Kali Linux vs Ubuntu: Which Is Better For Beginners?

Kali Linux and Ubuntu are two popular Linux distributions with a varied set of features. Kali Linux is a penetration testing and data forensic analysis operating system, whereas Ubuntu is a more general-purpose operating system. In this post, you will learn which of the two operating systems is superior in the case of Kali Linux vs Ubuntu.

What’s Linux?

Linux is an open-source, UNIX-based, free, fast, and secure operating system developed by Sir Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux was launched on September 17, 1991. Linux has many distributions targeting different people in different fields. Linux has huge competition with Windows and Mac. There are more than 350 Linux distributions out there in the market.

What’s Kali Linux?

As we have discussed earlier that Linux has many distributions like Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, etc. Kali Linux is a Debian-based operating system designed purely for penetration testers and ethical hackers. Kali Linux comes with a bunch of pre-built penetration tools like Metasploit, Nmap, Burpsuite, etc. Kali Linux is developed, launched, and maintained by Offensive Security.

Other Debian-based operating systems for penetration testing are Parrot, BackBox, Tails, etc.

User Interface of KaliLinux
User Interface of Kali Linux


What’s Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is another open-source, free Linux operating system that is based on Debian. Ubuntu was released in 2004 by Canonical LTD. Ubuntu is always said to be a very easy-to-use operating system for beginners who want to switch from other operating systems to Linux.

Many other Linux distros are based on Ubuntu and are known as sub distros of Ubuntu. Some of those Linux distros that are based on Ubuntu are the following.

  • ZorinOS
  • Lubuntu
  • ElementaryOS
  • Linux Mint
  • Kubuntu
  • FerenOS
  • DeepinOS
User Interface of Ubuntu

Which Is More Popular?

Ubuntu is more popular than Kali Linux or any other distribution of Linux. Below is a graph of the popularity of Ubuntu and Debian-based operating systems like Kali Linux.

Stats Kali Linux vs Ubuntu
Stats Kali Linux vs Ubuntu

Comparison Table: Kali Linux vs Ubuntu

Points Kali Linux Ubuntu
Launch Date March 13, 2013 October 20, 2004
Developers Offensive Security Canonical LTD
Audience Pen Testers Normal Users(General Use)
Speed Kali Linux is faster Ubuntu is slower
Security Kali Linux is more secure Ubuntu is less secure
Interface Complicated and not so beautiful Easy and beautiful
Environment XFCE Gnome
Tools Kali comes with many tools pre-installed Ubuntu doesn’t have any pre-installed tools
Platform Support Have support for mobile, chrome book, etc Have huge support for mobile, chrome book, etc

Features of Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a very popular and powerful operating system designed only for pen testers. It contains security features like the ability to search for harmful software, encrypt files, and create partitions. Because of its user-friendly interface, Kali Linux is also a suitable choice for newbies.

Some of the main features of Kali Linux are the following.

Pre-installed Tools

As Kali Linux is designed and developed for pen testers, it has many tools which can make their work easy. According to developers, there are more than 650+ tools in Kali Linux that are pre-installed. Some of the pre-installed tools on Kali Linux are:

  • Metasploit
  • Nmap
  • WPscan
  • Burpsuite
  • John The Ripper
  • Maltego
  • Wireshark
  • Hydra
  • Aircrack-ng
  • BeEF
  • Hashcat

Privacy and Security

Kali Linux is a very secure operating system that has many features for security such as built-in protection against virus attacks, different malware, etc. Users of Kali can work in their own space(computer partition) other users can’t access the private data of other users (except the superuser).

Secure Environment

Only a few members of the team create Kali Linux packages and communicate with the repository via numerous secure protocols.


Kali Linux is open-source that’s why it’s completely customizable. Users can edit the source code and add more features and functionalities according to their needs.

Advantages of Kali Linux

  • 600+ penetration tools are pre-installed.
  • It’s free, open-source, and fully customizable.
  • Kali Linux is created in a safe environment.
  • Kali Linux has support for multiple languages.
  • More powerful than any other pen-testing distro.

Disadvantages of Kali Linux

  • Not good for gaming.
  • Not suitable for absolute beginners.
  • Requires more resources.
  • Most of the work is done using CLI(Command Line Interface) terminal.

Advantages of Ubuntu

  • Easy to use.
  • Beautiful User-Interface
  • Good for beginners.
  • Needs minimum hardware resources

Disadvantages of Ubuntu

  • Not good for gaming.
  • Not suitable for servers.
  • All software can’t be installed.

Main Differences Between Kali Linux and Ubuntu

  • Kali Linux is a Linux distribution developed for hackers, security experts, and pen testers.
  • Ubuntu is also a Linux distribution developed for normal users and beginners.
  • Kali Linux is made on Debian Architecture.
  • Ubuntu is also made on Debian Architecture and its packages are also in Debian format.
  • Ubuntu doesn’t target any specific audience because it’s a general-purpose operating system, you can customize Ubuntu according to your own needs.
  • Kali Linux has a very complicated User-Interface while the UI of Ubuntu is beautiful and easy to use. Some other distribution of Ubuntu like ZorinOS and DeepinOS has a very beautiful interface.

Some Use Cases Of Ubuntu

There are many use cases of Ubuntu. A few of them are below:

Primary Operating System: This can be great for those people want to get the peak performance of their computer. Ubuntu is user-friendly and has some features that make daily use of computers easy.

Use In Servers: Ubuntu can be used on servers for hosting websites too because it’s very stable and can handle tons of traffic. According to research 9 out of 10 servers use Linux.

Use As Development Environment:

Which One Should I Install?: Kali Linux vs Ubuntu

There is no clear answer to this question because it depends on you. If you want to do pen testing then you should go with Kali Linux but if you’re new to using Linux or you want a Linux operating system for daily use then go for Ubuntu.

Can I Use Ubuntu For Cyber Security?

Yes, you can freely use Ubuntu or any other distro of Linux for Cyber Security and hacking. The only thing you would need to do is to install some essential tools for pen testing such as Metasploit, Nmap, Burpsuite, etc.

You can install all these tools in any distro of Linux just by running this simple command:

sudo apt install kali-tools-top10

Which Is More Secure?

In terms of security, Kali Linux is way more secure than Ubuntu. Ubuntu is also very secure but not the same as Kali because Kali Linux is made only for security purposes.

Build Approach Of Kali Linux and Ubuntu

Kali Linux is built only for security and testing purposes while Ubuntu is made for built for general-purpose users and beginners. Kali Linux has pre-installed tools for hacking and Ubuntu is user-friendly.


In this blog post, we have compared Kali Linux with Ubuntu. Kali Linux is an open-source operating system based on Debian architecture and designed for Security Experts and pen testers. While Ubuntu is also an open-source operating system based on Debian architecture designed for beginners and for people who started using computers for the first time.

What do you think is better in the case of Kali Linux vs Ubuntu. Let us know in the comments.

Being a web developer, writer, and blogger for five years, Jade has a keen interest in writing about programming, coding, and web development.
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