Henceforward, Offensive Security’s Kali Linux is a rolling distribution. Kali Team announced its opening to public usage on their website.
Team said, “Today marks an important milestone for us with the first public release of our Kali Linux rolling distribution. Kali switched to a rolling release model back when we hit version 2.0 (codename “sana”), however the rolling release was only available via an upgrade from 2.0 to Kali-rolling for a select brave group. After 5 months of testing our rolling distribution (and its supporting infrastructure), we’re confident in its reliability – giving our users the best of all worlds – the stability of Debian, together with the latest versions of the many outstanding penetration testing tools created and shared by the information security community.”
What’s new in Kali Linux Rolling?
Kali Rolling Release vs Standard Releases
To get a better understanding of the changes that brings to Kali, it will be better reading this “how rolling releases work”. Rather than Kali basing itself off standard Debian releases (such as Debian 7, 8, 9) and going through the cyclic phases of “new, mainstream, outdated”, the Kali rolling release feeds continuously from Debian testing, ensuring a constant flow of the latest package versions.
Continuously Updated Penetration Testing Tools
In blog post, “Automated notification system of updated penetration testing tool releases has been working well over the past 5 months and has ensured that the Kali-rolling repository always holds the latest stable releases of monitored tools. This usually leaves a gap of around 24-48 hours from notification of a new tool update, to its packaging, testing, and pushing into our repositories. We would also like to introduce our new Kali Linux Package Tracker which allows you to follow the evolution of Kali Linux both with email updates and a comprehensive web interface. The tracker can also help in identifying which versions of various tools and packages are in our repository at any given moment. As an example, the screen-shot below shows the time-line of the nmap package in Kali and tracks its repository versions.”
VMware Tools vs Open-VM-Tools
As of Sept 2015, VMware recommended using the distribution-specific open-vm-tools instead of the VMware Tools package for guest machines. The team tested to make sure that their package installs and works correctly with the latest Kali rolling kernel and confirmed that all the needed functionality such as file copying, clipboard copy/paste and automatic screen resizing are working perfectly. To install open-vm-tools in your Kali Rolling image, enter:
apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop fuse
From Kali Linux 2.0 to Kali Rolling
Migrating from Kali sana (2.0) to Kali rolling is simple. As root, you can run the following commands and be on your way:
cat << EOF > /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://http.kali.org/kali kali-rolling main non-free contrib
apt-get dist-upgrade # get a coffee, or 10.
There is warning that the Kali sana repositories will no longer be updated and will be EOL’d on the 15th of April 2016.
Kali Penetration Testing Tools Site Refresh
Their on-going mission to give all Kali sites a face lift and common look and feel has made its way to the Kali Tools website. Beyond its clean good looks, the Kali tools site includes descriptions and sample usage for almost every tool in the Kali Linux arsenal. You can quickly select tools by what they do, such as conducting information gathering, cracking passwords, doing DNS enumeration, evaluating wireless networks, and more. In addition, they have started adding community driven videos to some of the tool entries. You can read the full post on Kali Linux web site.