kali Linux has a more minimalistic and streamlined user interface, optimized for efficient use of security tools and applications, which may require more technical expertise to operate effectively.

In summary, Kali Linux and Linux, despite a shared kernel, serve unique purposes. Linux is a versatile OS, while Kali Linux is tailored for cybersecurity.

Decisions about Kali Linux and Linux
Jennifer Briston

Netdata introduces Linux eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter) monitoring. With this enabled, monitor real-time metrics of Linux kernel functions and actions from the very same monitoring and troubleshooting dashboard used for watching entire systems, or even entire infrastructures.

This collector uses eBPF to monitor system calls inside your operating system’s kernel. For now, the main goal of this plugin is to monitor IO and process management on the host where it is running.

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Justin Dorfman
Open Source Program Manager at Reblaze · | 1 upvote · 81.2K views

If you have a file (demo.txt) that has 3 columns:

Column-1    Column-2    Column-3
Row-1a      Row-2a      Row-3a         
Row-1b      Row-2b      Row-3b
Row-1c      Row-2c      Row-3c
Row-1d      Row-2d      Row-3d
Row-1e      Row-2e      Row-3e

and you want to only view the first column of the file in your CLI, run the following:

awk {'print $1'} demo.txt


If you want to print the second column of demo.txt, just replace $1 with $2

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Pros of Kali Linux
Pros of Linux
  • 8
    Penetration testing tools are pre-installed
  • 8
    Has many penetration testing tools
  • 5
    Runs on both x86 and ARM platforms
  • 3
    Its just debian so it has better support
  • 1
    There's no restrictions
  • 17
    Open Source
  • 11
  • 8
  • 5

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Cons of Kali Linux
Cons of Linux
  • 3
    Wireless driver issues on some systems
  • 3
    Packages are too large in size as compare to alpine
  • 3
    Outdated versions of common packages
  • 2
    Root GUI setup is a potential security hole
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Kali Linux?

    It is a Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing. It contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Security research, Computer Forensics and Reverse Engineering.

    What is Linux?

    A clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.

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    What companies use Kali Linux?
    What companies use Linux?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Kali Linux or Linux.
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    What tools integrate with Kali Linux?
    What tools integrate with Linux?

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    Blog Posts

    Dec 8 2020 at 5:50PM


    May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

    Rancher Labs

    KubernetesAmazon EC2Grafana+12
    What are some alternatives to Kali Linux and Linux?
    Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.
    Arch Linux
    A lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple.
    Linux Mint
    The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
    Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.
    The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
    See all alternatives