Kali Linux is a Debian based Linux distribution with Xfce desktop environment designed for digital forensics and pentesting. It was developed by two employees of Offensive Security by rewriting BackTrack, their previous Linux distribution for penetration testing and digital forensics based on Knoppix. Kali Linux is funded and maintained with updates by the U.S. company Offensive Security. Kali Linux is especially popular because it contains over 500 pre-installed tools including Metasploit, Nmap, Wireshark, John the Ripper, Aircrack-ng and many more.
Buy Kali Linux laptop? 2023 Best laptops for Kali pentesting
Why choose Kali Linux?
Kali Linux is the best choice for almost every (ethical) hacker. Kali is a toolkit overloaded with advanced tools for penetration testing and digital forensics. These include tools for information gathering, social engineering, sniffing and spoofing, password cracking, vulnerability analysis, wireless network attacks and much more. Since the American TV series Mr. Robot aired, the popularity of Kali Linux has grown enormously. The show included John the Ripper, Metasploit, nmap and Shellshock.
Offensive Security, the publisher of Kali Linux offers ethical hackers the opportunity to get certifications including: OSWE, OSCP, OSCE, OSWP, OSEE and KLCP. For a fee, students are given access to teaching materials, practical examples and the exam. Kali Linux can be used as live OS on a USB stick, can be used as VM with e.g. Virtual Box and is available in 32, 64-bit and ARM version for laptops, desktops and ARM devices. Even if you are an inexperienced Linux or Kali user you can find plenty of documentation in their own Wiki, including a comprehensive installation manual and information about using various security tools in Kali.
System requirements Kali Linux 2023.3
This is what Offensive Security calls the minimum and recommended system requirements for using Kali Linux 2023.3 Xfce version (source). Please note that this refers to physical installations and not virtual installations.