Backbox Linux

Hello reader,

Backbox Linux is a Ubuntu based security distribution which features penetration testing tools as well as a “privacy focused” approach to normal use. A ram wipe on shutdown option, anonymous browsing options including direct Tor access, and the convenience of the Ubuntu software center all come together in a nice desktop experience for IT pros and developers alike.


Tools that range from ordinary penetration and exploits to very specific mobile analysis and website exploit testing.

As a daily use operating system, the performance is fast and comparable to Kali Linux in it’s offering of an extensive array of packages.*

The Xfce desktop is both polished and well laid out for general use, though perhaps somewhat wanting for a dock system of it’s own. (There is a Kali docker system that can be utilized if you feel the need or desire to do so and with a few tweaks it would fit nicely into the desktop scheme.)

*Kali Linux is currently using Debian packages so there are some wide variations in the actual offerings for the desktop, and the ease of install for specific programs may vary somewhat by comparison.

Kali using debian standards like Iceweasel, Backbox using branded variants like Firefox, but beyond the branding there are configuration choices to contend with on both systems depending on what you might need.

Rather than comparing Backbox to Kali, Qubes, Tails, Caine, or any of the other security distros currently available, it seems more appropriate to liken this to an Xubuntu experience with an exceptionally crafted UI, and a plethora of tools that make testing more friendly and new tools readily available.

I genuinely found the software center quite useful in adding the specific libraries and packages that otherwise would have required a far more time consuming setup.

As a result I’d recommend this distro primarily as an onsite testing suite, well suited for laptops. However if your business is security-centric, there are certainly advantages to having this Ubuntu spin running in a back office on a desktop.

In conclusion it has perhaps a few less tools out of the box than Kali, but the privacy tools, and general usefulness of the included options are outstanding. 4.5 out of 5 stars, and with a few tweaks this is easily a 5 star distribution.





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752 thoughts on “Backbox Linux”

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