Backbox is a newer service while Kali has been around for longer. This means that Kali has more users and more experience, but it also means that the user base is smaller.
Backbox and Kali are both open source, free, and powerful penetration testing platforms. They also have a lot in common as well as some key differences.
Thankfully, good-hearted geeks have spent countless hours developing open source software, and during the past 18 years, there has been a real boom of Linux operating systems. You really had to know how to operate from the command line back in the day, and many Linux systems had very restricted GUIs…if they had one at all. Many Linux distributions were little more than a command line, and while having lots of excellent applications, only the most nerdy of geeks could run the operating system.
After 18 years, versions like Ubuntu have made Linux so user-friendly that it is now widely used as a desktop alternative for Windows and Mac. While Ubuntu is excellent for daily usage and everyday activities, it isn’t the greatest choice for white hat hacking and penetration testing. In today’s data-driven world, network and endpoint security are essential, and white hat hacking talents are in great demand.
You’ll need a Linux distribution built specifically for penetration testing to (ethically!) explore networks and computer systems for vulnerabilities and patch them up. I would have suggested Backtrack Linux a few years ago, but the most recent version of Backtrack was rebuilt and rebranded as Kali Linux a few years ago.
Is Kali, however, the only Linux version intended for security testing? Not at all, and today we’ll compare Backbox and Kali, two of the finest penetration testing and ethical hacking distributions.
History of Versions
Although there are a million and one “flavors” of Linux, they may be divided into a few major groups, such as Red Hat, Debian, and so on. The Linux family tree timeline on Wikipedia is both interesting and bewildering. Both Backbox and Kali Linux may be traced back to their Debian progenitor in the end.
Each distribution, on the other hand, has had a quite distinct evolutionary route. Offensive Security maintains Kali Linux, which was formerly known as Backtrack Linux. Backbox, believe it or not, is built on Ubuntu, which brings me to my next point: usability.
There’s no getting around it: if you want to be a skilled security expert, you’ll need to understand how networks, computers, and operating systems operate. You’ll need to get familiar with the command line sooner or later. However, this does not imply you should go in head first and attempt the most difficult version of Linux, since it is simple to get discouraged.
Personally, I believe that Backbox is simpler to use for novices, whereas the Kali is more difficult. Both have clean and straightforward interfaces, but I believe Backbox is simpler to use since it looks and feels more like Ubuntu, and most people who have used Linux have touched Ubuntu at some point. Furthermore, as I’ll explain later, Backbox has fewer default applications, which I believe makes it less scary and overwhelming.
Because both operating systems may be downloaded for free, there isn’t much to say about their respective costs. Although some of the tools may connect to an online service that needs a membership, the vast majority of the applications provided by default are completely free to use.
However, a program like Metasploit, which may be used for free but has a Pro edition with significantly increased features and a hefty price tag, is a great example of an exception.
Default Tools and Packages
Linux is very configurable, which is one of its most appealing features. A conventional operating system, such as Windows or Mac OSX, can’t compare to what Linux can accomplish, even if they do offer some customisation.
Linux comes with a large number of free software packages, and you may select which ones to install and which ones to leave out during the installation process.
However, not all Linux distributions are made equal, and Kali comes with much more packages, programs, and tools than Backbox. Backbox comes with around 60 different penetration testing tools by default. Kali Linux, on the other hand, has almost 10 times the amount of hacking and penetration testing tools and contains over 600 of them.
Personally, I would choose Kali Linux over Backbox since it provides access to so many more tools and apps. Furthermore, while being full-fledged operating systems, both operating system ISOs are very modest in size.
Backbox is 2.2 GB, whereas the biggest Kali download is 3 GB. Backbox, on the other hand, doesn’t contain nearly as many tools, but it does include the basic set of applications required to begin learning penetration testing methods.
For example, it includes all of the well-known tools like as Metasploit, Crunch, Armitage, Wireshark, and others.
Assistance and documentation
The size of a Linux operating system’s community is one of its most significant characteristics. You’re probably going to encounter problems if you’re running a Linux distribution that doesn’t have a big, active user base. Unless you’re a Linux expert, you’ll almost certainly have to do some troubleshooting at some point.
Having a community to turn to in such a situation may be a lifeline. More specifically, you’ll want to be able to communicate with other users through a blog or forum, and having a Wiki full of troubleshooting and how-to instructions is also a huge plus.
Backbox and Kali, on the other hand, are well-supported and regularly patched and upgraded. Both operating systems include manuals, blogs, and forums, but Kali has a small edge in my opinion.
Backbox is older than Kali in terms of age. Kali was published in 2015, whereas Backbox was first released in 2010. Backtrack Linux, on which Kali is based, was launched in 2007, thus I believe Kali has a bigger following of more active people who provide more information to the Wiki and forums than Backbox. Regardless of whatever operating system you select, you will not be short of documentation.
Uses in Practice
We’ve previously addressed ease of use, but I’d want to take a minute to examine practicality. The point I’m trying to make is that Kali isn’t going to be very useful to you unless you already work in IT or are presently studying computer science at university. There are individuals that live and breathe this subject every day, and developing applicable abilities requires a great deal of sacrifice and study time.
Someone with top-level penetration testing abilities and the appropriate certifications might easily earn over $100,000 per year, but Kali Linux isn’t realistic unless you’re willing to devote considerable time to learning and testing the tools. Backbox, on the other hand, is a fantastic place to start if you’re not very skilled in the IT sector but do have some fundamental Linux abilities.
Experts and professionals often use Kali in the real world to conduct genuine penetration testing and protect real-world networks. Backbox is utilized in the real world as well, although it’s seen as a watered-down penetration testing OS that’s more practical for learning the ropes in the Linux community.
While both Backbox and Kali Linux enable white hat hacking and penetration testing, I believe they are quite distinct technologies that are best suited to various groups of people looking for a penetration testing operating system. On the one side, Backbox does not have nearly as many tools as Kali Linux, but bear with me since this may be a positive thing in certain cases.
Backbox is ideal for people who are new to Linux and penetration testing, in my opinion. Because there are so many tools to select from, a new user delving into Kali may get quickly confused, have a difficult time choosing the appropriate tool, or test each tool out a bit instead of learning how to use one effectively. However, I’m not convinced it’s the best choice for a beginner to use as their first Linux operating system.
I would suggest Ubuntu for this since it is a moderate and user-friendly operating system that still has the BASH shell; it’s a fantastic OS for a beginner to get their feet wet with.
On the other hand, I believe Kali is better suited to someone who is at least familiar with Linux. Switching from Linux to Kali isn’t that difficult if you’ve worked with Linux before.
I will warn you, however, that you will most likely not understand the syntax and operation of many of the command-line penetration tools, but Kali Linux is the way to go if you have basic Linux skills such as navigating the file system, using the BASH shell, understanding root-level privileges, the path structure, and so on.
The network security toolkit vs kali is a question that has been asked many times. In this article, we will compare the two services and see which one is better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is BackBox better than Kali?
BackBox is a highly-advanced, state-of-the-art AI that can answer any question you throw at it. Kali is a low-level AI that has been around for years and was not designed to be able to handle complex questions.
Is Arch better than Kali Linux?
Kali Linux is a distribution of Debian, meaning it has the same features and functionality as any other Debian-based distro. Arch Linux is a rolling release distro that typically keeps its packages updated to the latest versions.
Which OS is better than Kali?
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