Parrot OS vs Kali Linux: Which One Is Better?

Linux is regarded as the best
operating system for a variety of its roles, and it is actively used in our
daily lives. Some of these roles are described below:

The entirety of the supercomputers at the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration runs on Linux.

: Regarded as the #1 device to read eBooks on, Kindle actively runs
on Linux in all of its distributions.

No matter which provider, there is a good chance that your television runs a
flavor of Linux.

: The entirety of the platoon—Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and
Twitter—runs completely on Linux.

The list can be virtually endless,
but what’s important here is that even governments and security agencies across
the globe run on Linux. Be it the White House or the Pentagon, it gives Linux
Developers a task to create an OS, which is very secure and extremely powerful
when it comes to working with penetration testing especially.

Penetration testing, or pen testing,
is a methodology where one simulates a cyberattack against his/her own system
to check for vulnerabilities, which can be exploited in real time, and no other
OS than Kali Linux comes to mind when one thinks about pen testing.

is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is one of the world’s
most used flavors of Linux for penetration testing. It is completely based on
Debian standards and runs Linux for its kernel. Kali Linux was the replacement
for the well-regarded BackTrack OS used by many experts.

of Kali Linux

  • Free: Kali Linux is completely free to
    use just like its predecessor BackTrack.
  • Multi-language support: Kali has an
    accurate multilingual guide that opens up its platform to a variety of
    non-native English users.
  • Customization: One small knick about
    Kali is that it was not built to look good but to provide outstanding
    performance. Hence, users need to work with customization to make it look and
    feel better while utilizing its performance.

is Parrot OS?

Being similar to Kali Linux, Parrot
OS is another flavor of Linux, which is also known for its penetration testing
abilities and vast provisions of tools. It is similar to Kali Linux in that it
is in line with the Debian standards, where all of the code segments adhere to
certain set standards built for security experts, developers, and privacy-aware

of Parrot OS

  • Open source: Parrot OS is completely
    free and developed by the open-source community, hence giving users the source
    code to customize it as per their needs.
  • Lightweight: Parrot OS is very
    lightweight and runs amazingly well on legacy hardware with a smaller number of
  • Secure: Parrot OS receives constant
    timely updates to keep ahead of the other tools and ensures that it is
    completely sandboxed at the same time.

Linux vs Parrot OS

Before beginning with the
comparison, you must know that both Kali Linux and Parrot OS are used for the
same purpose of penetration testing. At the end of the day, it is more of a
preference than an absolute comparison.

Linux vs Parrot OS: Hardware Requirements

Kali Linux is a bit demanding in
terms of hardware requirements, and here’s why:

  • Kali
    Linux requires over 20 GB of storage, while Parrot OS can make do with just
    around 15 GB.
  • Kali
    is a little heavyweight, demanding a minimum RAM of around 1 GB, while Parrot
    OS can make do with just around 300 MB of RAM.
  • Kali
    Linux requires hardware acceleration, using the GPU, while Parrot OS does not
    need this.

In terms of storage requirements and
hardware capabilities, hence, Parrot OS makes a quick win over Kali Linux. An
additional benefit is the deployment size after the installation; Parrot gets
the upper hand when there is a limit on space and/or older hardware
configurations are being considered.

Linux vs Parrot OS: Variety

In terms of offering users a variety
of features and releases, both Kali Linux and Parrot OS have multiple offerings
as mentioned below.

For Kali Linux:

  • Kali
    ARM (IoT)
  • Kali
  • Kali
  • Kali

Coming to Parrot OS:

  • Parrot
    Sec OS Studio
  • Parrot
    Sec OS Air
  • Parrot
    Sec OS Lite
  • Parrot
    Sec OS Full

One should note that Parrot OS has
the upper hand as it was built around the idea of wireless penetration testing
and is thoroughly efficient on that. With Kali Linux, on the other hand, one
gets interfaces for a variety of devices, including IoT-based applications. So
when choosing, it becomes clear that you need to consider your requirement.

Linux vs Parrot OS: How Easy to Learn

The one common question that
everyone asks when it comes to working with either of the
penetration-testing-based OS is which of these are user-friendly and easy
enough for beginners to prefer. It is important to note that both of these
Linux offerings are based on a niche concept that requires prior knowledge of

If Linux is what you’re after in
general, I recommend you begin your journey by looking at distributions like
Ubuntu. If ethical hacking is what you’re after, then I would recommend taking
the route of learning either Kali Linux or Parrot OS.

Parrot OS is better in terms of
offering an easy-to-use interface and tools, which can be grasped easily by
beginners. However, both Kali Linux and Parrot OS provide learners with a bunch
of tools they can make use of.

The following section covers the
tools provided by both these penetration-testing-based operating systems.

Linux vs Parrot OS: Tools Provided

If you have had a chance to look at
Parrot OS prior to reading this ‘Kali Linux vs Parrot OS’ blog, you might know
that Parrot OS provides a plethora of tools when compared to Kali. Most of the
tools that are present on Parrot OS are also present on Kali, but here are two
important tools that are not present in the Kali ecosystem.


One of the most vital things needed
to hack into anyone’s architecture is anonymity. There is no perfect textbook
method used to completely become anonymous when working on this.

Even though there are a lot of
tools, AnonSurf takes the lead here because of its powerful ability to
anonymize an entire system, using Tor IPtables. Tor is a package that comes
preinstalled with Parrot OS and gives the outright advantage to begin
penetration testing without any need for the installation of other tools, like
in the case of Kali.


Wifiphisher is one of the tools
needed when performing security testing over Wi-Fi. Clients can be targeted and
attacks can take place to easily plant malware and other malignant software
entities in the victim’s network.

It is a tool that can be customized
to quickly capture and obtain all the credentials needed to penetrate the
network in an organized fashion. This plays a key role in establishing security
methods and protocols across a spectrum of networks.


Picking up an operating system for
penetration testing as denoted in this Kali Linux vs Parrot OS blog is purely
based on factors of choice, customization, and the specification of the systems
it is run on. I personally would recommend prospects to take a look at Parrot
OS due to the multiple advantages it provides to users, learners, and the
community on the whole.

Do you have any more points you
think are vital in the comparison? Head to the comments section and let us

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