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Thread: Using Kali as main operating system?

  1. #1
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    Using Kali as main operating system?

    Is Kali Linux a dependable daily/main operating system? That is of course knowing how to navigate and use linux. Are there any other sorts of programs for added security i should install such as PeerBlock? Is it true you dont need antivirus on linux? I have heard this before but would just like confirmation from a community that would know better than anyone. Thanks folks!

  2. #2
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    Kali Linux is a security distribution which is designed for penetration testing and other similar topics.

    Most of the tools included in Kali require root to run which is not recommended for a day to day operating system. Due to the purpose of Kali (mentioned above) you may have issues while installing some applications or features that you require on a daily basis.

    If you want my opinion on it, I would run it inside a Virtual Machine.

  3. #3
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    Excellent I greatly appreciate it!

  4. #4
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    I'm using kali as my primary operating system (kde 64 version) because it really likes my hardware (ao756)-- better than anything else i've tried. The only thing you really have to do is set up a regular user. You would still want to be root to run any of the pentesting tools, but you'd just have to log out and log back in. I'm sorry offsec, but I think you accidentally, made something for everyday use.

  5. #5
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    From what I've read, I wouldn't recommend it. This is a very specialized distro. I would only use it for pentest from a persistent USB.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndrwgn View Post
    I'm using kali as my primary operating system (kde 64 version) because it really likes my hardware (ao756)-- better than anything else i've tried. The only thing you really have to do is set up a regular user. You would still want to be root to run any of the pentesting tools, but you'd just have to log out and log back in. I'm sorry offsec, but I think you accidentally, made something for everyday use.
    Actually it is possible to use it as an everyday OS, you could do the same with Backtrack. The main point is that it's main purpose is not to be used in everyday tasks

  7. #7
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    I remember back when i used Backtrack 5 R3 as my main OS, i believe i was compromised. I could hear my GPU and CPU fans struggling after not touching the keyboard/mouse for about 10 minutes. I felt like someone was running a bitcoin miner on my pc, which is pointless considering its only got an nvidia 8800gts. Anyways, i would like to set up a persistent USB device to run Kali on, but would i just follow the tutorials set up for backtrack persistent usb? How about setting up a user included in the sudoers file if i chose to use it as a main OS? Thanks for the replies by the way

  8. #8
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    @HDD2,

    You can find a guide on how to install Kali on USB on the docs: http://docs.kali.org/

  9. #9
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    I am also using Kali as my every day distro in the same way ndrwgn stated, by running as a regular user and switching to root for pentesting. I actually believe that (with the exception of Arch) this is the smoothest and fastest OS I have run on any of my machines. (Using gnome 64 bit, A8 3500m cpu, HD 6750m gpu).

  10. #10
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    What I have done was made a less privileged user for everyday use and have just ran a second OS in a VM, with Kali as a host.

  11. #11
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    i installed kde on it and i'm using it as my main OS, i love it...the reason it's not recommended it's because everything is running under root, but you could just create regular user and use that account for everyday and switch to root for pen testing.

    now that i have it customized to my liking i'm loving it everyday more and more
    A goal without a plan is just a wish.

  12. #12
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    I've been using Linux as my primary OS for 7 years now. I've switched many distributions and now I am using Kali as my primary OS. Although Kali wasn't intended for primary OS but I don't see any issue in using it instead of Ubuntu/Fedora/Arch. I still have my Win7 on dual boot for gaming and lots of VMs (XP, Win7, Win8, Kali, BackTrack, Ubuntu, FreeBSD) for my dirty work.

  13. #13
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    Welcome all, newbie here.
    I read that Kali is based on Debian. Does it mean that all debian packages (~30k) are avalible on Kali? What repository Kali use? Debian Stable or Testing? I'm asking because I'm considering to use Kali as main OS but Debian Stable has to old packages.
    Thanks

  14. #14
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    I appreciate everyones responses Good info here. It does run verrrryyyy smooth. Even though i'm using quite outdated hardware :/ Abit Fatal1ty mobo and a amd athlon x64 2.4ghz....runs like a bat out of hades mad props to the Kali developers!

  15. #15
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    Just install Debian for everyday use and put Kali on a nice usb device so you can hack your bank from your ram.

  16. #16
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    Im also using Kali on my T60 as Primary OS. Yes its a good System and it shows Developer-work
    Last edited by Medice; 2013-04-16 at 22:29.
    [B]Systems:[/B]
    [COLOR="#FF0000"]1. Lenovo Thinkpad T60 - 3,5 GB DDR2 - 60GB SSD - T2400[/COLOR]: Kali-Linux (x86 HDD) 1.0.2
    [COLOR="#0000FF"]2. Intel Q8200 - 4GB - 500GB SATA2 - ATI Radeon HD6570 Windows 8 Pro MCE[/COLOR]

    :D

  17. #17
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    Yeah... I'm not real keen on running a Pentesting distro as a main OS.. I run it only for its intended purpose. And as for speed, I'd much rather use the Arch system I configured. It's never peaked over 600mb of RAM and I use it for just about everything (gaming and business on my Win7 machine). But hey, that's what works for me.

  18. #18
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    I made a dual boot set-up with a "normal" user account for everyday use.

    I switch between Win7 & Kali by rebooting whenever necessary, but I would like to get to know Kali (and debian for that matter) so I try to stay within the Kali boot as often as possible.

    Making a Win7 VM that you access from Kali in VMware is also a nice way.

