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  • Want to see yourself as Penetration Tester, IT Security Expert?

    There are thousands of standalone software & tools for ethical hacking, penetration testing, forensic investigation and it can be a burden to maintain and keep track of standard OS like Linux, Windows, or MAC OS.

    If you are practicing ethical hacking, then you would love the following Linux-based operating system designed for you.

    This OS has a bunch of software inbuilt, so you don’t need to install it individually. There is a various method to install them, including VM and in Cloud.

    Let’s go through them…

    Kali Linux

    Kali Linux is one of the most modern advanced pen testing Linux distributions based on Debian.


    Kali Linux is available in 64 bit, 32 bit, and virtual images to download. Lately, it was made available in AWS and Azure cloud.

    Having more than 350 tools in the following category and extensive documentation makes Kali excellent.

    • Information Gathering
    • Vulnerability Analysis
    • Wireless, Password, Hardware Attacks
    • Web Applications
    • Exploitation, Forensics. Stress Testing, Reporting
    • Sniffing, Spoofing,
    • Reverse Engineering

    Kali is an open-source maintained by offensive security.

    So, go ahead and play around with it. If you are new to Kali Linux, then you may check out this tutorial for the beginner.


    ArchStrike is based on Arch Linux for a security professional and available to download for the following platform.

    • 64 bit
    • 32 bit
    • VirtualBox
    • VMWare

    There are around 5000 packages available for almost everything you need in various categories, and some of them are:

    • Exploit
    • Malware
    • Spoofing/Sniffing
    • DDoS
    • Social Engineering
    • Enumeration
    • Networking
    • Forensics
    • Brute Force

    ArchStrike is straightforward and lightweight, so give a try and see if that works for you.


    BlackArch is another distro based on Arch Linux based with more than 1600 tools. You can either install the tools individually or in a group.

    BlackArch can be installed on top of Arch Linux or from ISO. Documentation is available in English, French, Turkish, and Brazillian language.

    BackBox Linux

    BackBox is an open-source Linux distro for security analysis and pen-testing. BackBox is hacker-friendly and has more than 100 packages, including some of the commonly used.

    • NMAP
    • Scapy
    • Wireshark
    • Aircrack
    • SQL Map
    • W3af
    • Metasploit

    BackBox is available for i386 and amd64 platform to download. If you don’t want to get into the installation on your server, then you may try their cloud platform (It’s not FREE).


    Cyborg is an Ubuntu-based next-generation distro for security expert with more than 700 open source tools.

    If you are an Ubuntu lover, then you are going to like Cyborg. It has the following toolkit.

    • Mobile Security
    • Wireless Security
    • Stress Testing
    • Reverse Engineering
    • Exploitation Toolkit
    • Information Gathering
    • Vulnerability Assessment
    • Privilege Escalation
    • Maintain Access
    • Forensics
    • Reporting
    • Hardware
    • Malware

    Cyborg is available in the following two versions of the distro for download.

    1. Cyborg Essential 64bit
    2. Cyborg Hawk 64bit

    A large number of tools make Cyborg attractive and worth giving a try. They got a detailed tutorial too.


    CAINE (Computer Aided Investigate Environment) is a live Linux distro with a user-friendly graphical interface and menu.

    With CAINE, you can create a meaningful well-structured report of an investigation that makes communication easy with the rest of the team.

    You can carry CAINE in a USB pen drive with a large number of the toolset.


    Bugtraq is an advanced, robust pen-testing platform available in 11 languages. It comes with more than 500 security tools and ready to download in either 32bit or 64bit.

    Bugtraq is based on GNU/Linux, so you get an excellent menu and user-interface and the following customization.

    • Syslinux boot entry
    • Pressed file
    • Services
    • Kernel

    Some of the following essential tools you will get with Bugtraq:

    • Nessus
    • Burt Suite
    • Nikto
    • Evil-grade
    • Hydra
    • Wireshark
    • Beef

    Want to get this installed on your Mobile? Good news, you can do that on Android.


    Samurai WTF (Web Testing Framework) is a virtual machine available for Virtual Box and VMWare.

    The virtual machine is pre-configured with many open source security tools, including the following.

    • Fierce domain scanner
    • Maltego
    • WebScarab
    • Ratproxy
    • W3af
    • Burp
    • Beef
    • AJAXShell


    STD (Security Tool Distribution) is a collection of hundreds of open-source ethical hacking tools. STD is live distro, and tools are grouped as below.

    • Authentication
    • Encryption
    • Forensics
    • Firewall
    • Honeypots
    • IDS
    • Network
    • Password tools
    • Packet sniffing
    • Tunnels
    • Vulnerability assessment
    • Wireless


    Pentoo is based on Gentoo with lots of customized tools & kernel and available in 32bit and 64bit.


    DEFT (Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit) is based on Ubuntu. Deft is bundled with valuable open-source tools to make investigation comfortable and faster.

    Parrot Security

    Parrot is based on Debian targeted for penetration testing, privacy protection & digital forensics.

    Parrot Security is developed in collaboration with Caine and has much cryptographic software, privacy browser like TOR, I2P.

    You can also buy VPS, which comes with pre-installed Parrot Security hosted in their data centers.


    SELKS (Suricata Elasticsearch Logstash Kibana Scirius) is based on Debian and focused on Suricata IDS/IPS (Intrusion detection system/Intrusion prevention system). SELKS is available with a desktop or without, so choose what you like.


    NST (Network Security Toolkit) is focused on system and network investigation. You can either use the live version, DVD, or USB drive.

    NST is packaged with the top 125 security tools by Insecure.org

    I hope the above operating system designed for an ethical hacker; security expert makes the incident investigation easy and quicker.

    Note: Kaspersky has lately announced the secure OS is coming up soon.

    You may also be interested in learning practical hacking and penetration testing.