The last 12 Months (2019/2020) & Looking Forwards (2021)

As the end of the year is coming up (some may say not quickly enough), we want to take a few minutes and recap on our roadmap 2019/2020 post.

At a higher level, the last 12 months of Kali Linux (outside of the normal release items - e.g. packages updates), Kali has had various refreshes, switches and additional new features added.

Looking a little deeper:

  • There has been a lot of graphical & visual changes (e.g. desktop environments & shells refreshes)
  • With a few “under-the-hood” core system changes (e.g. switching to non-root & default shell)
  • With a sprinkle of end-user experience improvements (e.g. new system images & message at login)
  • We have also been altering and tweaking the back end infrastructure (just not been talking about it publicly in release notes)
  • We have also introduced various new features (e.g Kali-undercover & Win-KeX)
  • Added support for new platforms & improved current ones (e.g. Vagrant, AWS, ARM & NetHunter)
  • We understand not everyone has liked the Python 2 tool removal, but it was necessary and did to help future proof Kali. We know this is a painful process, deep change like this always is. But it will only get easier as time goes by and more tools update

Breaking it down on a per Kali release, the feature highlights from each release:

  • Kali 2019.4 (November 2019)

    • Switching to Xfce for default desktop environment
    • Xfce desktop environment refresh
    • Git-powered Kali-docs
    • Introducing Kali-Undercover + NetHunter-KeX
  • Kali 2020.1 (February 2020)

    • Switching to non-root user
    • Gnome desktop environment refresh
    • Switch to single setup image
    • Start of removing Python 2 tools
    • Introducing NetHunter Rootless edition
  • Kali 2020.2 (May 2020)

    • KDE Plasma desktop environment refresh
    • Introducing LXC / LXD images
    • NetHunter improvements to WiFi (in-built monitoring & injection)
    • Introducing NetHunter USB Arsenal
    • Introducing NetHunter Kernel-Builder
  • Kali 2020.3 (August 2020)

    • ZSH shell refresh
    • Introducing Win-KeX
    • Improving HiDPI support
    • Kali icon refresh
    • Kali setup improvements
    • Introducing NetHunter Bluetooth Arsenal
  • Kali 2020.4 (November 2020)

    • Switching to ZSH as default shell
    • Bash shell refresh
    • Messages at Login
    • Kali AWS image refresh
    • Support for VMware Vagrant
    • Support for Win-KeX on ARM
    • Removed Python 2 tools
    • NetHunter settings menu (Backup/restore + boot menu)

It goes without saying, that over the year we have updated countless amount of tools, as well as introduced 120 new ones. We also added more support for ARM & NetHunter devices. ARM we have a new 3 build scripts and 1 new pre-generated images. With Kali NetHunter we have:

That’s looking back on 2019 & 2020. But what does it look like looking forward to 2021?

  • 2019/2020 was a focus on the interface of Kali. 2021 is going to be more tool focused
  • The only thing we didn’t manage was to port over to markdown - so that’s still on the cards
  • Speaking of websites, we are going to be giving our website a face lift
  • The release of “Kaboxer” - a project we have been working on for the last 18 months
  • We are hoping to do an online event, aiming for August - more details about that in Kali 2021.2
  • Giving a make over to the community support (forums and real time chat)
  • Improving the bug tracker

We hope to get to as many of those items as we can, as well as a few other things that we have up our sleeves. With that all said, see you for Kali 2021.1, which we are planning on releasing a little later next year (currently penciled in for a Tuesday in February 2021).