Best Linux OS for Hackers and Network Security Professionals in 2018

 An Operating System (OS) is the most important program that runs on every computer, which used to run other programs and applications. Simply an operating system is an interface between a computer user and computer hardware. Linux is one of the open source operating system and it has been many flavours as per user needs.

In this article we going to see the best linux operating system for hackers and network security professionals.

1) Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. Kali is the one of the best and favorite operating systems of hackers.

Kali Linux is an open source project that is maintained and funded by Offensive Security, a provider of world-class information security training and penetration testing services. Initially Kali Linux was called as Backtrack linux which was born for personal use by its developers. BackTrack was a Linux distribution that focused on security, based on the Knoppix Linux distribution aimed at digital forensics and penetration testing use. In March 2013, the Offensive Security team rebuilt BackTrack around the Debian distribution and released it under the name Kali Linux. Now It is maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd. Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns and Raphaël Hertzog are the core developers.

2) Node Zero

NodeZero – Ubuntu based Linux distribution for penetration testing.

NodeZero features THC IPV6 Attack Toolkit which includes tools like alive6, detect-new-ip6, dnsdict6, dos-new-ip6, fake-advertise6, fake-mipv6, fake_mld6, fake_router6, implementation6, implementation6d, parasite6, recon6, redir6, rsmurf6, sendpees6, smurf6, toobig6, and trace6.

NodeZero was formally known as Ubuntu Pentest Edition and was the 1st Ubuntu/Gnome based pentesting distro that was released.

3) Parrot Security OS

Parrot Security OS (or ParrotSec) is a Linux distribution based on Debian with a focus on computer security. It is designed for penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and mitigation, computer forensics and anonymous web browsing. It is developed by the Frozenbox Team.

Parrot Security OS is a mixture of Frozenbox OS and Kali Linux. The OS uses Kali repos for updating its tools, but it has its own dedicated repo for storing the custom packets.

4) Network Security Toolkit

The Network Security Toolkit (NST) is a Linux-based Live DVD/USB Flash Drive that provides a set of open source computer security and networking tools to perform routine security and networking diagnostic and monitoring tasks. The distribution can be used as a network security analysis, validation and monitoring tool on servers hosting virtual machines. The majority of tools published in the article "Top 125 security tools" by are available in the toolkit.

5) BlackArch Linux

BlackArch Linux is an Arch Linux-based penetration testing distribution for penetration testers and security researchers.

BlackArch Linux is an open source distribution of Linux derived from the lightweight and powerful Arch Linux operating system and designed from the ground up to be used by security professionals for penetration testing tasks and security auditing.

The repository contains 1819 tools. You can install tools individually or in groups. BlackArch Linux is compatible with existing Arch installs.

6) Back box

BackBox is a penetration test and security assessment oriented Ubuntu-based Linux distribution providing a network and informatic systems analysis toolkit. BackBox desktop environment includes a complete set of tools required for ethical hacking and security testing. BackBox is more than an operating system, it is a Free Open Source Community project with the aim to promote the culture of security in IT environment and give its contribute to make it better and safer.

7) Samurai Web Testing Framework

The Samurai Web Testing Framework is a virtual machine, supported on VirtualBox and VMWare, that has been pre-configured to function as a web pen-testing environment. The VM contains the best of the open source and free tools that focus on testing and attacking websites. 

8) GnackTrack Linux

GnackTrack is a Live (and installable) Linux distribution designed for Penetration Testing and is based on Ubuntu. Although this sounds like BackTrack, it is most certainly not; it's very similar but based on the much loved GNOME! The developer of GnackTrack is Matthew Phillips.

The latest version of GnackTrack R6 was based on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.


CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) is an Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux live distribution created as a project of digital forensics. It offers a complete forensic environment that is organised to integrate existing software tools as software modules and to provide a friendly graphical interface. The main design objectives that CAINE aims to guarantee are: an interoperable environment that supports the digital investigator during the four phases of the digital investigation, a user-friendly graphical interface, and a semi-automated compilation of the final report. 

10) Pentoo

Pentoo is a Live CD and Live USB designed for penetration testing and security assessment. Based on Gentoo Linux, Pentoo is provided both as 32 and 64 bit installable live CD. Pentoo is also available as an overlay for an existing Gentoo installation. It features packet injection patched wifi drivers, GPGPU cracking software, and lots of tools for penetration testing and security assessment. 

11) Live Hacking Linux

Live Hacking DVD is a new Linux distribution packed with tools and utilities for ethical hacking, penetration testing and countermeasure verification. Based on Ubuntu this ‘Live DVD” runs directly from the DVD and doesn’t require installation on your hard-drive.

To reduce this Linux distribution to a smaller size, the GNOME user interface has been removed, meaning that this is a command-line only distribution. However this doesn’t detract from the power of the tools and utilities included as most of the penetration testing and ethical hacking tools are command line tools. 

12) DEFT Linux

DEFT Linux DEFT (Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit) is a GNU / Linux distribution live a free software based on Ubuntu , created by Stefano Fratepietro for uses related to Computer Forensics ( computer forensics in Italy) and information security. 

13) Bugtraq

Bugtraq – a GNU/Linux distribution aimed at digital forensics, penetration testing, Malware Laboratories, and GSM Forensics. The live system is built on Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSuse, with Xfce, GNOME and KDE desktops, and is available in 11 different languages. 

14) Blackbuntu

Blackbuntu is a Linux operating system distribution which is primarily used for penetration testing. Blackbuntu is designed to teach students about computer security, penetration testing, internet security and information security. BlackBuntu runs only on computers that support the 64-bit (x86_64) instruction set architecture. 

15) Weakerthan

WeakNet Linux is designed primarily for penetration testing. It's Built from Debian Squeeze. 

16) Cyborg Hawk Linux

Cyborg Linux – World’s Most Advanced Penetration Testing Distro. The most advanced, powerful and yet beautiful penetration testing distribution ever created.Lined up with ultimate collection of tools for pro Ethical Hackers and Cyber Security Experts.

Cyborg Hawk is based on Ubuntu Platform with Latest kernal for cyber security professionals, but is can be used by everyone ,however it is recommended to be not used by those who are unfamiliar with linux as it contains major tools for penetration testing and cyber security purpose.

17) Matriux

Matriux is a Debian-based security distribution designed for penetration testing and forensic investigations. Although it is primarily designed for security enthusiasts and professionals, it can also be used by any Linux user as a desktop system for day-to-day computing. Besides standard Debian software, Matriux also ships with an optimised GNOME desktop interface, over 300 open-source tools for penetration testing, and a custom-built Linux kernel. 

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