What is Kali Linux called now? Exploring the Evolution and Renaming


In the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity and penetration testing, Kali Linux has been a household name. However, you might be wondering, “What is Kali Linux called now?” In this article, we’ll uncover the evolution of this renowned penetration testing platform, from its origins as BackTrack to its current identity as Kali Linux. Through this journey, we’ll explore the reasons behind the rebranding, the benefits it brings, and how it has solidified its position as a go-to tool for cybersecurity professionals.

What is Kali Linux called now?

Kali Linux, as it’s known today, was formerly recognized as BackTrack. This change was implemented in March 2013 with the release of Kali Linux 1.0. The decision to rebrand the distribution was driven by several factors, including a shift in focus, a desire to overcome certain limitations, and the need to provide a more refined toolset for penetration testers and security enthusiasts.

The Evolution of BackTrack to Kali Linux

The transition from BackTrack to Kali Linux marked a significant turning point in the world of cybersecurity. BackTrack, initially released in 2006, gained widespread popularity due to its robust collection of security tools and ease of use. However, as the field of cybersecurity evolved, it became clear that BackTrack needed a revamp to cater to the changing demands of security professionals.

Reasons Behind the Rebranding

Expanding Beyond a Simple Toolkit

With the rebranding to Kali Linux, the developers aimed to create a comprehensive platform that extended beyond being just a collection of security tools. Kali Linux was designed to provide a complete and cohesive environment for various penetration testing activities, making it more efficient and user-friendly.

Shedding Limitations of the Past

BackTrack had reached a point where certain design and architectural decisions made in its early days were proving to be limiting factors for further growth. The rebranding allowed the developers to make necessary changes, modernize the framework, and integrate new features seamlessly.

Embracing a New Identity

The shift from BackTrack to Kali Linux was not just about technical improvements; it also signified a shift in mindset. The new name, “Kali,” is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “time,” symbolizing change and transformation – a reflection of the distribution’s evolution and adaptability.

Benefits of the Rebranding

Enhanced User Experience

Kali Linux was built with user experience in mind. The rebranding provided an opportunity to revamp the interface, streamline navigation, and organize tools more intuitively. This enhancement has enabled both seasoned professionals and newcomers to access the tools they need more efficiently.

Stronger Community Engagement

The renaming of the distribution sparked renewed interest and engagement within the cybersecurity community. The new identity generated excitement and encouraged security experts to explore the revamped platform, leading to increased collaboration, tool development, and knowledge sharing.

Clearer Brand Identity

The name change brought with it a clearer brand identity. Kali Linux is now associated with a well-defined purpose – a versatile and powerful penetration testing platform. This clarity has contributed to its prominence and recognition in the cybersecurity realm.

FAQs About Kali Linux’s Rebranding

Why was the name “Kali” chosen for the rebranding?

The name “Kali” was chosen to symbolize change, transformation, and adaptability – qualities that align with the distribution’s evolution and purpose.

How did the community react to the rebranding?

The community’s reaction was largely positive. The new identity energized the community, resulting in increased collaboration and contributions.

Can I still access the tools that were available in BackTrack?

Many tools from BackTrack are available in Kali Linux, along with additional ones. The transition was designed to be smooth for users familiar with BackTrack.

Is Kali Linux suitable for beginners in cybersecurity?

Yes, Kali Linux caters to both beginners and experts. Its refined interface and intuitive organization make it accessible to newcomers, while its advanced tools cater to professionals.

Are there official resources for learning Kali Linux?

Yes, the Kali Linux website offers official documentation, tutorials, and a vibrant community forum for learning and sharing knowledge.

What impact has Kali Linux had on the cybersecurity industry?

Kali Linux has significantly shaped the cybersecurity industry by providing a powerful, all-in-one platform for penetration testing and security assessments.

What Linux is Kali based on?

Kali Linux is based on Debian Linux.

What language is Kali Linux written in?

Kali Linux is primarily written in C and Python.

What is Kali Linux called now?

Kali Linux is still called “Kali Linux.”

What is Kali Linux OS based on?

Kali Linux is based on Debian GNU/Linux.

Who is Kali Linux owned by?

Kali Linux is maintained and funded by Offensive Security.


In the realm of cybersecurity, Kali Linux stands as a testament to evolution and innovation. The transition from BackTrack to Kali Linux was not just a change in name; it represented a transformation in purpose, usability, and community engagement. With its enhanced features, refined interface, and a strong commitment to serving cybersecurity professionals, Kali Linux continues to shape the landscape of penetration testing and security assessments.

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