Forum Thread: Which OS Is Better Install for Hacking? Windows or Linux?

Newb Question - I am building up a laptop for the specific purpose of practicing some of hacking tools and processes I learn here on Null Byte. Should I install Windows as the primary OS and just use a thumb drive with Backtrack or some other linux distribution when I want access to those tools? Or dual boot Windows and Linux? Or just install Linux/Backtrack on as primary? What would be the best approach here?

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6 Responses

LINUX!!! Of course it's Linux. Windows is great and all but amazing applications sometimes only run on Linux and Linux is a whole lot more flexible. Hope that helps. :)

I recommend using what ever is your favorite OS as a main and run kali as a virtual machine. It's not only easier but it's also more functional.


"I am building a laptop for the specific purpose of practicing some of hacking tools..."

In that case don't bother even considering Windows. Since this laptop will be used just for the job prescribed, you need to be correctly equipped.

Linux, as few people are aware, is not a full OS but just a kernel (for the most part). The actual overlaying user-land is primarily based on GNU. It is best for you to install an OS that is based on Linux.

For the purposes of hacking, I recommend downloading Debian and adding the necessary Kali repositories and manually download only the required tools. The reason I recommend Debian is because that is what Kali is based on.

The one advantage of forming such a setup is that you are not in a constant superuser environment. In that case, if any malware resides on your OS, it will have to escalate its privileges before being able to affect your filesystem.

That being said, I am not discouraging Kali. By all means, install it as the base OS for your new laptop, but I stand by my recommendation. It does not matter too much. Other flavours of Linux based OSes, including Mint, Fedora and Ubuntu, could replace Debian in my above description. To me it's all about ease of use and seamless compatibility. To each their own.


Perfect! This is very helpful. Thank you.

If you wanna just practice on it then use Kali as OS ,you can setup the virtual lab there,or ubuntu


"the specific purpose of practicing some of hacking tools and processes I learn here on Null Byte."

Since your purpose is to practice and learn from Nullbyte, and you're obviously new, I would keep Windows as your base OS and create a virtual lab using Sun VirtualBox. Set the VM's to "Host-Only Adapter" so they can communicate between each other but not out to the Internet.

Once you're ready to test things in a real world scenario, I would suggest buying a old but compatible laptop on ebay; compatible with Kali and the network card you have or will be buying.

hope this helps

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