14 Best Linux Distro for Hacking purposes

There are many advantages of Linux, many reasons to use Linux, and is used for many different purposes. Linux is an open-source operating system. So that anyone can modify and redistribute the source code of this OS. That’s why there are lots of different Linux distributions in this technical world. But there is one problem with these many distributions, and that problem is that people confused between these different distros. Which one is good for use? What are the different purposes of this Linux? So we will discuss all of the solutions to that question in this article. There are many different uses of different Linux distro. In this article, we will discuss the best Linux distros for hacking purposes.

What is the difference between other Linux and Hacking Linux Distros?

There is not much difference between simple Linux distros and the Linux distros made for hacking. So why don’t we use those Linux distros for hacking? It’s because Linux which is made for hacking purposes contains lots of tools for hacking and more secure than other operating systems. You can also do hacking with other Linux distributions but you will have to install the tools manually and that is so annoying. So that’s why we use those Linux distros which already have those tools pre-installed. Now let’s discuss which Linux distros are best for hacking purposes.

1. Kali Linux

image source: Kali Linux

The well-known Operating system or you can say Linux Distribution is kali Linux. Kali is developed by Offensive security. This Linux Distro contain more than 600 hacking related tools. If you are a beginner then this Linux Distro is best for you. And because this is a very old hacking Linux distro, the community support behinf=d this distro is very large.

Kali Linux is based on Debian. And now it follows the rolling released model, which means that every tool you are using will always be up to date. This Linux distro is the most advanced penetration testing platform. You can easily install kali Linux in VirtualBox or in VMware inside your windows and start practicing hacking right now or you can dual boot it with your windows.

Download ISO File: https://www.kali.org/downloads/

Download OVA FileOVA file for Kali Linux

Minimum requirements for Kali Linux

Disk Space: At least 20GB

RAM: 2GB for smooth performance(or you can use it even in 1GB of RAM but don’t expect lag-free performance)

Processor: minimum core i5 or Ryzen 5 for smooth performance

If you want to use it as a virtual machine then you will need VirtualBox and if you want to use it in a dual boot system then you will need a CD-DVD drive or a bootable pen drive.

2. BackBox


BackBox is also a good Linux Distribution for beginners. It’s also a lightweight operating system. Even though it does not contain as many tools as Kali Linux but some of the tools are really very useful and also you can not find these tools in Kali Linux. 

BackBox is Ubuntu-based Linux Distribution. BackBox has its own product vault that gives the most recent stable forms of different framework and organization investigation toolboxes just as the most famous moral or you can say ethical hacking tools. 

Download ISO Filehttps://www.backbox.org/download/

Minimum requirements for BackBox

64-bit processor

Disk Space: At least 20GB

RAM: 1GB for smooth performance

CD-DVD drive or a bootable pen drive.

3. Parrot Security OS

Parrot Security OS

Parrot OS is really a very good Linux distribution and it is also based on Debian. When it comes to the number of tools it contains all the tools which are available in Kali Linux and in addition it has its own custom tools from Frozenbox Network. A large number of users using this Operating system are penetration testers who need online anonymity and also who need an encrypted system. 

Download ISO Filehttps://www.parrotsec.org/download/

Minimum requirements for Parrot Security

Disk Space: At least 40GB

RAM: 2GB for smooth performance(or you can use it even in 1GB of RAM but it will not run very smooth)

Processor: Dual-core x86_64 Processor

4. BlackArch

image source: BlackArch Linux

BlackArch is quite an interesting Linux Distro for penetration testers. It has its own repository containing 2600 tools and this list is growing over time. It is specially created for security researchers and penetration testers.

Download ISO Filehttps://blackarch.org/downloads.html

Minimum System Requirements for BlackArch

(It’s not 100% perfect data)

Its ISO file size is 15GB and OVA image size is around 28GB So the Minimum Disk Space is around 40GB.

It’s a lightweight OS so you will need a minimum of 2GB of RAM

Support for multiple architectures Like x86_64, armv6h, armv7h, and arch64

5. Fedora Security Lab

Fedora Security Lab

Fedora Security Lab is well known Linux Distribution. It will allow you to work on security auditing, hacking, and forensics. The tool count is not as much as Kali Linux but contains all the basic tools for penetration testing and forensics. You can give it a try.

Download ISO File: https://labs.fedoraproject.org/security/download/index.html

Minimum System Requirement for Fedora Security Lab

Disk Space: At least 20GB

RAM: minimum 2GB

CD-DVD drive or a bootable pen drive.

