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Best forensic and pentesting Linux distros of 2023

Do note that we recommend you go for the LTS editions—unless you have specific requirements. This is why we have compiled this list of the best Linux in various categories. Purple is still being developed but in offers pen-testers a potentially free, safe and legal way to carry out hacking attempts  without having to set up a separate system themselves. As an added bonus, the distro also ships with Tor and a script that will route all Internet bound traffic from the distro via the Tor network. Whether you need to spin up a VM or service on Google Cloud Computer, AWS, Linode, Azure, etc… Ubuntu will be available. Ubuntu Server runs on all major architectures, including x86-64, ARM v7, ARM64, POWER9/POWER10, IBM zSystems and LinuxONE (s390x) and RISC-V.

  • Not just that, you can also save changes to the root directory with its “Live persistence” feature.
  • We’ve analyzed various distros to find the best forensic and pentesting Linux distros for you.
  • You’ll also have access to tools like Cacti and Snort through the RPM and YUM package managers.
  • Eclipse is probably best known for Java, but also has a C/C++ and PHP IDE.
  • Its name is a tribute to late CentOS project co-founder Rocky McGaugh who has worked in high-performance computing for a long time.

So, you shouldn’t have an issue finding an app for anything you need. Pop OS comes with media creation tools, developer tools, and AI applications built-in. It’s also compatible with many Windows applications and games thanks to its integration with Lutris and Proton (Windows compatibility layers for Linux).

How to Install Linux

Yes, you can get a lot more from Linux if you know how to do shell programming and the like. With both operating systems, you don’t need to know the deep ins and outs of either one to get your work done. A few years back, one of my favorite Linux desktops was MEPIS Linux. Eventually, though, its founder and maintainer, Warren Woodford, had to turn his attention to other businesses. MEPIS’s fans joined forces with the related antiX Linux communities and revived the project as MX Linux.

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I can’t even think of coming up with an exact number because you would find loads of Linux distros that differ from one another in one way or the other. Pentoo also fares pretty poorly in the help and support department especially when compared to some of its peers. There’s a small FAQ and the docs section has an introductory video from the lead developer at Defcon 2014, but that’s about all the help you can expect from the project. This, along with the fact it’s based on Gentoo and not a more common Linux distro like Debian makes it less than ideal for beginners. Perhaps the biggest factor for Kali’s popularity is the project’s ample documentation, both on and off the project’s website. Besides the official sources of documentation, you also find various third-party documentation, including books, screencasts and video tutorials all over the Internet.

The best Linux distros for beginners

BlackArch’s best customization is its smart repository arrangement. If you are already an Arch user, you can install BlackArch atop your existing installation by using a special shell script. The main feature of the distro is its huge collection of tools, numbering over 2800, many of which you wouldn’t find in any of the other distros.

  • The distro has an active community on social media where you can interact with them on any related topic or queries.
  • CentOS Stream is a free, community-based variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
  • Even though the number of users/developers utilizing it has significantly decreased, it is still a fantastic choice for advanced users.
  • You can use its scripts to customize and tweak all aspects of the distro.
  • Perhaps the most well-known pentesting distro, Kali Linux is based on Debian and uses the Xfce desktop.
  • Attempts to modularise this code and support modern features like process restart, ISSU, etc have been abandoned due to poor results .

OpenSwitch is a community-based, open source network operating system. IOS-SX – a fork of IOS was made in the mid-2000s, with Ethernet Switching features added to the code. It had all the limitations of IOS and took some years to stabilise into How To Become a Python Developer a reliable operating system. Many customers remain fearful to move on based on the pain experienced to date. Attempts to modularise this code and support modern features like process restart, ISSU, etc have been abandoned due to poor results . Dell acquired Force10 and has continued to develop the NOS with new features.

Introduction to Linux

Despite its small size, there’s no beating Puppy for out of the box functionality. The distro ships with apps and utilities for virtually all the functions you can perform on a desktop. Also, you do not have to install it separately, as you can run it live from a USB drive or DVD. If you go to their official page, you will quickly see them offering two versions. _OS is workflow streamlined where you get the benefits of maximizing real estate.