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Difference Between Ubuntu and Kali Linux

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Ubuntu is a Linux based Operating System and belongs to the Debian family of Linux. As it is Linux based, so it is freely available for use and is open source. It was developed by a team “Canonical” lead by Mark Shuttleworth. The term “ubuntu” is derived from an African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. The Chinese version of Ubuntu is used for running the world’s fastest supercomputer. Google’s self-driving car uses the stripped version of ubuntu. 

Features of Ubuntu:

  • User-friendly: Ubuntu is known for its user-friendly interface and ease of use.
  • Wide software availability: Ubuntu has a large software repository, which means users can easily find and install software for their needs.
  • Customizability: Ubuntu can be easily customized to suit different user preferences and needs.
  • Stable: Ubuntu is a stable and reliable operating system that can be used for both personal and professional purposes.
  • Security: Ubuntu comes with built-in security features to protect against viruses, malware, and other security threats.


 Kali Linux is a Linux based open source Operating System which is freely available for use. It belongs to the Debian family of Linux. It was developed by “Offensive Security”. It was first released in March 2013 with the aim to be the replacement of the BackTrackOS. Kali comes packed with 100+ of penetration testing, security research, digital forensics, reverse engineering, and ethical hacking tools.

Features of Kali Linux:

  • Penetration testing tools: Kali Linux is designed for penetration testing and comes with a wide range of tools for this purpose.
  • Security focus: Kali Linux is specifically designed with security in mind and is used by security professionals for testing and assessing security vulnerabilities.
  • Customizable: Kali Linux can be customized to suit specific needs and preferences.
  • Community support: Kali Linux has a large and active community of users and developers who provide support and contribute to the development of the operating system.

Similarities between Ubuntu and Kali Linux:

  • Both are open-source: Both Ubuntu and Kali Linux are open-source operating systems, which means they are free to use and can be modified and distributed by anyone.
  • Linux-based: Both Ubuntu and Kali Linux are based on the Linux kernel.
  • Command-line interface: Both Ubuntu and Kali Linux offer a command-line interface for advanced users and developers.
  • Package managers: Both Ubuntu and Kali Linux use package managers to install and manage software on the system.
  • Widely used: Both Ubuntu and Kali Linux are widely used by individuals and organizations around the world.

Difference between Ubuntu and Kali Linux


Kali Linux

Developed by Canonical.

Developed by Offensive Security.

Ubuntu was initially released on 20 October 2004.

Kali was initially released on 13 March 2013.

Ubuntu is used for daily use or on server.

Kali is used by security researchers or ethical hackers for security purposes

Latest version(2020.04) of ubuntu uses Gnome-terminal by default.

Latest version(2020.2) of kali uses qterminal by default.

Latest Ubuntu consists of the Gnome environment by default, though it allows you to change the same.

Latest Kali consists of the xfce environment by default, though it allows you to change the same.

Ubuntu doesn’t comes packed with hacking and penetration testing tools.

Kali comes packed with hacking and penetration testing tools.

Comes with a user friendly Interface

Comes with a less user friendly Interface as compared to ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a good option for beginners to Linux.

Kali Linux is a good option for those who are intermediate in Linux.

Latest Ubuntu live has the default username as root.

Latest Kali Linux has a default username as kali.

Latest Ubuntu live has the default password as (blank).

Latest Kali Linux has a default password as kali.

Conclusion: Ubuntu and Kali Linux are both popular Linux distributions, but they serve different purposes. Ubuntu is a general-purpose operating system that is suitable for everyday use, while Kali Linux is a specialized operating system that is specifically designed for penetration testing and ethical hacking. When choosing between Ubuntu and Kali Linux, it is important to consider the purpose of the operating system and the needs of the user.

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Last Updated : 19 Jul, 2023
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