Kali Linux 2020.2 Released: Here’s What’s New For Ethical Hackers


After its first release in 2020, Kali Linux has finally arrived with its second release v2020.2. The new version does not include a major feature like non-root user policy, instead, it mainly focuses on refreshing and improving desktop environments, icons, installer, Kali NetHunter. So, let’s dive in to find out more about the latest Kali Linux 2020.2.

Kali Linux 2020.2: What’s New Changes

Kali Linux Installer Updates

In a previous release v2020.1, Kali Linux removed the shipping of individual ISO images with different desktop environments. This means you now have the choice to select your own meta-packages and desktops during the installation process. But this easy method led to confusion for the user selecting “everything” in the installer that takes a long time to retrieve large-sized meta-packages.

Hence, to resolve this issue, the new Kali Linux removes ‘kali-linux-everything’ option from the installer. It now caches the ‘kali-linux-large’ meta-packages and every desktop environment in the ISO image. Though the image now has a larger size than before, it works perfectly for offline installation.

Kali Linux 2020.2 — Software and desktop selection dialog box
Kali Linux 2020.2 — Software and desktop selection dialog box

Desktop And Theme Renovation

In previous releases, Kali Linux had introduced dark and light themes for its Xfce and GNOME desktop. Continuing further, the theme variant is now also available for KDE Plasma desktop.

KDE Plasma With Light And Dark Theme
KDE Plasma With Light And Dark Theme

Furthermore, the login screen also receives visual and layout touch-ups with its centered components alignment.

Kali Linux 2020.2 — Login Screen
Kali Linux 2020.2 — Login Screen

Besides KDE, Kali Linux 2020.2 also updates GNOME to its latest version 3.36 which brings a redesigned desktop along with other new features. For comprehensive details of GNOME 3.36, you can read our well-curated article here.

PowerShell Installation During System Setup

If you use Microsoft task automation and config engagement framework, Powershell, you now don’t need to install it via Kali’s network repository. Kali 2020.2 includes PowerShell packages directly into the ‘kali-linux-large’ meta-packages.

Hence, instead of installing PowerShell via the command line, you can choose a Powershell package during the system setup. However, if you still don’t want it before Kali installation, you can get it once Kali is up and running using the command:

sudo apt install -y kali-linux-large
Kali Linux Powershell
Kali Linux Powershell

Other Kali Linux Enhancements

Among the other minor changes, here is a list of other updates on Kali Linux 2020.2:

  • OpenPlus 3T ISO images
  • Nexmon support for Kali NetHunter supported mobile devices
  • Python 3.8
  • Refreshed package logos
  • Default non-root policy for ARM images
  • 16GB Minimum SD card for ARM images
New logos
New logos

For more details, you can read the official release notes here.

How To Download, Install Or Update Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is a rolling release distribution that gets continuous updates. This means you only need to upgrade your package to get the latest version. Hence, if you’re already using Kali Linux, run the following command to upgrade your existing system:

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y full-upgrade

If you’re new to Kali Linux or want a fresh installation from scratch, you can download the ISO image of Kali Linux 2020.2 from here. You can also download the images for your ARM-based devices such as Pinebook, Pinebook Pro, and Raspberry Pi from here.

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar

Sarvottam Kumar is a software engineer by profession with interest and experience in Blockchain, Angular, React and Flutter. He loves to explore the nuts and bolts of Linux and share his experience and insights of Linux and open source on the web/various prestigious portals.
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