A to Z Kali Linux Commands

All Kali Linux Commands With Their Functions

Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns and Raphaël Hertzog have developed a new version of linux specifically designed for digital forensic & penetration testing. The development of Kali Linux has been funded by Offensive Security Ltd.

Download This Cheat Sheet To Learn Basic Linux Commands

Kali Linux is a distribution derived from Debian. The distribution comes with 600 penetration-testing programs, including nmap (a port scanner), Wireshark (a packet analyzer), John the Ripper (a password cracker), Aircrack-ng (a software suite for penetration-testing wireless LANs), Burp suite and OWASP ZAP (both web application security scanners) all pre installed. The distribution can be run on a virtual machine or natively if installed on the computer’s hard drive. It can be booted using a CD or a live USB. It is a supported platform of the Metasploit Project’s Metasploit Framework, a tool for developing and executing security exploits.

Kali Linux Commands

Following is a list of all known Kali Linux Commands. We have sequenced it in an alphabetic order for the ease of search.

Kali Linux commands Function


 apropos  Search Help manual pages (man -k)
 apt-get  Search for and install software packages (Debian)
 aptitude  Search for and install software packages (Debian)
 aspell  Spell Checker
 awk  Find and Replace text, database sort/validate/index
 basename  Strip directory and suffix from filenames
 bash  GNU Bourne-Again Shell
 bc  Arbitrary precision calculator language
 bg  Send to background
 break  Exit from a loop
 builtin  Run a shell builtin
 bzip2  Compress or decompress named files
 cal  Display a calendar
 case  Conditionally perform a command
 cat  Concatenate and print (display) the content of files
 cd  Change Directory
 cfdisk  Partition table manipulator for Linux
 chgrp  Change group ownership
 chmod  Change access permissions
 chown  Change file owner and group
 chroot  Run a command with a different root directory
 chkconfig  System services (runlevel)
 cksum  Print CRC checksum and byte counts
 clear  Clear terminal screen
 cmp  Compare two files
 comm  Compare two sorted files line by line
 command  Run a command – ignoring shell functions
 continue  Resume the next iteration of a loop
 cp  Copy one or more files to another location
 cron  Daemon to execute scheduled commands
 crontab  Schedule a command to run at a later time
 csplit  Split a file into context-determined pieces
 cut  Divide a file into several parts
 date  Display or change the date and time
 dc  Desk Calculator
 dd  Convert and copy a file, write disk headers, boot records
 ddrescue  Data recovery tool
 declare  Declare variables and give them attributes
 df  Display free disk space
 diff  Display the differences between two files
 diff3  Show differences among three files
 dig  DNS lookup
 dir  Briefly list directory contents
 dircolors  Colour setup for `ls’
 dirname  Convert a full pathname to just a path
 dirs  Display list of remembered directories
 dmesg  Print kernel & driver messages
 du  Estimate file space usage
 echo  Display message on screen
 egrep  Search files for lines that match an extended expression
 eject  Eject removable media
 enable  Enable and disable builtin shell commands
 env  Environment variables
 ethtool  Ethernet card settings
 eval  Evaluate several commands/arguments
 exec  Execute a command
 exit  Exit the shell
 expect  Automate arbitrary applications accessed over a terminal
 expand  Convert tabs to spaces
 export  Set an environment variable
 expr  Evaluate expressions
 false  Do nothing, unsuccessfully
 fdformat  Low-level format a floppy disk
 fdisk  Partition table manipulator for Linux
 fg  Send job to foreground
 fgrep  Search files for lines that match a fixed string
 file  Determine file type
 find  Search for files that meet a desired criteria
 fmt  Reformat paragraph text
 fold  Wrap text to fit a specified width
 for  Expand words, and execute commands
 format  Format disks or tapes
 free  Display memory usage
 fsck  File system consistency check and repair
 ftp  File Transfer Protocol
 function  Define Function Macros
 fuser  Identify/kill the process that is accessing a file
 gawk  Find and Replace text within files
 getopts  Parse positional parameters
 grep  Search files for lines that match a given pattern
 groupadd  Add a user security group
 groupdel  Delete a group
 groupmod  Modify a group
 groups  Print group names a user is in
 gzip  Compress or decompress named files
 hash  Remember the full pathname of a name argument
 head  Output the first part of files
 help  Display help for a built-in command
 history  Command History
 hostname  Print or set system name
 iconv  Convert the character set of a file
 id  Print user and group id’s
 if  Conditionally perform a command
 ifconfig  Configure a network interface
 ifdown  Stop a network interface
 ifup  Start a network interface up
 import  Capture an X server screen and save the image to file
 install  Copy files and set attributes
 jobs  List active jobs
 join  Join lines on a common field
 kill  Stop a process from running
 killall  Kill processes by name
 less  Display output one screen at a time
 let  Perform arithmetic on shell variables
 ln  Create a symbolic link to a file
 local  Create variables
locate  Find files
