Difference between Kali Linux and Parrot OS

An operating system (OS) is a group of programs that controls computer hardware resources and offers standard services to software applications. It serves as a conduit between the user and the hardware. It is accountable for carrying out all procedures. There are many operating systems available for mobiles, PC, etc. Kali Linux and Parrot OS are such operating systems. The following are the differences between them.

What is Kali Linux?

A Debian−based Linux distribution called Kali Linux is made specifically for penetration testing and digital forensics. It is supported and upheld by information security training provider Offensive Security. Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns of Offensive Security rewrote BackTrack to create Kali Linux.

There are many tools included with Kali Linux that can be used for a wide range of information security tasks, including reverse engineering, computer forensics, penetration testing, and computer forensics.

Kali Linux is available in 64−bit and 32−bit images that can be used on hosts using the x86 instruction set as well as an ARM image that can be used on Samsung's ARM Chromebook as well as the Beagle Board computer. In March 2013, Kali Linux's initial release, Kali 1.0.0, was made available.


Here are some of the important features of Kali Linux:

  • It is totally open−source and free.

  • Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS) compliance was maintained by Kali.

  • Numerous USB and wireless devices and interfaces are supported.

  • All the packages and repositories are GPG signed, and the kernel is customized and patched frequently for any vulnerabilities.

  • Kali can be configured in every way. Users have the option of customizing the appearance.

  • Kali is accessible on a variety of ARM-based devices, including Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black, thanks to ARMEL and ARMHF support.

  • Using a USB device and Live Boot without altering the host operating system is supported by Kali.

  • For the persistence volume, Kali offers an encryption technique that enables the use of LUKS Nuke containers to safeguard the saved contents.

What is Parrot OS?

Based on Debian Stable, the free and open-source Parrot Security GNU/Linux distribution is made for security professionals, computer forensics, reverse engineering, hacking, penetration testing, anonymity, privacy, and cryptography. It is created by Frozenbox and ships with MATE as the default desktop setting.

Security specialist Lorenzo "Palinuro" Faletra and a group of other security specialists developed and manufactured Parrot Security OS. In April 2013, the first public release took place. Version 1.0 of the Parrot OS, code−named Hydrogen, was released in July 2014.

Virtual Machine

It contains an entire portable arsenal for digital forensics and IT security tasks. Security, Home, and Architect Editions of the Parrot operating system are all available, as well as a Virtual Machine for the Raspberry Pi and Docker. Alternative DEs can be installed, though.


Parrot OS is frequently updated and gives users access to a large selection of hardening and sandboxing features. The distribution's utilities are made to function with the majority of devices that use containerization software like Docker or Podman. Parrot OS is a fantastic option for obsolete hardware or systems with limited resources because it is incredibly lightweight and works remarkably rapidly on all computers.

Forensics Mode

It has a special "Forensics Mode" that is more covert than its usual mode because it does not mount any of the system's hard disks or partitions and has no impact on the host system. Forensic processes are carried out on the host machine while in this mode.


  • Lightweight :Even on outdated, low−end, and resource−constrained devices, the Parrot OS functions efficiently.

  • Free :Since the Parrot OS is an open−source operating system, we are able to adapt it and use the source codes to develop a program that satisfies our requirements.

  • Secure :Parrot OS is totally sandboxed and extremely safe, with updated patches published frequently to fight threats

Difference between Kali Linux and Parrot OS

The following table highlights the major differences between Kali Linux and Parrot OS:

Kali Linux

Parrot OS

About 1 GB extra RAM is required

Although it only needs 320 MB of RAM

It needs a graphics card because it needs graphical acceleration from the GPU

There is no requirement for a graphic card because it does not require graphical acceleration

Installation requires roughly 20 GB of free space

While the installation process it needs roughly 16 GB of free space

Its user interface mimics that of the Gnome desktop

The Ubuntu−Matte−Desktop−Environment designed its interface

It lacks pre−installed IDEs and compilers

It already has a number of compilers and IDEs installed

The user interface is simpler

The user interface is significantly better

It requires heavyweights and is a little sluggish

It is very light and have little lag

It has every fundamental tool required for hacking

While it has all of Kali's tools, it also adds some of its own, e.g., Airgeddon, Wifiphisher, and AnonSurf

The Gnome desktop environment provides the foundation for the Kali Linux user interface

The Ubuntu−Matte−Desktop−Environment is used to build the Parrot OS user interface

Compilers and IDEs are not included with Kali Linux

Parrot OS is pre−installed with a variety of compilers and IDEs


Quite a lot of professionals perform cybersecurity and penetration testing using both Parrot OS and Kali Linux. Kali Linux cannot compete with Parrot OS in terms of usable features or general tool performance. Along with its own tools, it contains all of the software that is available on Kali Linux. Parrot OS has a number of resources that Kali Linux does not.

Updated on: 01-Aug-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started