The choice of operating system (OS) might be crucial for ethical hackers in the field of cybersecurity, where the conflict between defenders and attackers is ongoing. Hacker-focused operating systems provide a community, a set of specialized tools, and strong security features that enable cybersecurity enthusiasts to do digital forensics, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing efficiently.

We explore the features, advantages, and applicability of operating systems for various cybersecurity jobs as we enter into the realm of operating system hacking in this extensive tutorial. Regardless of your level of experience, this book will give you insightful knowledge on the top operating systems for ethical hacking.

Why Select an Operating System for Hacking?

Prior to delving into the intricacies of any hacking operating system, let us comprehend the significance of selecting an appropriate operating system for ethical hackers:

Specialized Tools: A certain set of tools and utilities are needed for cybersecurity and hacking tasks. Numerous security and penetration testing tools are per-installed on hacking operating system distributions such as Kali Linux and Parrot Security OS, which saves time and effort compared to manual installation and configuration.

Compatibility: Hacking scripts and tools are frequently made to function flawlessly on specific operating systems. These tools operate correctly when used with an OS that is compatible, which lowers the possibility of mistakes or compatibility problems.

Features for Security and Privacy: A lot of hacking operating systems come with built-in security and privacy settings, which are crucial for preserving anonymity and safeguarding data and communications when carrying out ethical hacking operations.

Community Support: Hacking operating systems usually have vibrant and helpful user communities that give access to forums, online resources, and tutorials for troubleshooting and learning.
High degrees of customization are available with hacking operating systems (OSs), enabling users to modify the OS to suit their own requirements by adding or deleting tools, changing settings, and optimizing the environment.

Ethical Use: Operating systems for hacking are made with ethical and responsible use in mind. This encourages following the law and moral standards when performing security audits.

Stability and Performance: Hacking operating systems are designed to be both stable and performante, making it possible for demanding security tools and virtual machines—which are essential for jobs like digital forensics and penetration testing—to run smoothly.

Live Environment: A lot of cybersecurity operating systems are available for usage as live systems that don’t require installation. This makes them perfect for forensics and privacy-conscious jobs like security assessments that don’t leave traces on the target system.

Now that we know how crucial it is to select the ideal hacking
operating system, let’s take a closer look at the top choices:

Firstly, Kali Linux

The most popular operating system for ethical hacking is Kali Linux, which was created especially for penetration testing and digital forensics. Offensive Security Ltd. provides funding and upkeep for it. Notable Kali Linux features include:

It is feasible to test for penetration right out of the box.
Versions 32-bit and 64-bit are available.
To secure data, Kali Linux provides full disk encryption.
Its specific forensics mode can be used for forensic work.
System prerequisites:

Two gigabytes of RAM
20 gigabytes of storage space
32- or 64-bit single-core CPU operating at a speed of at least 2 GHz
A display and graphics card with high resolution
Internet access via broadband

OS Parrot Security

Parrot Security OS, which is based on Debian GNU/Linux, offers the most experience possible for penetration and security testing on real-world systems. Parrot Security OS comes integrated with Frozen Box OS and Kali Linux and provides the following features:

Software that is limited in resources and lightweight.
The ability to read and edit the source code.
a dispersed system with a specific Content Distribution Network (CDN).
Support for dual-core CPUs in both UEFI and legacy boot modes.
System prerequisites:

Graphic acceleration is not required.
A minimum of 320 MB of RAM.
CPU with two cores operating at least 1 GHz.
16 GB of hard drive space is required for installation.


Through the promotion of a security culture, BackBox is a free, open-source community initiative that aims to enhance and secure IT environments. BackBox provides more than just an operating system for ethical hacking. It provides:

computer forensics and vulnerability analysis skills.
Reduced resource consumption for optimal performance.
desktop environment that is easy to use.
stability and quickness for jobs involving security.
System Prerequisites:

CPU with 32 or 64 bits.
A RAM of 512 MB for the system.
enough disk space—4.4 GB—for the installation.


