Best 5 Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing

Ever thought about penetration testing and stuff like that? Well, if you did you’re in the right place. Moreover, people keep saying that penetration testing isn’t a good bet in Windows. So, what’s the other option. It’s sure that besides Windows you’re left with Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing or MacOS.

MacOS, which I haven’t tried it yet.  As it is somewhat expensive. So, left with Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing. You can pretty much do anything with the system with Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing. Whether you want to configure kernel modules or make some patches or configurations by yourself, Linux always welcomes you.

The best thing about Linux is that it’s open-source and most of the software you’ll be using is open-source also. Let’s keep the pros and cons of Linux for some other time, time to see 5 Best Linux Distributions of 2020.

5 Best Linux Distributions of 2020

1. Kali Linux

Kali Linux - Best 5 Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing

Coming straight from Offensive Security, Kali Linux is one of the trending Linux Distribution for Penetration Testing. Kali Linux is a Debian based distribution which has its lineage to BackTrack Linux. It comes with 600+ tools for penetration testing and cyber forensics. It is one of the Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing that supports installation on a USB drive and virtual machine as well.

Kali Linux has one astonishing feature called forensic mode, where the system doesn’t touch internal hard drive or swap space. In the forensic mode, auto-mounting is in disable mode and you can easily use a bootable Kali USB drive or CD. Many tools in the previous version (Backtrack) were eliminated to focus only on the Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing.

Minimum System Requirements:

Disk Space : 20 GB

RAM: i386 & amd64 | 1GB & 2GB

Read: Kali Linux vs. ParrotOS

2. Parrot OS

Best 5 Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing

Formerly known as Parrot Security OS, Parrot OS is a Devuan-based Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing. Having its system extremely lightweight it is quite fast for old hardware and with very limited resources. Particularly designed for penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and computer forensics, Parrot OS is backed by Frozenbox team.

MATE being it’s desktop environment the project can run on devices which have a minimum of 256 MB RAM. Parrot OS has a special eye-candy with it’s a beautiful and vibrant desktop environment.

Minimum System Requirements:

Disk Space:16 GB

RAM:i386 & amd64 | 256MB & 320 MB (512 MB Recommended)

3. BlackArch

Source: DistroWatch

BlackArch with its roots back to Arch Linux is featuring 2100+ pen-testing tools. Moreover, giving you access to Arch User Repository BlackArch Linux is a storehouse of a variety of tools for cyber-forensics and penetration testing. With its growing reputation and through testing of tools, it’s quite a dependable Linux for fine-tuning your skills.

Although it’s user-interface do not have much eye-candy in comparison to Parrot OS, but it can get your work done. Giving you a minimalist user interface experience, you’ll be working purely on terminal interfaces. If you’re much into the beauty of Desktop Environment then you may have to configure the system for your taste. But with AUR (Arch User Repository) you can do anything you want with your system and tweak anything to fit your needs.

Minimum System Requirements

Disk Space: 30GB


4. Fedora Security Spin

u/TheGoldenMinion on r/fedora

Fedora security spin is a custom branch of Fedora that blends in many of the tools of Kali Linux but recompiled and managed in an RPM-based world.

If you’re into Red Hat, CentOS or Fedora then you can easily get up-and-running on Fedora Security Spin. Being quite a lightweight distribution, Fedora Security Spin includes all tools like network analyzer, password crackers, and intrusion prevention.

Blended with the functionalities of Fedora as a base , Fedora security spin is quite stable as well and provides you a lightweight experience.

Minimum System Requirements

Disk Space : 10 GB


5. Pentoo Linux


The simple purpose of FOSS is to support students and teachers while they are practicing or learning security methodologies on information security and it is the best Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing.

Pentoo Linux as the name derives  from Gentoo, focuses more on security aspects and pen-testing field and it is one of the best Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing. Having a Gentoo install with tons of custom tools, it already is integrating a custom kernel. You can easily save changes to your stick with penetration testing support and backported Wireless Fidelity Stack.

With its XFCE desktop environment, it comes with a variety of tools that fall under categories like Exploit cracker, Database, and Scanner etc. Features like Full UEFI support with secure boot, Unetbootin et al support, and the latest drivers make it a full-fledged linux distribution to polish your penetration testing skills.

Minimum System Requirements:

Disk Space: 30GB


These were the Best 5 Linux Distributions for Penetration Testing according to me.Let me know in the comments below which distribution you are planning to use or are using right now.

If you would like to know about Free Developer Resources and Free Tools/Services then make sure to checkout my post on GitHub Developer Pack.Share the post if you find it useful and make sure to give your valuable feedback.

Disclaimer: Every information on this post is for educational purposes. I do not intend anyone to use this information for any illegal purposes or malpractices in anyway.

One Comment

  1. If you guys have any suggestions or have any query. Please post your queries here in comments.

    However, if you’re looking for a general purpose Linux Image then I would suggest to try Linux Mint or Elementary OS.

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