 logname  Print current login name
 logout  Exit a login shell
 look  Display lines beginning with a given string
 lpc  Line printer control program
 lpr  Off line print
 lprint  Print a file
 lprintd  Abort a print job
 lprintq  List the print queue
 lprm  Remove jobs from the print queue
 ls  List information about files
 lsof  List open files
 make  Recompile a group of programs
 man  Help manual
 mkdir  Create new folders
 mkfifo  Make FIFOs (named pipes)
 mkisofs  Create an hybrid ISO9660/JOLIET/HFS filesystem
 mknod  Make block or character special files
 more  Display output one screen at a time
 mount  Mount a file system
 mtools  Manipulate MS-DOS files
 mtr  Network diagnostics (traceroute/ping)
 mv  Move or rename files or directories
 mmv  Mass Move and rename files
 netstat  Networking information
 nice  Set the priority of a command or job
 nl  Number lines and write files
 nohup  Run a command immune to hangups
 notify-send  Send desktop notifications
 nslookup  Query Internet name servers interactively
 open  Open a file in its default application
 op  Operator access
 passwd  Modify a user password
 paste  Merge lines of files
 pathchk  Check file name portability
 ping  Test a network connection
 pkill  Stop processes from running
 popd  Restore the previous value of the current directory
 pr  Prepare files for printing
 printcap  Printer capability database
 printenv  Print environment variables
 printf  Format and print data
 ps  Process status
 pushd  Save and then change the current directory
 pwd  Print Working Directory
 quota  Display disk usage and limits
 quotacheck  Scan a file system for disk usage
 quotactl  Set disk quotas
 ram  ram disk device
 rcp  Copy files between two machines
 read  Read a line from standard input
 readarray  Read from stdin into an array variable
 readonly  Mark variables/functions as readonly
 reboot  Reboot the system
 rename  Rename files
 renice  Alter priority of running processes
 remsync  Synchronize remote files via email
 return  Exit a shell function
 rev  Reverse lines of a file
 rm  Remove files
 rmdir  Remove folders
 rsync  Remote file copy (Synchronize file trees)
 screen  Multiplex terminal, run remote shells via ssh
 scp  Secure copy (remote file copy)
 sdiff  Merge two files interactively
 sed  Stream Editor
 select  Accept keyboard input
 seq  Print numeric sequences
 set  Manipulate shell variables and functions
 sftp  Secure File Transfer Program
 shift  Shift positional parameters
 shopt  Shell Options
 shutdown  Shutdown or restart linux
 sleep  Delay for a specified time
 slocate  Find files
 sort  Sort text files
 source  Run commands from a file
 split  Split a file into fixed-size pieces
 ssh  Secure Shell client (remote login program)
 strace  Trace system calls and signals
 su  Substitute user identity
 sudo  Execute a command as another user
 sum  Print a checksum for a file
 suspend  Suspend execution of this shell
 symlink  Make a new name for a file
 sync  Synchronize data on disk with memory
 tail  Output the last part of file
 tar  Tape Archiver
 tee  Redirect output to multiple files
 test  Evaluate a conditional expression
 time  Measure Program running time
 times  User and system times
 touch  Change file timestamps
 top  List processes running on the system
 traceroute  Trace Route to Host
 trap  Run a command when a signal is set(bourne)
 tr  Translate, squeeze, and/or delete characters
 true  Do nothing, successfully
 tsort  Topological sort
 tty  Print filename of terminal on stdin
 type  Describe a command
 ulimit  Limit user resources
 umask  Users file creation mask
 umount  Unmount a device
 unalias  Remove an alias
 uname  Print system information
 unexpand  Convert spaces to tabs
 uniq  Uniquify files
 units  Convert units from one scale to another
 unset  Remove variable or function names
 unshar  Unpack shell archive scripts
 until  Execute commands (until error)
 uptime  Show uptime
 useradd  Create new user account
 usermod  Modify user account
 users  List users currently logged in
 uuencode  Encode a binary file
 uudecode  Decode a file created by uuencode
 v  Verbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
 vdir  Verbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
 vi  Text Editor
 vmstat  Report virtual memory statistics
 wait  Wait for a process to complete
 watch  Execute/display a program periodically
 wc  Print byte, word, and line counts
 whereis  Search the user’s $path, man pages and source files for a program
 which  Search the user’s $path for a program file
 while  Execute commands
 who  Print all usernames currently logged in
 whoami  Print the current user id and name (`id -un’)
 wget  Retrieve web pages or files via HTTP, HTTPS or FTP
 write  Send a message to another user
 xargs  Execute utility, passing constructed argument lists
 xdg-open  Open a file or URL in the user’s preferred application
 yes   Print a string until interrupted

Do mention in the comments below if we have missed any Kali Linux Commands that you may know

Also read : 10 most lethal Linux commands you should never execute

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Delwyn Pinto
Delwyn Pinto
A person proud to have an alternate view


  1. I expected a list of Kali related command line tools related to pentesting. This is just a list of linux command line tools.


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