Pen-Testers of the World Rejoice, Kali Linux 2020.3 Is Here

  • Kali Linux 2020.3 has been released, and it is bringing a host of new features and tools.
  • The latest version of the popular offensive security Linux distribution can now run through Windows directly.
  • Some “quality of life” features have also landed, with new GNOME Shell themes and better HiDPI support.

Kali Linux, maybe the most popular and successful Linux distribution that specializes in digital forensics and penetration testing, has released a new version - the “2020.3”. Apart from the usual updating of all packages to their latest available versions from Debian’s stable repositories (Kali is Debian-based), this release brings quite a few new features to make it particularly interesting.

For starters, Kali is now initiating the process of switching from the Bash shell to the ZSH. Bash has been the standard choice of a Unix command-line shell for most Linux distros all these years, and it was even used by all macOS versions prior to 16 (Catalina).

ZSH is richer in features, interactive, sports auto-completion, globbing, spell correction, path replacement, and more. So, for Kali, switching to ZSH for its default shell was a natural step at this point.

release-2020.3-zsh
Source: Kali Linux

Another notable new feature is the introduction of “Win-KeX,” which enables users to run Kali Linux right on Windows 10 and through the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

The Kali image provided for this purpose is lean, so the rich toolset of the distro needs to be fetched manually or by using a special meta-package that will install everything.

release-2020.3-win-kex
Source: Kali Linux

Kali 2020.3 will also treat HiDPI displays better, something that has remained a problem in the Linux world for years now.

The new version will detect an HiDPI display automatically and will offer a scaling mode that works well. Text, fonts, icons, and windows will hopefully look nicer without the user having to fiddle with too many options like before.

Another awesome new tool that lands with Kali 2020.3 is actually one that combines a set of Bluetooth tools into a single application called “Bluetooth Arsenal.”

From there, the user can initiate scans, inject audio, discover devices and figure out how close they are, find out what services they run, and generally carry out all kinds of reconnaissance and spoofing tasks.

release-2020.3-nh-bluetooth
Source: Kali Linux

Finally, Kali has updated its mobile penetration testing platform for Android devices, the “NetHunter,” and it now supports the Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 6.1 devices too. Kali NetHunter is a unique case of an offensive security mobile system, so if you have a spare Android device lying around and if it happens to be compatible, you may want to give it a spin.

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