Kali Linux Vs Parrot Os - Which suits you best?

While there are a lot of specialised Linux Operating Systems for cyber-security like BlackArch and such, Kali Linux and Parrot Os stand out as two of the most famous ones. So which one should you use? Here, we will discuss some notable features of both these operating systems to decide which suits you the best.

Kali Linux

Released in March 2013, Kali Linux has come out to be one of the most preferred operating systems for cyber-security enthusiasts all over the world. Kali was introduced as an upgrade on BackTrack OS, the then used OS by experts. Kali Linux also offers a “single-root user” design as a way to handle privileges.

Some Notable Features

  • Free: It has an open source build, meaning it's free and legal to use under a wide variety of situations.
  • Multi Language Support: People who are not comfortable with English can run Kali Linux in their preferred language.
  • Customisation: Users can customise Kali, by changing its appearance, modifying its working as to their comfort.
  • Plethora of tools: Kali Linux comes pre-installed with a huge number of cyber security tools such as nmap, metasploit, john, etc., making it easier for users to focus on the attack/defence.

Parrot OS

Parrot OS, also released in 2013, is a Debian based Linux distribution focusing on security, privacy and development. Working as a close competitor to Kali, Parrot OS is the number 1 operating system for cyber-security for many professionals.

Some Notable Features

  • Free: Like Kali, Parrot OS is open source, and we are allowed to change the source code as we like.
  • Lightweight: Parrot OS promises to run smoothly even on old hardware devices. Focusing only on resource consumption, this OS proves right on its promise.
  • Secure: Parrot OS is revised and new versions are published regularly, keeping it secure. The entire control of the OS and its security is under our command.
  • Portable: Tools offered by Parrot OS, or tools made by us on Parrot OS, can be used anywhere on Mac, Windows or Linux.

Major Differences between Kali and Parrot


  • Kali Linux:
    • Minimum of 20GB of space is needed for installation
    • Minimum of 1 GB of RAM is needed
    • Graphical Acceleration is required.

  • Parrot OS:
    • Minimum of 16GB of space is needed for installation
    • Minimum of 320 MB of RAM is needed
    • Graphical Acceleration is not required.


  • Kali Linux:
    • Has a GNOME desktop UI.
    • Very simple interface. 

  • Parrot OS:
    • Has a UBUNTU desktop version finish.
    • Much cleaner and good on the eye interface.


Parrot OS has a much larger variety of tools than Kali Linux. It already has all of the tools provided by Kali, plus some additional tools of its own.


Since Parrot OS is lightweight and made to run smoothly on low end devices, its performance is better than Kali Linux when heavier tasks are put in motion.


With all this said, Kali Linux and Parrot OS have a loyal fan following of its own. One would not ditch it for the other. Both have their pro’s and con’s. At the end it’s up to the user to take a feel of both the popular cyber security operating systems and choose which one feels right for them.