Kali Linux 2021.1 is the first release of this year. This release brings in Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS and comes packed with a lot of new tools for penetration testing. It also includes an updated Xfce 4.16 desktop environment and some terminal tweaks.


Let us take a look at all the changes in this new release.

Major Changes in Kali Linux 2021.1

Here is a list of the major changes in Kali Linux 2021.1:

  • Powered by the latest Linux kernel 5.10
  • Xfce 4.16 and KDE 5.20
  • Tweaks on various terminals like mate-terminal, terminator and tilix
  • command-not-found package to install missing commands or tools
  • New tools for cybersecurity researchers
  • Kali ARM support

As the first major release of Kali Linux this year, the latest version is powered by the Linux Kernel 5.10 LTS.

That was a much-needed update. But that is not the only big change that comes baked in it. Since Xfce is the default desktop environment of the distribution, Kali Linux offers the latest Xfce 4.16 in this version.

Not just limited to that, for those who prefer KDE, the plasma environment also got a version bump to KDE 5.20.

Coming to the terminals, Kali developers have been working on various terminals like xfce4-terminal, konsole, mate-terminal, tilix, and others to make them more Kali friendly. 

In addition to that, a new tool command-not-found is added by default. This will help you to install missing commands or to correct invalid commands. 

New Tools in Kali Linux

As you might already know, Kali is a Linux distribution specifically crafted for cybersecurity professionals. So, there is usually a list of new tools for hacking and penetrate testing that arrives with ever Kali Linux release. Well, this release also has some new additions for cybersecurity researchers.

Kali Linux 2021.1 now includes some important tools like Airgeddon for auditing wireless networks, Arjun – HTTP parameter discovery suite, and AltDNS for generating permutations, alterations, and mutations of subdomains.

In addition, there are several other tools like Chisel, DNSGen, DumpsterDiver, GitLeaks, PSKracker, and more included.

Kali ARM

Kali developers also introduce new ISOs kali-linux-2021.1-installer-arm64.iso and kali-linux-2021.1-live-arm64.iso that can be used with virtual machines on the new Apple Silicon Macs. The team adds support for Raspberry Pi 400’s wireless card as well. 

If you want to learn about the full changes in Kali Linux 2021.1, please read the official release notes.

Download Kali Linux 2021

You can download Kali Linux 2021.1 from the official website.

If you have an existing Kali Linux installation, you can do a quick update to the latest version.

Since this is the first release of Kali Linux this year, What do you think about these changes? Let me know in the comments below.


Arish V

An Open-source enthusiast and proud Linux user pursuing a degree in Law. Self-taught web designer and loves Linguistics.