Offensive Security recently announced its third release of 2020, Kali Linux 2020.3 with ZSH, Win-Kex, HiDPI & Bluetooth Arsenal.

For those unaware, Kali Linux is one of the best Linux distros for hackers, pen-tester, and security researchers because most of the hacking tools that are available online are built-in this Linux Distro.

The previous version of Kali Linux 2020.2 was released in May 2020.

What’s New In Kali Linux 2020.3?

Here’s a quick overview of what’s new in Kali Linux 2020.3:

  • New Shell – Starting the process to switch from “Bash” to “ZSH”
  • The release of “Win-Kex” – Get ready WSL2Automating HiDPI support – Easy switching mode
  • Tool Icons – Every default tool now has its own unique icon
  • Bluetooth Arsenal – New set of tools for Kali NetHunter
  • Nokia Support – New devices for Kali NetHunter
  • Setup Process – No more missing network repositories and quicker installs

New Shell

By default, Kali Linux has always used “bash” (aka “Bourne-Again SHell”) as the default shell, when one opens up a terminal or console. However, Kali is now planning to switch over to ZSH shell. This is currently scheduled to be the default shell in 2020.4 (for this 2020.3 release, bash will still be the default).

Introducing Win-KeX

With the introduction of Win-KeX (Windows + Kali Desktop EXperience), it will improve the functionality and user experience improved dramatically. You can install Win-KeX by running the following:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y kali-win-kex

After installing it, typing in kex, or clicking on the button, Win-KeX will give you a persistent-session GUI running in WSL2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux 2). For more information on Win-KeX, you can read the official documentation page.

Automating HiDPI

To make switching easier between HiDPI modes (window scaling), the Kali Linux 2020.3 release now enables automatic HiDPI support via a new tool called kali-hidpi-mode. You can either type in kali-hidpi-mode or select it from the menu to automate switching.

Tool Icons

If you use the default tool listing (kali-linux-default), every tool in the menu (and then a few extra ones!), should have their own icon now.

Kali NetHunter Bluetooth Arsenal

The Kali NetHunter team has introduced Bluetooth Arsenal by yesimxev. It combines a set of bluetooth tools in the Kali NetHunter app with some pre-configured workflows and exciting use cases. You can use your external adapter for reconnaissance, spoofing, listening to and injecting audio into various devices, including speakers, headsets, watches, or even cars.

Please note that RFCOMM and RFCOMM tty will need to be enabled in kernels from now on to support some of the tools.

Kali NetHunter For Nokia Phones

Kali NetHunter now supports the Nokia 3.1 and Nokia 6.1 phones. Images are now available for download. Please note that these images contain a “minimal Kali rootfs” due to technical reasons. However, you can easily install all the default tools via sudo apt install -y kali-linux-default.

Setup Process

Starting with 2020.3, the network mirror in the full installer has been disabled so that the user can always get the same installation speed, and the same packages and versions for that release. Just ensure to update after installing!

If you didn’t have network access (either voluntarily or otherwise) during installation, you would get an empty network repository (/etc/apt/sources.list). This issue has been fixed. By default, any fresh installs going forward after 2020.3 will have network repositories pre-defined.

ARM Device Updates

Some of the notable changes in ARM’s 2020.3 release are:

  • All of the ARM images come with kali-linux-default metapackage installed, bringing them in line with the rest of our releases, so more tools are available when you first boot
  • We have reduced the size of all our ARM images that are created, so downloads should be smaller. However, you will still need to use at least a 16GB sdcard/USB drive/eMMC
  • Pinebook and Pinebook Pro images can now be used on either sdcard or eMMC
  • The Pinebook image now has the WiFi driver built during image creation, instead of on first boot, this should speed up first boot time massively
  • The Pinebook Pro has a change from the upstream firmware, which changes ccode=DE to ccode=all – this allows access to more 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels
  • The 64-bit RaspberryPi images now have the RaspberryPi userland utilities built during image creation, so vcgencmd and various other utilities that were previously only available on the 32-bit image are now usable on 64-bit as well
  • The ODROID-C2 image now uses the Kali kernel, instead of a vendor provided one. This means in the future, an apt dist-upgrade will get you kernel updates instead of waiting for a new Kali release
  • The /etc/fstab file now includes the root partition via UUID, this should make it easier when trying to use a USB drive instead of sdcard on devices that support it

Desktop Environment

GNOME’s file manager nautilus has a new theme now. Further, GNOME’s System Monitor Tool matches the colors and also has stacked CPU charts. It also has improved the design for “nested headerbars.”

How To Download Or Upgrade To Kali Linux 2020.3?

Fresh images are already available for download. Visit the Kali Downloads page where you can find ISOs for both 32-bit and 64-bit computers.

However, if you already have an existing Kali Linux installation, you can just run the following command to upgrade your installation:

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


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