Kali Linux (formerly known as BackTrack Linux) announced the release of Kali Linux Version 2021.1 on February 24th, 2021. Kali Linux is a Debian-based distribution specially focused on penetration testing and digital forensics use.
From Project Page
Kali Linux is the new generation of the industry-leading BackTrack Linux penetration testing and security auditing Linux distribution. Kali Linux is a complete re-build of BackTrack from the ground up, adhering completely to Debian development standards.
The latest version of Kali Linux ships with both feature and cosmetic changes as we shall see later on in this guide. In summary, here are some of the improvements included in Kali 2021.1.
A Whole New Desktop and Login Screen Make-over
The new Kali Linux 2021.2 comes with a spruced-up desktop with light and dark themes. You can switch between the themes by going to ‘Settings’ and selecting your preferred theme.
Here’s a glimpse of the dark theme.
And here’s a taste of the light theme.
The login screen has also been tweaked and has received an enhanced layout with the login box centered to provide a more organized and cool appearance.
The GNOME desktop environment has also been updated to its latest version. The KDE Plasma and XFCE environments have also received a polished look.
While using Kali, we spend most of the time using the local command line terminal (rather than in a console or remote SSH). With the variety of desktop environments, you will get options to use different terminals such as xfce4-terminal, tmux, tilix, konsole, qterminal, and mate-terminal.
PowerShell Integration in Kali Linux
Powershell has been moved from Kali Linux’s network repository to one of the primary metapackages known as kali-linux-large. This implies you can choose to install Powershell either during installation – since it’s now included in the kali-Linux-large metapackages – or once Kali is finally installed. This can be done on the terminal using the command shown
$ sudo apt install -y kali-linux-large
To invoke Powershell on the terminal, simply run the command.
New Tools in Kali
Some of the new tools in Kali 2021.1 include:
- Airgeddon – A bash script to audit wireless networks.
- Arjun – HTTP parameter discovery suite.
- Chisel – A fast TCP/UDP tunnel over HTTP.
- DNSGen – Creates a combination of domain names from the given input.
- DumpsterDiver – Find secrets in various file types.
- GitLeaks – Searches Git repo’s history for secrets and keys.
- HTTProbe – Pull a list of domains and study for working HTTP and HTTPS servers.
- MassDNS – A DNS stub resolver for mass lookups and reconnaissance.
- PSKracker – WPA/WPS toolkit for creating default keys/pins.
- WordlistRaider – Preparing existing wordlist.
Software Installer Changes
The new Kali 2021.1 gets rid of the ‘kali-linux-everything’ option from the installer. This resolves the issue that was present in the earlier version (Kali 2021.1) where users had to select “everything” which took much longer to retrieve very large meta-packages.
Now, every desktop environment and Kali-Linux-large meta-packages are cached in the ISO image and users get to select what they need to install.
Direct Download Kali Linux DVD ISO Images
To get the latest version of Kali Linux, simply head out to Kali’s download page and select your preferred ISO image corresponding to your system’s architecture.
Direct Download of Kali Linux for 64-Bit and 32-Bit ISO Images can be downloaded from the following links.
Additionally, you can download images for ARM devices such as Raspberry Pi and PineBook from this link.
Upgrading Kali Linux to Latest Version
Since Kali is a rolling release, you can upgrade your system by running the commands below to get the latest updates.
$ sudo apt -y update $ sudo apt -y full-upgrade
If you are looking for a fresh installation, read our guide: Kali Linux 2021.1 – Fresh Installation Guide.
That a brief round-up of what to look forward to in the latest Kali Linux 2021.1.