best linux tools

Best Linux Tools and Utilities to Install – Kali

Update and Upgrade Linux

Before we can install my favorite linux tools, we need to be certain to update and upgrade all the necessary packages of our distribution. This can be done by opening the Terminal and running the following:

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
  • apt-get update – updates the list of packages and their version but doesn’t actually upgrade or install the packages.
  • apt-get upgrade – installs the newer version of packages based on the updated list.

This may take a while, so just let it do it’s thing while it goes through and updates all your packages/dependencies.

After upgrading and rebooting, I was having an issue booting back into Kali. This is because my laptop has 2 graphics cards (you may not have this issue). The command lspci should help you confirm if the Nvidia is installed. If this is the case, open terminal and type:

apt-get remove nvidia* --purge 

This will remove the conflicting Nvidia drivers and use Intel graphics card.

Add New User

It’s very important to add a new user to your Kali distro. While it’s okay to use ‘root’ user, it isn’t recommended you use root for everything because root has all permissions. This means that you can damage your system files if you don’t know what you are doing. Having an account with stricter permissions will protect your sensitive files.

To add a new user, simply open terminal and type:

adduser userone


adduser userone sudo

replace “userone” with the username of your choice.

My Top Linux Tools

I have compiled a list of packages (free linux tools) which are useful to me, and may be equally useful to you as well. This is a list of linux tools that I believe are very important. Kali Linux distro is great for pen-testing, however I like to be able to get other work done on my Kali box as well. Here is my list of best Linux tools:


Gimp is FREE image editing tool, much like Adobe Photoshop. It shares many capabilities with Photoshop and the layout is similar as well. Therefore if you have any experience in Photoshop, Gimp should be easy to follow. It is a very powerful image manipulation utility and I recommend it for everyone. To install Gimp, simply open up Terminal and type:

apt-get install Gimp

Sublime Text 3

best linux tools
While Kali Linux comes with leafpad, gedit, vim, etc., I prefer to use Sublime Text 3. I love that it is lightweight, has lots of features and hundreds of add-on packages available from For more information regarding installing Sublime Text 3, read my article on Using Sublime Text 3 as JavaScript IDE. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to use Sublime Text 3 as a programming tool. Instead, you can simply just use it as your default text editor. It contains functions that even the novice user may find useful.

FileZilla FTP

best linux tools
FileZilla is an excellent FTP client and is free to download. It is available for Windows and Linux at

For Kali, you can simply install from the terminal using the following command:

apt-get install filezilla filezilla-common


best linux tools
RecordMyDesktop gives you the ability to record all your actions. This is useful if you want to make tutorials or videos of what you have been doing on your machine. To install, open Terminal and type:

apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop recordmydesktop


linux tools
Remmina is just like Windows Remote Desktop (RDP). If you work in the IT field and telecommute, I’m sure you understand how important Remmina is. I use it to connect to my Work computer every time I have to do some work at home, or the weather is bad. To install Remmina, in the Terminal type:

apt-get install remmina

Tor – The Onion Router

linux tools
Tor, short for The Onion Router, and helps you browse the internet anonymously. Tor disguises your IP address by passing your outgoing traffic to multiple Tor servers, each adding encryption. This makes sure any activity online isn’t tracked back to you. To install Tor, simply run:

apt-get install tor

To Start the Tor service, run:

service tor start

* For more information regarding the Tor Project, please visit

LibreOffice Suite

linux tools
If you haven’t heard of LibreOffice, it’s basically just a Free, open source version of Microsoft Office. LibreOffice comes with Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (vector graphics and flowcharts), Base (databases), and Math (formula editing). I don’t think any PC is complete without an office suite. To install LibreOffice, in Terminal type:

apt-get install libreoffice

Tenable Nessus

best linux tools
Nessus is the most popular Vulnerbility scanning tools and available to download from

Once you have the version you need downloaded, from the Terminal you need to navigate to the directory where you saved it .deb file. From there, we can install Nessus by running:

dpkg -i Nessus-5.2.3-debian6_i386.deb

Once the install is complete you will need to start Nessus back-end server. To do so enter

/etc/init.d/nessusd start

Finally, you can point your browser to to open Nessus in your browser. On your first launch you will need to create a user name and a password.

Metasploit Framework

best linux tools

..a tool for developing and executing exploit code against a remote target machine. — wiki

Metasploit is a framework, not an application. It has specific modules that preform specific penetration testing tasks. Metasploit has the largest database collection of modules, that have been created and tested by the community. Once you get some experience with using payloads and exploiting, Metaspoloit will become one of your favorite tools for penetration testing. To install Metasploit in Linux, simply run the following command:

apt-get install metasploit-framework

There is a free version, and a paid version. For more information regarding the framework, please visit


best linux tools
NodeJS and Node Package Manager(NPM) are very important if you want to do any soft of JavaScript web development. Node allows JavaScript programmers to use JavaScript on the back-end. NPM allows developers to easily keep track of and download dependencies for their projects. To install NodeJS and NPM, run the following command:

apt-get install nodejs && npm

For more information regarding NodeJS and NPM, please see my NodeJS and NPM setup guide.


best linux tools
Dropbox is a cloud service that lets you backup all your documents and access them from anywhere. I used Dropbox a lot in college and I continue to use it to save any documents that I may need to access from another device. It is a great service to backup and share your files with others as well. Files and folders uploaded to Dropbox can be accessed using the Dropbox desktop application, or via their website To install dropbox, open terminal and type the following:

cd dropbox*
dpkg -i dropbox*.deb


best linux tools
F.lux is software that adjusts the temperature/color of your monitor’s display according to the time of day it is outside.

f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again. —

If you work on your computer a lot, you know, just like the guys over at f.lux, how hard it can be on the eyes. Since using f.lux, I have noticed I can work longer without straining my eyes too much. If you are doing color-sensitive work, such as graphics design, it even gives you the option to turn it off for a brief period of time. If you don’t like the preset configuration, the settings let you configure f.lux just the way you want. To install flux run the following commands:

Install dependencies: (if you don’t have them already)

sudo apt-get install git python-appindicator python-xdg python-pexpect python-gconf python-gtk2 python-glade2 -y

Download and install xflux-gui:

cd /tmp
git clone ""
cd xflux-gui
sudo python ./ install

Run f.lux:


I also use f.lux on my Windows computers. To setup on Windows, just download the .exe from


I hope you download and try the Linux tools that I have listed above. My favorite linux tool list is always changing and growing, so I might either add to the collection or create another one in the future. You may have different selection of tools that you prefer, however my Kali Linux machine is setup for pen-testing and web-development.. If there is anything that you believe that I am missing, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me.

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