Most Popular Linux Distro for Penetration Testing


As a Security Professional, Researcher, Specialist or Pentester, one of the most important things is to have a collection of Tools that can help you in performing time-taking and tedious task efficiently. I this article, we will be discussing various Linux Distros that can help us as a security professional on daily basis. As per distro list available is not at any specific order since different security professionals have different needs and requirements like –a Network security expert, Risk Analyzer, Forensic Expert, etc. So, we have different distro for different profession in IT security.


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Advantages of a Distro:

  • It helps beginners to start security testing without getting into the nasty stuff.
  • Great pool of distros which can be chosen from.
  • Saves time and effort to make a custom setup.


Top Linux Distributions:


  1. Kali Linux:



One of the most popular and famous Debian-based security Linux distros that is developed by Offensive Security. It has more than 500+ pre-installed tools that the community maintains and updates the repositories. Kali is free and can be used as a virtual machine as well as a live boot which is a perfect fit for both security testing and forensic jobs. There is a lot of help available on the internet that can help you to get them started and assist if you get stuck. The documentation is available on their website. It’s just for a starter references to understand the environment and basic functionality.


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2. Parrot Security:

Parrot project was started in 2013 and since then it has been regularly update. It a very good hacking GUI version looks very great for New Beginner comers. The OS is Debian-based as Kali Linux and developed by Frozenbox team. The Kali and Frozenbox OS have some mixture based repository used by Parrot Linux.


The OS is designed for penetration testing, vulnerability testing, Network security analysis and Digital Forensics. It requires a minimum of 256MB RAM and works with both 32-bit and 64-bit architecture systems as well it has ARM-compatibility version also available. For those who require a lightweight system, Parrot distro should be a choice for them.


3. BlackArch:

It is another security Linux Distribution that is actively developed and maintained for over 2000 tools. It also offers an installation guide and in 8 languages and a video based tutorials.

BlackArch Linux is an Arch Linux-Based penetration testing distribution for penetration testers and security researchers. The repository contains 2090 tools (as per BlackArch website says). You can install tools individually or in groups. It is compatible with existing Arch installs. You can download from here.


  1. Samurai Web penetration testing Framework:

It is built on open source software and is specifically crafted for web penetration testing. It contains all the open source tools that can be used in all four stages of web application penetration testing.

It is a virtual machine, supported on VitualBox and VMWare, which has been pre-configured to function as web pen-testing environment. The VM contains the best of the open source and free tools that focus on testing and attacking websites.


Starting with reconnaissance, we have included tools such as the fierce domain scanner and Maltego. For mapping, we have included tools such WebScarab and ratproxy. We then chose tools for discovery. These would include w3af and burp. For exploitation, the final stage, we included BeEF, AJAXShell and much more. This VM also includes a pre-configured wiki, set up to be the central information store during your pen-test. You can check more info here.


  1. Bugtraq:

One thing that makes Bugtraq stand out is that the team is an expert in Linux customization. They curate the Linux for boot entry, tools, files, wallpapers, logos, etc. to fit the requirement. It is available in various Linux flavours (Debian, Ubuntu, and OpenSUSE). The team at Bugtraq is experienced and the tools have been developed in Python along with LUA integration.



One of the key features of Bugtraq is that it has tools that span over a wide range of security domains – Penetration testing, malware analysis, Android penetration testing, wireless hacking, mobile forensics etc. Bugtraq can be downloaded from this linkin the various format as per your need.



As I have my list for best Linux Distro for Penetration testing and Security Professionals. It’s all depend on person to person, How they can adapt anyone distro for this Security research and testing purposes. I just give my best Linux Distro reference to dig deep into these Linux distro for better choice of your Linux Security works. A part from the above Linux distro, we have lots of different distro also available. See below:


  • Qubes OS
  • Tails
  • Whonix
  • Discreete Linux
  • Linux Kodachi
  • Heads OS
  • Subgraph OS
  • IprediaOS
  • PureOS
  • Openwall GNU/*/Linux
  • Alpine Linux
  • Container Linux (Formerly CoreOS)

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About the Author: Cryptus Team

CRYPTUS CYBER SECURITY is an Cyber Security Training and penetration testing Company in New Delhi, India. We have been delivering advance it security training and services with upgraded technology contents to IT Professionals. Our goal is to sustain performance level producing sterling results. We Stands Up to our commitments which are comiitted by Our Team.


  1. Hey,

    This article on Linux distros for hacking is a great read, thanks for putting it together. In fact, I find your thoughts on Parrot Security distro quite interesting.

    I’m glad to connect with another avid cyber security blogger.

    More grease to your elbow… 🙂

  2. The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple
    ipad and tested to see if it can survive a 30 foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed
    and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  3. Great post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?

    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Bless you!

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