6. Pentoo Linux

Pentoo Linux

Pentoo is a Gentoo based Linux. The main focus of this distribution is security and penetration testing. You can rise it as LiveCD with a persistent partition(It means that any changes made during the Live environment will be saved and can be used in the next boot).

It uses an XFCE desktop environment. Pentoo is basically a higher version of Gentoo with lots of customized tools.

Download ISO File: https://www.pentoo.ch/downloads

Minimum System Requirements for Pentoo Linux

Processor:  i686 or higher


Disk Space: At least 20GB(30+GB is recommended)

Internet connection is optional but highly suggested.

7. Samurai Web Testing Framework

Samurai WTF

Samurai Web Testing Framework is a virtual machine that is supported on VMWare or VirtualBox. This Linux is designed to perform web pen-testing and it contains lots of tools for attacking websites. It’s a highly recommended framework for web penetrators and it’s totally free. 

Download ISO File: https://sourceforge.net/projects/samurai/

8. Bugtraq


Bugtraq contains lots of penetration testing, forensic and laboratory tools. It is available with XFCE, KDE, and GNOME desktop environments, in Ubuntu, Debian, and OpenSUSE versions. It’s also available in 11 different languages.

Download ISO File: https://www.hackingtools.in/free-download-bugtraq/

Minimum System Requirments of Bugtraq

Disk Space: 15GB

RAM: 512MB

Processor: 1GHz x86

CD-DVD drive or Bootable USB

9. DEFT Linux

Deft Linux

DEFT is full of  Digital Evidence & Forensics Toolkit. This Linux is made for computer forensics analysis. DEFT Linux is based on Xubuntu. This Linux uses the LXDE Desktop Environment. DEFT Linux runs on live mode(it means once you boot your system and start using it).DEFT Linux is used by the Military, Police, Security experts, auditors, or individuals.

Download ISO File: https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=deft

Minimum System Requirments for DEFT Linux

Processor: x86 CPU and 200MHz

RAM: 128MB

Disk Space: 15GB

10. DracOS

DracOS Full form is Dragon Comodo OS. It contains hundreds of tools to cover penetration testing, forensics, and reverse engineering. DracOS was built based on LFS(Linux from scratch). The interesting thing about this Linux is that it does not have a GUI environment, you can only use tools with CLI(Command Line). It may be challenging for some beginners in penetration testing, but not that hard to learn. DracOS is a very Lightweight Operating System, you can install it on any low-end PCs.

Download ISO File: https://dracos-linux.org/downloads.php

Minimum System Requirements for DracOS

Disk Space: 15GB

RAM: 512MB

11. C.A.I.N.E

C.A.I.N.E stands for Computer-Aided Investigative Environment. This is another Live distribution for digital forensics. CAINE is based on Ubuntu and uses MATE and LightDM desktop environment. CAINE has lots of tools to help investigators or IT auditors to find data points and clues that needed for computer security forensics.

Download ISO File: https://www.caine-live.net/page5/page5.html

Minimum System Requirements for C.A.I.N.E Linux

Processor: 2GHz dual-core or better


Disk Space: 20GB

12. Metasploitable 2

Metasploitable is a purposefully vulnerable Linux virtual machine that can be used to direct security preparing, test security devices, and practice basic penetration testing methods. And the special thing about this Linux is that there is no graphical interface in this Linux. The large number of users for this Linux are most off Bug Bounty hunters.

Download Latest Version: https://sourceforge.net/projects/metasploitable/files/Metasploitable2/

Minimum System Requirements for Metasploitable2

Processor: 2GHz or Higher

Disk Space: 1GB

RAM: 2GB(you can run this even in 512MB/1GB of RAM)

13. Network Security Toolkit(NST)

Network Security Toolkit is a Linux distribution based on Fedora Live-CD intended for Network Security and Network entrance testing. NST is focused on organization symptomatic and worker observing. NST accompanies an armory of Network security devices, which the majority of the undertakings can be gotten to through Web User Interface.

Download ISO File: https://sourceforge.net/projects/nst/files/

Minimum System Requirements for NST

Processor:  i686 or x86_64 compatible CPU

RAM: 512MB

Disk Space: 16GB

14. ArchStrike

ArchStrike is an OS that can be utilized for security experts and scientists. It adheres to Arch Linux OS norms to keep up bundles appropriately. This climate can be utilized for pen testing and security layer. You can surely introduce or eliminate it with no issue.

Download ISO Filehttps://archstrike.org/downloads

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