Based on Arch Linux, BlackArch is a robust distribution for penetration testers and security researchers, offering over 1,600 tools for hacking and security testing. Key features of BlackArch include:

Support for multiple window managers in a live ISO environment.
Installer with source-based construction support.
More than 1800 pre-installed tools for various hacking tasks.
High-definition graphics card support.
System Requirements:

2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
6 GB Random Access Memory (RAM)
50 GB Disk Space

DEFT Linux

An open-source Linux distribution called Digital Evidence and Forensic Toolkit (DEFT) is dedicated to penetration testing and digital forensics. Drawing from Ubuntu, DEFT Linux provides:

a full set of digital forensics and penetration testing software for free.
Logical acquisition support for Bitlocker-encrypted disks and iOS and Android devices.
Low system requirements to facilitate deployment.
System prerequisites:

200 MHz X86 Processor, 128 MB RAM, Live Mode version, based on Lubuntu for a special method

Linux NodeZero

With more than 300 penetration testing tools, NodeZero Linux is a free and open-source penetration testing distribution. Its updates and offers are derived from the Ubuntu repositories:

thorough diagnostic checks for system memory.
Easy setup with the option of direct installation.
Booting in safe mode during troubleshooting.
Dual-arch live DVD ISO image compatible with 64- and 32-bit systems.
System prerequisites:

8 GB RAM, 2 CPU, and 20 GB of free HDD space

Kodachi Linux

Based on Ubuntu, Linux Kodachi offers a non-forensic, anonymous, and private operating system with integrated DNS encryption, VPN, and Tor network. Among Linux Kodachi’s salient features are:

automatic setup of the Tor network and VPN.
Improved privacy with active DNS encryption.
easy USB disk boot-up procedure.
Secure and stable operating environment.
System prerequisites:

8 GB RAM, 2 CPU, and 20 GB of free HDD space

Framework for Samurai Web Testing

The live Linux system known as Samurai Web Testing Framework comes with open-source tools for evaluating the vulnerability of websites and is ready for web penetration testing. Important characteristics consist of:

a setup specifically designed for web pen testing.
Tools for assessing web security include Ratproxy and WebScarab.
setup made simpler for website targeting.
System prerequisites:

Two gigabytes of RAM
20 GB of RAM 32- or 64-bit CPU operating at a speed of at least 2 GHz

Toolkit for Network Security (NST)

Network Security Toolkit, a bootable live CD that runs on Fedora, gives users access to the best open-source network security tools for penetration testing. Important aspects of NST comprise:

capture of several network packet taps.
web-based administration of network security tools.
Capabilities for monitoring a system or network.
Real-time analysis is monitored through active connections.
System prerequisites:

CPU compatible with x86_64 or i686
512MB of RAM minimum; bootable by USB or a DVD drive


As a mailing list devoted to thorough examination and alerting users of software security flaws, BugTraq is an invaluable tool for ethical hackers. Some of BugTraq’s salient characteristics are:

Many options are available for pen-testing tools.
instruments for auditing several technologies, such as RFID, Bluetooth, WiFi, and GSM.
Combined Windows utilities for thorough security analysis.
System prerequisites:

x86 processor running at 1 GHz
512 MB of RAM, or system memory
15 GB of installation drive space graphics card with a resolution of 800×600

Operating systems that support ethical hacking are essential for equipping cybersecurity experts to carry out efficient security evaluations and counter possible attacks. Ethical hackers have a multitude of options at their disposal, such as Kali Linux, Parrot Security OS, BackBox, and BlackArch, from which to select the one that best meets their needs and tastes. These hacking operating systems offer the resources and assistance required to secure digital assets and defend against online attacks, whether it is through vulnerability analysis, digital forensics, or penetration testing.

Ethical hackers must keep up with the newest advancements in hacking operating systems in order to preserve their advantage and respect the values of responsible security testing, as cybersecurity issues are constantly changing. The wide variety of hacking operating systems offered in this book offers something for everyone, regardless of your level of experience. Whether you’re a novice learning about ethical hacking or an experienced professional looking for cutting-edge tools and tactics.

A better and more secure digital environment for people and companies throughout the world can be achieved by cybersecurity enthusiasts by utilizing the capabilities of these OSs and continuing to adhere to ethical hacking principles.


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