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Discussion on: Explain the different popular Linux distros

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Mike Bybee

Great rundown, but I'd personally caveat one specific use case: Penetration testing/"hacking."

Kali is typically not intended/recommended for permanent install on bare metal. You can, but its package management can be extremely brittle, a rarity in the world of Debian-based distros (I'd go so far as to say it's worse than its predecessor, the Ubuntu-based Backtrack, in that regard), and forget about adding many (if any) third party repositories. Typically, you'll find Kali used on a thumb drive or in a VM.

Parrot Security OS borrows a lot from Kali (many of its pentest tools come from directly from Kali), but it's designed with bare metal installs in mind (they even have a "Home" variant with none of the pentesting tools installed), and offers better sandboxing with those installs considered (with tools installed which can not only pwn others, but your own system, which is why Kali doesn't really cater to permanent installs).

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Karan Gandhi

Hi Mike. Thanks for the insight.
I never used Kali or Parrot OS for more than a day or two.
My insight about Kali / Parrot is based on the memes around them.
"Kali is used by hackers" --> "Parrot is just like Kali but better"

Mostly I can setup my Mint / MX installation with the tools I need and be done.
I am not sure about sandboxing prowess of Parrot Security so I will have to readup on that.
Though if I were to go for a pen-test distro, I would opt for BlackArch solely for their community aspect. I think their discord is pretty cool and the devs are quite active in their server.

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Mike Bybee

I use the BlackArch repos when I'm running something Arch-based (which I never end up sticking with), which is a much easier thing to do than bringing Kali or Parrot repos into any other Debian-based distro (do not do this, it is a path to infinite breakage and sadness), but I'm definitely not a fan of the BlackArch distro's minimal window manager (BlackBox or OpenBox IIRC).

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Karan Gandhi

I was going to install BlackArch + XFCE and this
github.com/Anyon3/blackmate

But dont want to break my already chimeric system(3 Linux + Windows on 2HDDs + SSD) cos work. :)

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Mike Bybee • Edited

Nice find! With a few tweaks, the script should be able to work with any XDG-compliant desktop, e.g. KDE (my choice for a while now, so easily and infinitely configurable and, believe it or not, on par with XFCE resource usage in recent releases), GNOME (though it won't matter with their default MacOS Launchpad clone menu, you'll need an alternate menu GNOME extension), Mate, Cinnamon, Budgie, etc.

I've thought about doing something similar to merge ubuntustudio-menu and kxstudio-menu and bring their structure to non Ubuntu-/Debian-based distros' menus for creative apps.

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Mike Bybee

Man, I never want to go back to bare metal Windows install again if I don't have to. Getting that way with MacOS too (wink wink).