The most obvious is the shift from Ubuntu to Debian . You’ll immediately feel the difference in the looks and feel of the new Kali Linux.
There are no puny errors like “Error connecting to wicd’s D-bus bla bla” when you try to fire up Wicd in Backtrack 5. Kali Linux is much cleaner in these respects than Backtrack 5.
Kali Linux is more stable than Backtrack 5. However, my Kali has hung up on a few occasions, but I’m guessing that’s coz of some crappy package I installed because I keep trying out new packages on Kali.
In Kali, There’s no /pentest directory like in Backtrack 5. Personally, I don’t miss it and neither should you, because now you can fire up any tool just by typing it’s name in the shell.
They have removed Nessus Vulnerability Scanner in Kali, You can manually install it by downloading it from Tenable. However, I don’t understand why they removed it from default tools in kali, coz I really liked scanning for Vulnerabilities in Nessus. May be coz Nessus itself has security bugs??
Kali Linux is Smaller in size than Backtrack 5 (which was around 3 GB if I remember correctly). Kali’s ISO is just 2 GB in size. They’ve separated “Top 10 Security Tools” in the Menu of Kali Linux which contains some much-hyped security tools.
Bluetooth works great on Kali Linux. I don’t know about you, but I faced a lot of trouble getting my bluetooth up in Backtrack 5 r3, really frustrating. But in Kali Linux, bluetooth works fine with a click of a mouse, which helps me pen test bluetooth devices with ease now.
VLC Player comes pre-installed with Kali linux. This was not the case with Backtrack 5 where you had to manually install it and then it gave you an error saying “Won’t run in root mode” and then you had to hex-edit the VLC binary. In Kali VLC is pre-installed (however I did notice some lag problems in VLC in Kali).
Firefox has been replaced by Iceweasal which is again a good move. They are both given by Mozilla and very similar. However like Firefox in Backtrack comes with ‘noscript’ and such add-ons for security, Iceweasal in Kali comes clean.
That irritating light pdf viewer in Backtrack has been replaced by ‘Document Viewer’.
No ‘gedit’ in kali, instead you can use ‘Leafpad’
In Backtrack, there wasn’t a way to control your back-light. I remember searching for a way to control back-light but not finding it. It was set to Max by default. Very tiring for the eyes. No such problem in Kali Linux
Streamlined repositories synchronize with the Debian repositories 4 times a day, constantly providing you with the latest package updates and security fixes available.Relentlessly packaging dozens of useful tools, painstakingly making sure our packages are Debian compliant.
Many of the tools in toolbox need to be “bleeding edge”. This means we have take on the task of packaging and maintaining upstream versions of many tools, so that our users are constantly kept up to date where it matters.
As our source packages are now also Debian compliant, you can quickly and easily get the required sources of each tool, then modify and rebuild them with a couple of commands.
One of the many benefits of our move to a Debian compliant system, is the ability to Bootstrap a Kali Installation/ISO directly from our repositories. This means that you can easily build your own customizations of Kali, as well as perform enterprise network installs from a local or remote repository.
Kali Linux installations can now be automated using pre-seed files. This allows for enterprise wide customization and deployment on multiple systems.
BackTrack 5 brought with it new support for ARM hardware. Our ARM build-bot was a modified Motorola Xoom tablet, which suffice to say, didn’t last for long. To help remedy this, Offensive Security has donated a Calxeda ARM cluster to our project, allowing reliable and long term development of Kali Linux ARM images.
Our new build and repository environments allow for complete flexibility in generating your own updated Kali ISOs, with any desktop environment you like. Do you prefer KDE? LXDE? XFCE? Anything else? Then change your Kali desktop environment yourself.
Another benefit derived from the move to a Debian compliant system is the ability to seamlessly upgrade future major version of Kali. No longer will you have to reinstall your penetration testing machine due a new version of Kali coming out.