Kali à la Carte

Charly's Column – katoolin 3

Article from Issue 246/2021

Charly uses the katoolin 3 installation script for a targeted approach to installing his favorite Kali Linux tools on the Ubuntu desktop.

You probably know Kali Linux [1], which comes with a wealth of tools for forensics and penetration testing. You can install the distribution or boot it as a Live system from a USB stick. Users of mainstream Linux often wish to use Kali's range of functions in their preferred distribution. Katoolin [2] tries to fulfill this wish.

I first looked at katoolin in 2017. The script collection for installing Kali Linux tools was tailor-made for the then current Ubuntu LTS and written in Python 2. However, the way it integrated into Ubuntu was a pretty brutal process, involving autonomous changes to the system configuration and frequently ending up with the distribution getting into a total mess on the next update. But the idea was still good, and now we have katoolin 3, which finally files the rough edges off the process. Ported to Python 3, it integrates smoothly into the system and no longer interferes with Ubuntu's own tools.

To get katoolin running, you need to include the universe repository (Listing 1, line 1); you also need Git to clone the repository (line 2). Once these dependencies are installed, you are ready to go. I mirrored the code to my Ubuntu (line 3), changed to the newly created katoolin3/ directory in the next step, made the install.sh file executable, and ran it (lines 4 to 6). It makes sense to have a look at the install.sh file's code beforehand – Git repos can be compromised and can contain malicious code. If everything looks good, the installation can start; this will ideally complete with a success message (line 8).


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