15 Best Penetration Testing Linux Distributions For Ethical Hacking 2018

15 Best Penetration Testing Linux Distributions For Ethical Hacking 2018


Tonight we are reviewing the list of 15 best pentesting Linux distributions, as Linux is well know as a OS for hackers and lots of its distributions that are specially made for pentesting.

Penetration means to penetrate any security system and this is mainly used to check the vulnerability of the bug in the network security. And mainly these testing is done with some pro-security tools. But today there are many tools that have been developed which can be used as the pen-testing tool. These tools will be really helpful and can be used by a limited knowledge about security and its vulnerability. Simply go through the post below and see for yourself.

BackTrack 5r3

BackTrack is one of the best known Linux pentesting distros. It gives you a “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.” BackTrack is usually based on the ever-popular Ubuntu. It is used to be only available within a KDE environment but to the added version Gnome was added with BackTrack v5. Its too popular pentesting distros that can run on any live CD or flash drive. The distribution is absolute for wireless cracking, exploiting, web application assessment, learning.

2 BackBox Linux

Backbox is getting more popular. Similar to BackTrack, BackBox Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution designed basically to perform penetration tests and security assessments. It was designed by developers with an idea to create a penetration test as fast and easy to use. It includes a very pretty short looking desktop environment and is updated to the latest versions of most used and best-known tools through repositories.
BackBox provides all suspects for Forensic Analysis, Documentation and Reporting and Reverse Engineering with John, nmap, Social Engineering Tool etc.


The name clearly defines that it is yet another distro that is based on Ubuntu. It comes wit many pentesting distros as Information Gathering, Network Mapping, Vulnerability Identification, Penetration, Maintaining Access, radio Network Analysis, Reverse Engineering. The list is heavy too but the tools defined are different to the other distros.

4 Samurai Web Testing Framework

This is one of a live distro that is pre-configured with some open-source tools that aims only on testing and attacking websites. The main purpose of Samurai Web Testing Framework is it is based on attacking websites. The four steps are outlined by developers to carry out a web pen-test. These steps are incorporated within the distro and includes tools to complete up the task:

  • Reconnaissance – Tools include Fierce domain scanner and Maltego.
  • Mapping – Tools include WebScarab and ratproxy.
  • Discovery – Tools include w3af and burp.
  • Exploitation – Tools include BeEF, AJAXShell and much more.

Knoppix STD

Knoppix STD is based on Debian and was originated in Germany. The architecture of Knoppix StD is i486 and it runs on platforms like GNOME, KDE, LXDE. It was introduced from a long time. Basically, It was designed to be used as a live CD and can be installed on a hard disk. The STD stands for Security Tools Distribution. Knoppix provides you a full scenario for cryptography.


Pentoo is based totally on security live CD on Gentoo. “Pentoo is Gentoo with the pentoo overlay“. The best distro to use is Pentoo. The homepage lists some of their customized tools and Kernel that includes a Hardened Kernel with aufs patches, Back ported Wifi Stack and even Cuda/OPENCL cracking support with all the development tools.


This distro is built from Debian Squeeze and uses Fluxbox for its desktop environment. This penetrating distro is adjusted for Wifi hacking as it contains many wireless tools. Categories of WEAKERTH4N are SQL Hacking, Cisco Expoitation, Password Cracking, Web Hacking,Networking ans Shells.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux is an Advanced Penetration Testing Linux distribution used for Penetration Testing, Ethical Hacking and network security assessments. This is one the best pentesting distros that you will surely love to use. Must try this out as this is the tool packed with lots of hacking tools.

9 Bugtraq

Bugtraq is one another reader penetration distro. This distro offers you a wide range of penetration and forensic tools. Bugtraq is harder to install but runs as a live DVD or from a USB Drive. It claims to be updated for kernel’s better performance and is configured too but importantly it can recognize more hardware. The team of Bugtraq seems to be solid as they have put full effort to get the kernel work best with more hardware.

10 NodeZero

Similar to BackTrack, NodeZero is also an Ubuntu based distro for pentesting using repositories. Following the way, Ubuntu releases a patch for its bugs, notifications for the system updates or upgrades are always present. It has become famous due to its inclusion of THC IPV6 Attack toolkit that includes tools like alive6, dnsdict6 etc.

11 Parrot Security OS

Parrot Security Os by Frozenbox’s team is one of the best Linux distribution which you can use for pen testing, computer forensics, and ethical hacking. Compared to all the other listed in the article, Parrot Security OS is very lightweight and it’s highly efficient. With Parrot Security OS, you will get many recognized tools which help to work and surf anonymously.

12 Pentoo Linux

Pentoo Linux is based on Gentoo Linux and it’s available on 64 bit and 32 bit installable CD. The great thing about Pentoo Linux is that it can be run from a USB stick. Talking about Pentoo Linux, the distribution brings a wide range of tools under categories like Database, Scanner, Cracker etc.

13 DEFT Linux

DEFT or Digital Evidence and Forensic Toolkit is the best open sources Linux distro which you can use today. Well, the distro is based on Ubuntu and it comes with lots of tools which are very much useful for pen testing. The distribution is highly used by ethical hackers because it brings some wide range of tools.

14 Caine

Caine is another security focused distro which is based on Ubuntu. Caine is also available as a live disk and it also comes with some wide range of tools under the category of forensics, memory, database and network analysis.

15 Network Security Toolkit

Network Security Toolkit is one of the best and easy to use Linux distro which you can use today. Well, the operating system is based on Fedora and it’s available as a live CD. The operating system houses some great tool for network traffic sniffing, network packet generation, network/host scanning and much more.

The above post is about the Top 10 Penetration Testing Linux Distributions. Simply read out the description and choose the one you like the most. Download the distro and start pentesting and boost up your skills. I hope you find this post very useful, thanks for reading this post and showing interest in our work. Stay connected to this site for getting some more information like this or you can even join the newsletter and remain updated always! Also, share the new topics with us that you want us to write on. Cheers!

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