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Kali Linux vs Parrot OS
Updated on 05th Apr, 23 1926 Views

A security OS is a key part of an architecture that helps in building, maintaining, and testing the stability of the product or the service in terms of cybersecurity. We are sure you already know the importance that is given to cybersecurity in the 21st century and it is rightly done so. Vulnerabilities in a system can be detected and removed so as to not allow attacks from external sources.

In this ‘Parrot OS vs. Kali Linux’ blog, we will discuss the following aspects in detail:

Let’s begin this Parrot vs Kali Linux blog by taking a quick look at Linux in general!

Usage of Linux

Linux is regarded as the best operating system for a variety of its roles, and it is actively used in our daily lives. Some of these roles are described below:


The entirety of the supercomputers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration runs on Linux.

Amazon Kindle

Regarded as the #1 device to read eBooks on, Kindle actively runs on Linux in all of its distributions.


No matter which provider, there is a good chance that your television runs a flavor of Linux.

Social Media

The entirety of the platoon—Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter—runs completely on Linux.

The list can be virtually endless, but what’s important here is that even governments and security agencies across the globe run on Linux. Be it the White House or the Pentagon, it gives Linux Developers a task to create an OS, which is very secure and extremely powerful when it comes to working with penetration testing especially.

Penetration testing, or pen testing, is a methodology where one simulates a cyberattack against his/her own system to check for vulnerabilities, which can be exploited in real-time, and no other OS than Kali Linux comes to mind when one thinks about pen-testing.

Check out our Parrot OS vs Kali Linux video on YouTube designed especially for beginners:

What is Parrot OS?

Being similar to Kali Linux, Parrot OS is another flavor of Linux, which is also known for its penetration testing abilities and vast provisions of tools. It is similar to Kali Linux and is in line with the Debian standards, where all of the code segments adhere to certain set standards built for security experts, developers, and privacy-aware audiences.

Features of Parrot OS

Open source

Parrot OS is completely free and developed by the open-source community, hence, giving users the source code to customize it as per their needs.


Parrot OS is very lightweight and runs amazingly well on legacy hardware with a smaller number of resources.


Parrot OS receives constant timely updates to keep ahead of the other tools and ensures that it is completely sandboxed at the same time.

Next up on this Parrot vs Kali Linux blog, let us take a quick introduction to Kali Linux.

What is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is one of the world’s most used flavors of Linux for penetration testing. It is completely based on Debian standards and runs Linux for its kernel. Kali Linux was the replacement for the well-regarded BackTrack OS used by many experts.

Features of Kali Linux


Kali Linux is completely free to use just like its predecessor BackTrack.

Multi-language support

Kali has an accurate multilingual guide that opens up its platform to a variety of non-native English users.


Kali was not built to look good but to provide outstanding performance. Hence, users need to work with customization to make it look and feel better while utilizing its performance.

Also read: Linux Certifications

Parrot Security OS vs Kali Linux

Before beginning with the comparison, you must know that both Kali Linux and Parrot OS are used for the same purpose of penetration testing. At the end of the day, it is more of a preference than an absolute comparison.

Parrot OS vs Kali Linux: Hardware Requirements

Kali Linux is a bit demanding in terms of hardware requirements, and here’s why:

  • Kali Linux requires over 20 GB of storage, while Parrot OS can make do with just around 15 GB.
  • Kali is a little heavyweight, demanding a minimum RAM of 1 GB, while Parrot OS can make do with just 300 MB RAM.
  • Kali Linux requires hardware acceleration, using the GPU, while Parrot OS does not need this.

In terms of storage requirements and hardware capabilities, hence, Parrot OS makes a quick win over Kali Linux. An additional benefit is the deployment size after the installation; Parrot OS gets the upper hand when there is a limit on space and/or older hardware configurations are being considered.

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Parrot OS vs Kali Linux: Variety

In terms of offering users a variety of features and releases, both Kali Linux and Parrot OS have multiple offerings as mentioned below.

For Kali Linux:

  • Kali ARM (IoT)
  • Kali Desktop
  • Kali Lite
  • Kali Full

Coming to Parrot OS:

  • Parrot Security OS Studio
  • Parrot Security OS Air
  • Parrot Security OS Lite
  • Parrot Security OS Full

One should note that Parrot OS has the upper hand as it was built around the idea of wireless penetration testing and is thoroughly efficient on that. With Kali Linux, on the other hand, one gets interfaces for a variety of devices, including IoT-based applications. So when choosing, it becomes clear that you need to consider your requirement.

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Parrot OS vs Kali Linux: How Easy it is to Learn

The one common question that everyone asks when it comes to working with either of the penetration-testing-based OS is which of these are user-friendly and easy enough for beginners to prefer. It is important to note that both of these Linux offerings are based on a niche concept that requires prior knowledge of Linux.

If Linux is what you’re after in general, we recommend you begin your journey by looking at distributions like Ubuntu. If ethical hacking is what you’re after, it is recommended to take the route of learning either Kali Linux or Parrot OS.

Parrot OS is better in terms of offering an easy-to-use interface and tools, which can be grasped easily by beginners. However, both Kali Linux and Parrot OS provide learners with a bunch of tools they can make use of.

Learn more about Kali Linux from our blog on the Kali Linux tutorial and learn more.

The following section covers the tools provided by both these penetration-testing-based operating systems.

Parrot OS vs Kali Linux: Tools Provided

If you have had a chance to look at Parrot OS prior to reading this ‘Kali Linux vs Parrot OS’ blog, you might know that Parrot OS provides a plethora of tools when compared to Kali. Most of the tools that are present on Parrot OS are also present on Kali, but here are two important tools that are not present in the Kali ecosystem.


One of the most vital things needed to hack into anyone’s architecture is anonymity. There is no perfect textbook method used to completely become anonymous when working on this.

Even though there are a lot of tools, AnonSurf takes the lead here because of its powerful ability to anonymize an entire system, using Tor IPtables. Tor is a package that comes pre-installed with Parrot OS and gives the outright advantage to begin penetration testing without any need for the installation of other tools, like in the case of Kali.


Wifiphisher is one of the tools needed when performing security testing over Wi-Fi. Clients can be targeted and attacks can take place to easily plant malware and other malignant software entities in the victim’s network.

It is a tool that can be customized to quickly capture and obtain all the credentials needed to penetrate the network in an organized fashion. This plays a key role in establishing security methods and protocols across a spectrum of networks.


Picking up an operating system for penetration testing as denoted in this Kali Linux vs Parrot OS blog is purely based on factors of choice, customization, and the specification of the systems it is run on. We personally would recommend prospects to take a look at Parrot OS due to the multiple advantages it provides to users, learners, and the community on the whole.

If you are looking to build your career and want to master the latest technologies in the world of IT, make sure to check out Intellipaat’s latest Linux course offerings.

Do you have any more points you think are vital in the comparison? Head to the comments section and let us know!

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4 thoughts on “Parrot OS vs. Kali Linux”

  1. Kali Linux 2020.4 is now much better and it has now user account and bunch of tools with best experience for penetration testing.

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