    I know that a lot of people would recommend against using Kali as a main operating system, but if you make a non-root user account and just use common sense while using the OS I really can't see why that would be a problem.

    As far as I know, the OS is also somewhat hardened compared to BT. Not starting services at boot if they're not required etc. So if my impression is correct this should be a fairly secure OS.

  19. #19
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    If you're running into issues with some programs not wanting to run as root try the following:

    #useradd derp
    #passwd derp (follow instructions to set the password for user "derp")

    add derp to the /etc/sudoers file:

    #leafpad /etc/sudoers

    ...you should see something like:

    # User privilege specification
    root ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL
    derp ALL=(ALL:ALL)ALL <---ADD THAT AND SAVE THE FILE!

    now to run other programs while logged in as root in Kali just do thus:

    #sudo -U derp -l <program-name-that-doesn't-need-X-server-to-run> (use this method for services like tor

    if you have something like firefox or torbrowser that needs X server for a pretty GUI use this method:

    #xhost +SI:localuser:derp (this gives derp access to connect to X server)

    #su derp (manuver with derp as the user)

    $firefox (runs firefox as derp in the curren X environment)

    Good Luck, and Have fun
    Last edited by edw00rd; 2013-04-29 at 13:56.

  20. #20
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    Well I just installed it yesterday and it works perfectly as a main operating system. I use the GNOME version and installed KDE in case I want to use it. Since it uses aptitude and apt-get I've been able to install all the packages I had on Ubuntu such as docky which I'd be lost without, Google Chrome and Minecraft. I could also install Code::Blocks and it comes with a python interpreter so I could use it daily with no problem.

  21. #21
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    No, Kali is a security distribution made for penetration tests. There are other Linux distributions for daily use such as Ubuntu and so on.

  22. #22
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    I installed Kali as the sole OS on my favorite laptop and I love it. The install happened after a failed attempt to set up a Kali/Win7 dual boot. I never had any trouble setting up Backtrack/Windows dual boots, but Kali didn't seem to be quite as user-friendly when setting up the dual boot. I finally said heck with it, did a DoD wipe of the HDD and installed Kali as the sole OS. Best thing I ever did. I simply use an 'everyday' account when I'm not pentesting, and via WINE I can run MS Office. I admittedly don't put a whole lot of demand on this particular laptop, but I haven't found anything I can't do on it with Kali

  23. #23
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    After doing some reading about Kali (64bit) as main OS I installed it on a 6 core amd desktop (not to old but no to modern but it's 6core 3.5ghz AMD with 8gb DDR3 and 4850gfx card + alfa wireless) I was using win8 but decided to end up installing Kali so I could play with it, I get that you shouldn't really run it from a HDD but I don't intend to pentest with it from my HDD, literally use it as a general OS. Any pentesting will be done from Kali within a VM running on my Kali distro.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by tr0ve View Post
    Any pentesting will be done from Kali within a VM running on my Kali distro.

    Yo dawg, I heard you like Kali. So I ran Kali within Kali so you can test while you test.

    Sorry, saw this while browsing and couldn't resist.

  25. #25
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    I've got Kali 1.0 installed on my HDD with GNOME. I created an non-root user to use most of the time. What do I need to do to allow the non-root user to mount removeable media (usb flash)? I already modified sudoers. I also installed gnome-system-tools to try and use Users and Groups. It installed, but Users Settings hangs when started. Any help would be appreciated, I'm not sure what Kali is using to mount removeable media... fstab, udev, etc. Thanks.

  26. #26
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    Lol, yeah, this was a pain for me to figure out too. Apparently on Debian, if you install from usb, there is an entry created in fstab for /dev/sdb. Just comment it out and reboot.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndrwgn View Post
    Lol, yeah, this was a pain for me to figure out too. Apparently on Debian, if you install from usb, there is an entry created in fstab for /dev/sdb. Just comment it out and reboot.
    You, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman. One little # and all is well. Interestingly, although I didn't install from USB, I did use a USB stick to install the ipw2200 driver for my wireless card. That was enough to add an entry for /dev/sdb1 like you indicated.

    Now I just need to get the acerhk driver working... (I knew I should've written down what I did for BT5R2)

  28. #28
    could you not minimize the derp ALL=(ALL:ALL)ALL to derp ALL=(ALL)ALL as the inner ?:? is user:group? If I'm not missing anything both will be all one ALL would be the same at least thats how how my sudoers is set up and works just fine. Maybe I'm missing something or the ALL:ALL?

    Edit: I also have a non-root account but on 1.0.6 and have no problems mounting removable media. I've also built the vlc 2.1.4 from source and i've noticed that the mount points all point to /dev when loading a dvd....not sure if that helps??
    Last edited by sickn3ss; 2014-05-29 at 13:58.

  29. #29
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    I am using Kali as my primary OS. Is wonderful, I don't get what the fuss about the root user if you can run as root then you should not pentest

  30. #30
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    Ive used Kali as my only Operating system since v1, and only issue i ran into is installing "playonlinux" (for playing MicroShaft games) as don't install under root. obviously could set up a none root account and this would solve the problem. other than that I've no issues at all. I've installed openoffice, gimp and a bunch of useful stuff to make Kali more usable for daily tasks and find it very fast and stable. and the pentest side of things as a useful option such i require it ( HP envy m6, i5, 8GB ram, 1TB HD ) obviously their are certain risks running as root, but no different as running windows with UAC turned off witch nearly every user does anyway as its so annoying lol

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