Need to do some penetration testing tasks? The Kali Linux distro is best known for such functionalities. But is it worth all the trouble of installing an entirely new distribution to get the utilities you need? In this article, we will discuss how to install and use Katoolin on Linux.
Katoolin is an install script written in Python. Using Katoolin, you can also install tools native to Kali Linux. Some of the things you can do with Katoolin are also installing penetration testing tools and network security, among others. It even allows you to install tools manually one at a time.
This script can also be used to install Kali Linux tools on Ubuntu, MX Linux, Linux Mint, Debian, Deepin, or other DEB-based systems. The APT Package manager is what the Katoolin script is based on.
To put it plainly, Katoolin will not work on distros that do not have the apt-get command natively—unless you are a Linux genius. But that’s not the case since you’re here, right? Let’s move on.
To install Katoolin on Linux, you will also need a Linux OS system that has the APT (Advanced Packaging Tool) Package management system. Next, you also need to have a sudo privileged user account. And lastly, you are required to install Python version 2.x, along with the git command.
Installing and Using Katoolin on Linux
Installing Katoolin is quite simple, just follow along with these simple steps.
Check for The Python Version and Enable the Universe Repository
The first thing we need to do is to check whether Python is already present in your system. Second, we need to verify if the universe repository is enabled.
$ python --version
$ python3 --version
$ sudo add-apt-repository universe
As you can see in the screenshot above, we already have Python version 2.7.6 installed. If you have Python 3 on your system instead, you may still need to install Python 2 to get Katoolin to work.
Next, you need to enable the Universe repository, as you can see in our example, it has already been enabled. You can also notice in the screenshot above that enabling the universe repository requires rooting.
Install git to Install Katoolin
Git does not usually come pre-installed on Linux distros. The command below is what you need to run to install it.
$ sudo apt-get install git
Here is what you will get when you run the command above. It does not really tell you whether git has been installed successfully or not, but it does show that git has been unpacked and set up.
Download and Install Katoolin
Now that we already have installed the git command, to download Katoolin, all you need to do is run the command below.
$ git clone https://github.com/LionSec/katoolin.git
This is the result you’ll get after running the git clone command to download Katoolin.
Move the Katoolin Binary to /usr/bin/
After downloading Katoolin, you will need to run the command below to move the Katoolin binary to the /usr/bin/ directory. Sudo privileged user account is also necessary to run this command.
$ sudo mv katoolin/katoolin.py /usr/bin/katoolin
As you can see in this screenshot, you will get a “permission denied” message if you do not type in sudo at the beginning of the command. It will also not give any indication that the command was executed successfully.
Grant Execute Permission to Katoolin
Without the execute permission, you will not be able to run Katoolin. This is the last requirement for Katoolin to work on your non-Kali Linux operating system. Run the command below to provide execute permission to Katoolin.
$ sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/katoolin
Running the command above will not show any indication that it has succeeded.
How to Run and Navigate Katoolin
To run the Katoolin install script, all you need to do now is to run the command below. You will need sudo privilege for this command, or you must run it as root.
$ sudo katoolin
This is what you will see on Katoolin’s main menu. As you can see, the options are numbered. You simply need to enter the number of your choice and hit enter.
Selecting Option 1: Add Kali repositories & Update
In this screenshot, you can see the next set of options that you’ll see if you choose number 1, which is for “Add Kali repositories & Update”. Enter the number for your next choice or type “back” to go back one step.
Before trying to install tools or packages from the “View Categories” menu, you may want to go over adding Kali Linux repositories first.
Selecting Option 2: View Categories
This is what you will see if you choose option number 2 from the main menu, which stands for “View Categories”. From here, you can choose to install one tool at a time. Just type in the number for the category you are interested in and hit enter. You should be able to install all by selecting zero, but we don’t recommend it.
Selecting to install all may actually ruin your system. It may bloat up your operating system, and not all packages listed are available. Some may have already been removed from the Kali repositories, and some most likely are no longer being maintained.
Here is the next set of options if you choose option number eleven from the “View Categories” menu. Option number eleven stands for “Password Attacks”. As you can see, there is so much software on this list. Try checking the other categories and then decide if you really want to install everything.
Selecting Option 3: Install classicmenu indicator
From the main menu, this is what you will get if you choose option number 3, which stands for “Install classicmenu indicator”. You will be asked for confirmation, and then you have to type in “y” and press “Enter” to continue with the installation.
ClassicMenu Indicator is an application indicator—a notification area applet. It is for Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment, and other AppIndicator protocol-supported environments. For users that prefer ClassicMenu Indicator over the Unity Dash menu, this is a simple way to get a GNOME classic style application menu.
Selecting Option 5: Help
And lastly, this is what you get if you choose option five, which stands for “Help”. We already know that from the prompt “kat >”, typing in “back” and then hitting enter will take you one step back. Now typing in “gohome” and then hitting enter takes you to the home screen of Katoolin.
To avoid errors, before installing anything from Katoolin, you should remove any manually added repositories from other sources.
And that’s about it for this tutorial. We looked at what Katoolin is all about and how to install it on your DEB-based Linux system. We also showed you how to navigate Katoolin. And we even looked at some of the options and a list of softwares that you may find when using Katoolin.
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