Kali Linux (successor of Backtrack) was originally made as a tool set for advance penetration testing and finding vulnerabilities in network systems. Kali is based on Debian, However, unlike Debian it is focused on forensics.
Kali Linux is preinstalled with over 300 penetration-testing programs, including Armitage (a graphical cyber attack management tool), nmap (a port scanner), Wireshark (a packet analyzer), John the Ripper password cracker, Aircrack-ng (a software suite for penetration-testing wireless LANs), Burp suite and OWASP ZAP web application security scanners.
Kali Linux can run natively when installed on a computer’s hard disk, can be booted from a live CD or live USB, or it can run within a virtual machine. It is a supported platform of the Metasploit Project’s Metasploit Framework, a tool for developing and executing security exploits.
It was developed by Mati Aharoni and Devon Kearns of Offensive Security through the rewrite of BackTrack, their previous forensics Linux distribution based on Knoppix. The third core developer Raphaël Hertzog joined them as Debian expert.
Kali Linux is based on Debian Testing. Most packages Kali uses are imported from the Debian repositories.
Kali Linux is developed using a secure environment with only a small number of trusted people that are allowed to commit packages, with each package being signed by the developer. Kali also has a custom-built kernel that is patched for injection. This was primarily added because the development team found they needed to do a lot of wireless assessments.
Kali Linux requires a minimum of 10GB hard disk space for installation.
A minimum of 512MB RAM for i386 and AMD64 architectures.
A bootable CD-DVD drive or a USB stick.