Kali Linux 2021.1 Release

Kali Linux 2021.1 Release

Offensive Security has announced the release of Kali Linux 2021.1, the first release for 2021.

Offensive Security has announced the release of Kali Linux 2021.1, the first release for 2021. The new release is packed with new features to amaze ethical hackers.

What Is Linux?

Linux is a family of open-source operating systems based on the Linux kernel. The first Linux system kernel was released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds.

Popular Linux distributions include Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu, and the commercial distributions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. There are also a lot of other customized Linux distributions, such as Kali Linux, REMnux etc.

What Is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is a Debian-based distribution developed, funded and maintained by Offensive Security. Offensive Security is also the provider of the well known exploitation framework, Metasploit, and also maintains the Exploit Database.

Kali has been developed for ethical hackers for the purposes of Penetration Testing, Security Research & Assessment, and Computer Computer Forensics & Reverse Engineering. The first version of Kali was released on the 13th of March 2013. The initial version was a rebuild of BackTrack Linux, that is not maintained anymore.

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What Is New In Kali 2021.1 Release?

The changes in this version include:

Xfce & KDE Updates

Kali uses Xfce as the default environment while it also allows for switching to GNOME, KDE, or to no GUI at all. In this version, Kali comes with updated Xfce (4.16) and KDE (5.20) desktop environments.

Terminals Tweaks

With the new release, various terminals (xfce4-terminal, tux, tile, console, terminal and mate-terminal) that can be used according to desktop environments have also been updated for better user experience.

Command Not Found

New release comes with a helping utility package, command-not-found, that prompts users with how to install an app that is not currently installed but available in the repository.

Figure 1: Command Not Found Example on Kali Linux Terminal
Figure 1: Command Not Found Example on Kali Linux Terminal

This new command-not-found feature comes by default with a fresh install of Kali Linux 2021.1. If an upgraded version is used with Bash shell, then it will also work without any additional tweaks. However, if an upgraded version is used with a Zsh shell, then the following lines needs to be added to the ~/.zshrc.

# enable command-not-found if installed 
if [ -f /etc/zsh_command_not_found ]; then     
   . /etc/zsh_command_not_found 

New Tools

Kali includes the following new tools in this release:

  • Airgeddon: Audit wireless networks
  • AltDNS: Generate alterations of subdomains and resolves them
  • Arjun: HTTP parameter discovery
  • Chisel: TCP/UDP tunnel over HTTP
  • DNSGen: Generate combination of domain names
  • DumpsterDiver: Search secrets in files
  • GetAllUrls: Fetch known URLs from various resources (Open Threat Exchange, the Wayback Machine, and Common Crawl)
  • GitLeaks: Search Git repo history for secrets and keys
  • HTTProbe: Probe for working HTTP and HTTPS servers for domains
  • MassDNS: DNS lookup and reconnaissance
  • PSKracker: WPA/WPS toolkit for generating default keys/pins
  • WordlistRaider: Prepare wordlists

For a complete list of all the available tools in Kali, you can check the Kali Linux Tools Site that provides a quick reference for each.

How To Download or Upgrade Your Kali?

You can download Kali Linux 2021.1 images for several platforms (including VMware and VirtualBox images) from Kali’s official downloads page.

Or, if you’re already using an older version of Kali Linux, you can upgrade it by running the commands:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt -y full-upgrade

To check if you are running the most current release, you can run the following commands:

$ grep VERSION /etc/os-release
$ uname -v
#1 SMP Debian 5.10.13-1kali1 (2021-02-08)
$ uname -r

To read more about the features of the 2021.1 release of Kali Linux, you can visit the official Kali Linux webpage.

Previous Kali Linux Releases

To learn more on Linux, you could also read our article Basic Linux Commands for Beginners or visit Linux Resources Page.