We are pleased to announce our 20192 release. This is an opportunity for us to highlight some of the new features and changes that Kali Linux will be getting in 2019. Normaly, things are only announced when the public is ready, but many of these changes will have a significant impact on users so we decided to make them available early.
This post will show you that our focus is on balancing backend and user-facing changes. Although the backend changes may not seem exciting, it’s important to remember that we can work more efficiently on Kali to deliver user-facing features. Some of the changes focus on improving the development process so that others can get involved.
However, we aren’t ready yet to release dates for any of the changes. They will be available when they are.
GitLab, The New Home of Kali Packages
You may already have noticed one of the most significant changes: the move from the Kali Official Git repository to . This change makes it easier for Kali package improvements to be submitted to us and to be applied! To streamline the work of packages, and provide automatic feedback to contributors submitting merge request requests, we expect to heavily use the GitLab Continous Integration feature.
The documentation on how to submit packages will be available soon. A complete guide will be available in shortly.
Runningtime tests – Finding bugs before users
Packages are always improving in terms of the detection and resolution of problems. We have used for testing. While this works well, most popular packages won’t be broken long. However, some of the edge packages can break for several months before someone notices and reports it to us. Let’s face it, most people don’t report bugs to Kali when they find broken Kali packages.
To improve this situation, we have recently deployed on . We now have our own Continuous Integration System, which allows for automatic testing of Kali packages. The has been integrated with the results of these tests.
We will require for all packages in order to make this infrastructure as effective as possible. This is still far away. This will hopefully be an area receive community support to speed up process. Feel free to submit adding test!
Metapackages – What’s Installed By Default?
Balance is one of the greatest challenges in running Kali Linux. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to Kali Linux. People have always asked for “all of the tools at all times”. As time passes, however, it has lead to the biggest (pun intended) problem with Kali: Bloat. Large ISO sizes and too many packages resulting in a large distribution. etc.
We are updating our metapackages to address these issues. The default Kali metapackage “kalilinux-full” is included in this change. This metapackage controls which packages Kali installs by default. This is an important user-facing update that will affect everyone, it’s obvious. Most tools we choose to remove are older, less-utilitarian tools, that haven’t been updated for years or that have been replaced by better, more modern tools.
This means that some tools which you depended on may not be available by default. You can still install these tools in your repo. You can see full documentation of the metapackages and what they contain at
We will write another blog post about these changes before they go live. These metapackages may be subject to change as we optimize.
Default Shell: Your Primary Kali Interface
For the vast majority of Kali users, the shell is the most commonly used utility. It’s quite a challenge because it is so frequently used that we need to fix it.
We will add default installation to Kali in order to address this. These shells have been optimized to be used by penetration testers. It’s kind of funny. Shell optimization is often geared towards developers. Kali isn’t in that category. We want to provide the most optimal shell environment possible for penetration testers.
However, Bash will not go away so we’ll continue to use it as our default. You can switch between the shells if you are adventurous enough. You can also stick to Bash if you prefer. When this changes are made, you can expect in-shell instructions and a blog post.
Documentation – The Fine Manual
You can expect some changes to , as well as an integration of Kali’s manual into Git via Markdown. To ensure that instructions are accurate and up-to-date, we will accept user documentation. You can also contribute by doing this.
NetHunter: New Blood
You may have seen on Twitter or git commits that we now have , a developer who has taken the project to new heights. His current projects include supporting new hardware and bug fixings.
There’s also ” Project Redback“, however that is what we will be focusing on for now…we’ll write more about it in a future blog post.
We can expect nothing else.
The roadmap is only part of it that we can talk about right now. We are still in the process of developing many more features that we don’t have time to discuss.
We would also like to welcome , who is now a core Kali developer .
The Kali project is at an exciting point. Many of the things we’ve been doing behind closed doors are now ready for the public. Over the coming half-year, Kali Linux will see some significant improvements. You can contact us via to have a discussion about this topic or for ideas.