Differences Between Kali Linux and Debian

Kali Linux is geared towards professional penetration testing and security auditing. As such, several core changes have been implemented in Kali Linux which reflect these needs:

  1. Single user, root access by design: Due to the nature of security audits, Kali linux is designed to be used in a “single, root user” scenario.

  2. Network services disabled by default: Kali Linux contains sysvinit hooks which disable network services by default. These hooks allow us to install various services on Kali Linux, while ensuring that our distribution remains secure by default, no matter what packages are installed. Additional services such as Bluetooth are also blacklisted by default.

  3. Custom Linux kernel: Kali Linux uses an upstream kernel, patched for wireless injection.

Is Kali Linux Right For You?

As the distribution developers, one would likely expect us to recommend that everyone use Kali Linux. The fact of the matter is however, that Kali is a Linux distribution specifically geared towards professional penetration testing and security auditing and as such, it is NOT a recommended distribution for those unfamiliar with Linux.

In addition, misuse of security tools within your network, particularly without permission, may cause irreparable damage and result in significant consequences.

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 Ubuntu or Debian instead.