Kali Linux User Policy

In order to execute commands at a privileged level, Kali uses two methods todo so:

  • pkexec (GUI & cli)
  • sudo (cli)

It is also worth bearing in mind, some tools may perform differently without super-user privileges. An example of this is nmap. As stated on the website:

By default, Nmap performs a SYN Scan, though it substitutes a connect scan if the user does not have proper privileges to send raw packets (requires root access on Unix).

This means:

  • SYN scan (-sS) is the default for a root user. This is quicker as it only sends a SYN packet, but it requires special capabilities in order to perform this, requiring root.
  • Connect scan (-sT) is the default for a non-root user. This will complete the 3-way handshake, as a result takes longer and uses more packets than a SYN scan.

If you wish to restore how Kali previous operated, you can install the following package:

kali@kali:~$ sudo apt update
kali@kali:~$
kali@kali:~$ sudo apt install -y kali-grant-root
kali@kali:~$

This policy is since Kali Linux 2020.1. Here is our previous root policy.


Updated on: 2020-Feb-22
Author: g0tmi1k