KDE Plasma desktop environment on Kali Linux

How to install KDE dekstop on Kali Linux

Most Linux distributions have a “main” desktop environment they use – the one that comes installed by default in the distro’s most popular download. For Kali Linux, it’s Xfce.

If you prefer KDE Plasma over Xfce or are just looking for a change of scenery, it’s quite simple to switch desktop environments on Kali. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to install the KDE desktop environment on Kali Linux.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install KDE Plasma dekstop on Kali Linux

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Installation of VirtualBox Guest Additions on Kali Linux

How to install VirtualBox guest additions on Kali Linux

If you’re running Kali Linux inside a VirtualBox virtual machine, installing the Guest Additions software will help you get the most out of the system. VirtualBox Guest Additions will give the machine more capabilities, such as a shared clipboard with the host system, drag and drop file transfer, and automatic window resizing.

This makes copying data to and from a host system much more convenient. It also changes the VM’s resolution automatically when its window is resized, so you don’t need to change it manually. Guest Additions will work with just about any Linux distribution, but instructions can differ because of dependencies and package managers. Normally, Kali will automatically detect what platform the operating system has been installed on, and will include Guest Additions (if applicable) by default. If yours isn’t working or you just need to know how to use the features, we’ve got you covered in this guide.

In this guide, we’ll be going over the step by step instructions to get VirtualBox Guest Additions installed on Kali Linux. With these instructions, it doesn’t matter what host system you’re using, as long as the virtual machine is running Kali. This guide assumes that you’ve already installed Kali in the VM correctly.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install VirtualBox Guest Addition on Kali Linux

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traceroute on Kali Linux

How to use traceroute on Kali Linux

When performing digital reconnaissance or penetrating testing, it’s important to fingerprint a network by understanding what servers or devices sit between your system and a target. For example, security professionals can’t go straight to attacking a web server without first taking the time to see if there’s a firewall in front of it.

This is where the traceroute utility comes in. It can send a packet from your system to the target machine, and list out its entire route for the journey there. This will reveal how many devices your network data is passing through, as well as the IP address of each device.

Kali Linux has another similar reconnaissance utility called mtr, which mostly functions the same as traceroute. In this guide, we’ll see how to use traceroute and mtr, along with their various command options, on Kali.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to use traceroute
  • How to use mtr

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Default user and password for Kali Linux

Kali Linux Default Password

The objective of this guide is to show the default username and password for Kali Linux. The guide will be applicable for persistent installations, as well as the live CD image and Kali virtual machine downloads in VirtualBox or VMware.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • Default username and password for Kali
  • How to execute Linux commands with administrative root privileges
  • How to change to root shell
  • How to change user and root passwords
Default user and password for Kali Linux

Default user and password for Kali Linux

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Cracking a password protected zip file on Kali Linux

How to crack zip password on Kali Linux

The objective of this guide is to show how to crack a password for a zip file on Kali Linux.

By default, Kali includes the tools to crack passwords for these compressed archives, namely the fcrackzip utility, John the Ripper and a word list. Follow along with us in the step by step instructions below as we show two different methods for cracking the password of a zip file.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • What tools are used to crack password protected zip files?
  • How to crack zip password with John the Ripper
  • How to crack zip password with fcrackzip
Cracking a password protected zip file on Kali Linux

Cracking a password protected zip file on Kali Linux

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Running Kali Linux inside a VMware virtual machine

How to install Kali Linux in VMware

Kali Linux is a powerful Linux distro for penetration testing and ethical hacking. It’s not meant as an everyday operating system, so most Kali users will utilize the distro by running it temporarily from a USB drive, or opt for a persistent installation in a virtual machine.

Installing Kali in VMware gives you easy access to the hundreds of security and hacking tools that are included with Kali. Any time you need to do some packet sniffing, password cracking, etc. you can simply fire up the virtual machine and get to work. It’s also a great way to test out hacking applications without having to install software on your host system.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to install Kali Linux in a VMware virtual machine. You’ll be able to follow along with this guide regardless of your host operating system, so both Linux and Windows users will find these step by step instructions to be applicable.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to configure VMware to host Kali Linux
  • How to create a Kali Linux virtual machine
Running Kali Linux inside a VMware virtual machine

Running Kali Linux inside a VMware virtual machine

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Firefox on Kali Linux

How to update Firefox on Kali Linux

Mozilla Firefox comes installed by default on Kali Linux and a ton of other Linux distributions. It’s a solid web browser but it’s the user’s responsibility to make sure Firefox stays up to date.

The process for updating Firefox is a little different on Kali. Kali is based on Debian’s testing branch, which uses Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release).

Firefox ESR is essentially a more stable version of Firefox which is geared mainly towards enterprise systems. It usually doesn’t have all the latest features that are available in other Firefox installs, but includes the most stable and thoroughly tested components.

In this guide, we’ll see how to update Firefox ESR from the command line on Kali Linux.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to update Firefox on Kali Linux

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Installing packages from the bleeding edge, unstable, and experimental repos on Kali

Adding bleeding edge repo to Kali Linux

The “bleeding edge” is a term used to describe brand new software that’s not guaranteed to be stable. It remains largely untested, but comprises all the latest features that will be deployed to the masses after further experimenting. Kali Linux, by virtue of being based on Debian’s testing branch, already sits pretty close to the edge.

You can configure your Kali system to download even newer software packages by adding Kali’s bleeding edge repo to APT package manager. This is ideal for users that want access to the newest software and features and don’t need their system to be ultra stable.

In this guide, we’ll show you the step by step instructions for configuring the bleeding edge repo on Kali Linux, as well as the Debian unstable and experimental repositories.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to add bleeding edge repo to Kali
  • How to add Debian unstable and experimental repos to Kali

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Software Center and Synaptic running on Kali Linux

GUI software installers for Kali Linux

Out of the box, the only option for installing software on Kali Linux is to use the APT package manager from the command line, or download software directly from a developer’s website.

This minimal approach can be appreciated, but sometimes it’s just more convenient to use a GUI software mananger application to install programs. In this guide, we’ll see how to install two different GUI software managers on Kali Linux, which can then be used to search for other software to install.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install Software Center on Kali
  • How to install Synaptic Package Manager on Kali
  • How to use Software Center or Synaptic to install software
Software Center and Synaptic running on Kali Linux

Software Center and Synaptic running on Kali Linux

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burp web penetration testing guide

Learn Burp Suite on Kali Linux: Part 1

burp web penetration testing guideWhen it comes to testing the security of web applications, you’d have a hard time finding a set of tools better than Burp Suite from Portswigger web security. It allows you to intercept and monitor web traffic along with detailed information about the requests and responses to and from a server.

There are way too many features in Burp Suite to cover in just one guide, so this one will be broken down into four parts. This first part will cover setting up Burp Suite and using it as a proxy for Firefox. The second one will cover how to gather information and use the Burp Suite proxy. The third part goes into a realistic testing scenario using information gathered through the Burp Suite proxy. The fourth guide will cover many of the other features that Burp Suite has to offer.

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Kali Linux running Xfce desktop and showing various security and penetration tools

Kali Linux Download

Kali Linux is not your typical Linux distribution. It has a very specific use case, and that is to provide the user with penetration testing and ethical hacking tools. For other most popular Linux distributions please visit our dedicated linux download page.

Under the hood, Kali Linux runs much like Debian, on which it is based. However, Kali should not be used as an ordinary operating system; it has a specific purpose in penetration testing and security auditing and should be used strictly for that.

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