Kali Linux vs Tails Linux

Kali Linux vs Tails Linux

The awesome operating system Linux is the free and open source. As such, there are thousands of different flavours available - and some types of Linux such as Ubuntu are generic and meant for many different uses. But security-conscious users will be pleased to know that there are also a number of Linux distributions (distros) specifically designed for privacy such as Kali and Tails. They can help to keep your data safe through encryption and anonymity; operating in a ‘Live’ mode where no data is written to your hard drive in use. But the question is which one is best for you?

Don't get confuse on that. We are here to help you and figure out which one is the best for you. So, let's start this -

Kali Linux

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. In addition to Kali Linux, Offensive Security also maintains the Exploit Database and the free online course, Metasploit Unleashed. It offers a smoother, easier penetration testing experience, making it more accessible to IT generalists as well as security specialists. The new infrastructure incorporates Debian development standards to provide a more familiar environment for IT administrators. The result is a more robust solution that can be updated more easily. Users can also customize the operating system to tailor it to their needs and preferences. All the programs packaged with the operating system were evaluated for suitability and effectiveness before being included. They include Metasploit for network penetration testing, Nmap for port and vulnerability scanning, Wireshark for monitoring network traffic, and Aircrack-ng for testing the security of wireless networks. The latest version Kali 2018.2 is the first to include the Linux 4.15 kernel, which includes the x86 and x64 fixes for the much-hyped Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. It also includes much better support for AMD GPUs and support for AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization, which allows for encrypting virtual machine memory such that even the hypervisor can’t access it.

Know more about Kali Linux for offensive security.

Tails Linux

Tails Linux is a kind of computer-in-a-box. You install it on a DVD or USB drive, boot up the computer from the drive and, voila, you're pretty close to anonymous on the internet. At its heart, Tails is a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity. It comes with several privacy and encryption tools, most notably Tor, an application that anonymizes a user's internet traffic by routing it through a network of computers run by volunteers around the world. Tails makes it much easier to use Tor and other privacy tools. Once you boot into Tails which requires no special setup Tor runs automatically. When you're done using it, you can boot back into your PC's normal operating system, and no history from your Tails session will remain.

Know more about Tails Linux for anonymity.

Let’s find the difference between Kali and Tails -

  • TAILS is for privacy, created to be run from a live-USB and it's for normal users. Kali is for cyber-security experts and for ethical hacking.

  • Kali is a pentesting distro, not really intended to be the main os without some modifications. It has tools for testing networks, hacking, sdr, etc. Tails is for privacy, hiding your tracks, and tunneling everything through Tor. It depends on your goals.

  • Kali is typically used in a virtual machine while tails is run natively from a USB drive. Tails 'forgets' about any additional software you install once it is rebooted, while Kali is persistent.

  • Kali Linux is a distribution designed for digital forensics professionals with a collection of tools provided by default. Other side Tails is designed for use by activists and journalists and has been used by people like Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden in their whistleblowing activities.

  • Tails is a privacy-focused live DVD/USB distribution. In contrast, Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution.

  • You can redirect all network traffic in Kali through Tor, but Tails should offer a stronger encryption, as everything is run through the virtual machine. Tails is that kind where all outgoing traffic is forced through Tor with all direct connections disabled.

  • If you are willing to reboot every time you want to connect to TOR network then definitely Tails; not Kali.

  • It's good to get into Linux penetration testing, but still, there have the benefits from anonymous surfing.

  • Start with Ubuntu instead. Then create a virtual machine for Kali if you want to try it. Tails is not security, it's for anonymity.

  • The Kali Linux distribution is specifically targeted, not intended for general use. It only has the root user and let you log in as such, sacrificing a lot of security on your machine in order to let you be a bit faster because you don't have to type sudo.

  • Using a Kali Linux LIVE USB key in forensic mode and using a script to route everything through Tor, and two scripts to wipe RAM on halt and secure-delete (srm or shred) files on halt.

  • Tails is the most secure to use for an educational purpose.

  • Kali requires a modified kernel for network drivers to use injection. On the other hand, TAILS is designed from the bottom up for encryption.


Lastly says, you can go with the security-focused Linux distros like Tails, Kali, or any other distros. They're really useful for browsing anonymously, penetration testing, and tightening down your system, so, it's secure from would-be hackers. But we suggest, choose the one that suits your most frequent purpose and adds the additional tools that you want. If you don’t have the skills to add the additional tools for yourself, use both Tails and Kali, but always in the correct context. You can share your experience in the comments. Thank you!

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