Kali Linux or Parrot OS?

A question that we all ask ourselves when we start in cybersecurity is the operating system to use for many Kali Linux is the king in the best operating system for pentesting but there are a number of users who use Parrot OS, but which of the two operating systems is better, which one should you use, well I’ll answer this in this post.

Kali Linux as your page says it may be “The Most Advanced Penetration Testing Distribution”, Kali is a Linux distribution based on Debian, it has existed since March 2013, successor to BackTrack Linux and developed by the company Offesive Security. Kali is currently the most used Pentesting distribution in the world, but what good is it?

One of the main advantages of using Kali Linux is its stability, because it is developed by a company it is much less likely if not impossible that the repositories will have malware and because its developers receive a payment they get to solve more problems quickly and also being supported by a company have a greater infrastructure. Another advantage of Kali is that as they say “Kali all the things” Kali has a many editions for different devices from a Raspberry PI arm to a Wear OS Watch. Kali also has a great, very complete and updated documentation where they teach you to customize your Kali or build your own images for you, also where you ask for Kali there will always be someone willing to help you.

For its part, Parrot OS is a Linux distribution also based on Debian, launched a few months after the departure of Kali by the now non-existent Frozen Box, now it is developed by Parrot OS Sec. Mainly by its founder Palinuro, it is an excellent pentesing distribution and overall a good linux distro.

Parrot OS from the beginning has also focused on daily use and although Kali has joined this branch, Parrot has been a distro since its creation not only for hackers, this is a great advantage since it avoids starting a USB or a virtual machine to start hacking. Another advantage that Parrot has is that it is 100% open source and although Kali is also certain small things are not, Parrot is mostly created by a community for the community this unites many people to collaborate in Parrot in addition to Parrot users they are always faithful to the Parrot.

Kali Linux offers a greater variety of pre-configured desktops for the end user.The current list of desktops that Kali offers are:

  • i3 (WM)
  • KDE (DE)
  • Xfce (WM) - Default desktop
  • LXDE (WM)
  • MATE (DE)
  • GNOME (DE)
  • Enlightenment (WM)

While Parrot has a much smaller list of preconfigured desktops:

  • KDE (DE)
  • MATE (DE) - Default desktop
  • Xfce (WM)

Note: this list does not take into account the desktops that are not preconfigured but are in the repositories of the BSPWM distro example.

For years the dragon (Kali) has a great variety of both official and unofficial editions here is the current list of official editions:

  • AWS
  • Docker container
  • LXC/LXD container
  • Pine 64
  • Banana Pi
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Android Phones (Nethunter)
  • Windows Subsytem Linux (WSL)
  • Others like Nano Pi…

For this reason the legend “Kali all the things” is correct also that Kali has a wide community that is willing to boot Kali into anything.

Meanwhile Parrot only has docker containers, and the script that can convert any Debian or Parrot-based one.

In this regard I consider that Parrot and Kali are practically the same because they are both based on Debian, the tools that work in Parrot will also work in Kali.

Although Kali has a wide variety of software, some packages are not there yet, but this is very easy to solve because Kali is more pure than Debian, you can install the Debian repositories in Kali and make all the Debian packages get the same, there are always the  .deb.

Parrot has a very large variety of software for personal use because Parrot has been a distro for personal use for years, so I consider that Parrot has more variety for personal use.

This point is very varied, on the one hand Parrot has Telegram groups in many languages and Kali mainly in English an IRC chat, although we could also consider the Kali community on reddit or that where you ask about Kali in any computer group anyone can support that and that Kali has a bug tracker (NOT IS TWITTER). Kali also has a very large documentation and it is always updated because they let the community update the documentation itself.

None, each one has its advantages and disadvantages, if you are looking for one more distro for personal use and something different you can try Parrot or if you are looking for something that you can install on your Raspberry use Kali, in the end the tools do not make the hacker you could use any operating system only with some is simpler. I personally currently (2021) use Kali but a few months ago I used Parrot for years, they are both excellent distros and use the one you like the most. And remember don’t be toxic if someone uses Kali or Parrot

I would like to conclude this post with a Tweet made by Daniel Ruiz who has been a Kali developer since 2019:

So are you more to use Loro or the Dragon?