Download Kali Linux 2019.3 – Advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing

What is Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution aimed at advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing.

Kali contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as Penetration Testing, Security research, Computer Forensics and Reverse Engineering. Kali Linux is developed, funded and maintained by Offensive Security, a leading information security training company.

Kali Linux was released on the 13th March, 2013 as a complete, top-to-bottom rebuild of BackTrack Linux, adhering completely to Debian development standards.

  • More than 600 penetration testing tools included
  • Free and always will be
  • Open source Git tree
  • FHS compliant
  • Wide-ranging wireless device support
  • Custom kernel, patched for injection
  • Developed in a secure environment
  • GPG signed packages and repositories
  • Multi-language support
  • Completely customizable
  • ARMEL and ARMHF support

Kali Linux is specifically tailored to the needs of penetration testing professionals, and therefore all documentation on this site assumes prior knowledge of, and familiarity with, the Linux operating system in general.

What’s Different About Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is specifically geared to meet the requirements of professional penetration testing and security auditing. To achieve this, several core changes have been implemented in Kali Linux which reflect these needs:

  1. Single user, root access by design
  2. Network services disabled by default
  3. Custom Linux kernel
  4. minimal and trusted set of repositories

Is Kali Linux Right For You?

As the distribution’s developers, you might expect us to recommend that everyone should be using Kali Linux. The fact of the matter is, however, that Kali is a Linux distribution specifically geared towards professional penetration testers and security specialists, and given its unique nature, it is NOT a recommended distribution if you’re unfamiliar with Linux or are looking for a general-purpose Linux desktop distribution for development, web design, gaming, etc.

Even for experienced Linux users, Kali can pose some challenges. Although Kali is an open source project, it’s not a wide-open source project, for reasons of security. The development team is small and trusted, packages in the repositories are signed both by the individual committer and the team, and — importantly — the set of upstream repositories from which updates and new packages are drawn is very small. Adding repositories to your software sources which have not been tested by the Kali Linux development team is a good way to cause problems on your system.

If you are looking for a Linux distribution to learn the basics of Linux and need a good starting point, Kali Linux is not the ideal distribution for you. You may want to begin with UbuntuMint, or Debian instead. If you’re interested in getting hands-on with the internals of Linux, take a look the “Linux From Scratch” project.

Download Kali Linux

ISO Files for Intel-based PCs

In order to run Kali “Live” from a USB drive on standard Windows and Apple PCs, you’ll need a Kali Linux bootable ISO image, in either 32-bit or 64-bit format.

If you’re not sure of the architecture of the system you want to run Kali on, on Linux or OS X, you can run the command

uname -m

at the command line. If you get the response, “x86_64”, use the 64-bit ISO image (the one containing “amd64” in the file name); if you get “i386”, use the 32-bit image (the one containing “i386” in the file name). If you’re on a Windows system, the procedure for determining whether your architecture is detailed on Microsoft’s website.

The Kali Linux images are available both as directly downloadable “.iso/.img” files

What is the Difference Between Kali Linux Versions?

Kali Linux makes things difficult for beginning Linux users. Moreover, these difficulties begin to arise at the stage of downloading the distribution.

Immediately we will clarify that versions differ by 64 Bit and 32 Bit – choose according to your processor.

And now let’s figure out what the difference between the versions. Almost all of them (except Light) are distinguished by the desktop environment. So that you could roughly represent yourself as an “atmosphere” in distributions, here are screenshots of all versions of Kali Linux.

GNOME 3

Kali Linux Gnome 3 Versions

This is the main (“classic”, default) desktop environment. On the website, the ISO image are simply called Kali Linux – without reference to the desktop.

Kde

Kali Linux KDE Versions

This environment is open for customization and various user widgets and plug-ins.

MATE

Kali Linux MATE Versions

Mate is, in fact, updated GNOME 2. The transition to GNOME 3 brought too drastic changes that not everyone accepted. For example, I personally still don’t like GNOME 3. By the way, GNOME 3 is also used in Ubuntu.

So, developers who disagreed with the GNOME 3 concept made fork GNOME 2 and called it Mate. This environment is still kept up to date, it has a classic and perhaps a bit outdated look.

Xfce

Kali Linux Xfce Versions

This, as well as the following two, are light environments – they are not resource demanding and are recommended for low-power (obsolete) computers.

Lxde

Kali Linux Lxde Versions

E17

Kali Linux E17 Versions

With a cursory feeling (only loaded to make a screenshot) – this desktop environment seemed very nice.

Light

Kali Linux Light Versions

This option comes with the Xfce desktop, its difference is that it only contains the operating system with literally several tools.

This option can be a good starting point for creating your own distribution, in which you install only the tools you need. Due to this, the system will consume less disk space, update faster and consume less traffic while updating.

New desktop environment without reinstalling Kali Linux

You do not need to reinstall the system or even download different images if you want to try or switch to another desktop environment. You can install two or even all the options on one system and change your desktop every day.