Ubuntu vs Kali Linux – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons)

Ubuntu vs Kali Linux – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons). Ubuntu and Kali Linux always seem to be misunderstood for being the same, but they are different. However, if you’re just finding out about these Linux distributions, it will be difficult for you to differentiate one from the other. This article will explain the core differences between Ubuntu and Kali Linux. We’ll start by looking at the basic concepts of each of them and their pros and cons to better understand why they are so different.

Shall we continue article Ubuntu vs Kali Linux – What’s the Difference? 

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution that was created in 2004 by Canonical. It is an operating system similar to Windows and macOS for PCs. Based on Debian and is easy to install on your computer as an operating system.

Most of Ubuntu’s software are free and open sourced. Open source means you can use Ubuntu without acquiring a license to use it, and you can modify its code. You can use Ubuntu on your computers, gaming consoles and web servers

Features of Ubuntu


What’s an operating system without a list of apps? With Ubuntu it  offers a wide range of apps for you to use. These apps include Firefox web browser, VLC player, Spotify, Telegram, and Bitwarden, to name a few.


In addition Ubuntu has enough apps to let you access your email without any hassle. You can also use web browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird to send and receive emails.

Editing Software

There are lots of editing software available on Ubuntu. You can use different software’s to edit your pictures and even create any illustration you might want. For example, Gimp is an amazing editing software available on Ubuntu that you can use.

Office Suites

Other features of Ubuntu let you create any document of your choice. For instance, creating spreadsheets, word documents, and presentations are all possible on Ubuntu. Google documents are also pretty easy to use here.

Pros of Ubuntu

It's Free

The main advantage of Ubuntu is that it is completely free to its users. You don’t have to subscribe or pay for a license to use its services. As a result, it easy for you to share Ubuntu with your friends or colleagues.

User friendly

You don’t need to be tech savvy before you can install Ubuntu on your computer. The whole Ubuntu interface is very friendly and also easy to understand and get used to. You can also personalize or customize Ubuntu in so many ways. You can tweak the desktop environment to any style you want.

Low System Requirements

To install Ubuntu, you don’t need to own a high end PC. You can easily install Ubuntu on your PC if it meets the basic requirements. A 513 MB and 5 GB ROM is enough to install the Ubuntu system on your PC.

The "do not disturb" Option

Ubuntu has a “do not disturb” option that hides notifications and stops them from popping up on your screen while you use other apps. All you have to do is click on the tray message found in the middle part of the screen and toggle on the “do not disturb” feature. This option helps you to concentrate while working on your computer without receiving unnecessary notifications.

Cons of Ubuntu

Apps are Limited

Unlike Windows where you can have a wide range of apps you can easily choose from, the apps on Ubuntu are limited. Because of this, most developers find it difficult to work with it.

Compatibility Issues

The operating system of Ubuntu sometimes has compatibility issues with the hardware of some computers. Consequently, these issues gives rise to problems like a flash drive or a printer refusing to connect. There are also problems with sound cards when you use Ubuntu.

Bad Game Quality

If you’re a gamer, using Ubuntu will be a frustrating experience. Like its apps, the games also have a limit, and the available games are very simple and basic. Because of this, several configurations need to be in place to gain access to top level games. These configurations are absent in Ubuntu.

Less Customizable

Worth adding that Ubuntu is less customizable than most Linux distributions. It needs higher system requirements. For instance, Linux mint, which is also based on Debian OS, is more customizable than Ubuntu.

Now with our article Ubuntu vs Kali Linux it is time to learn more about Kali Linux.

What is Kali Linux

Well Kali Linux is a popular Linux distribution that centers on security. Used to understand different vulnerabilities in networks and to carry out penetration testing. Kali Linux concentrates on cybersecurity, a great advantage to data forensics.

This operating system contains a long list of tools, making it easy to conduct security research and even reverse engineering. All of these things are to help you discover any breach in security.

Features of Kali Linux


You can protect files using LUKS nuke containers on Kali Linux. The encryption mechanism feature makes it all very possible. This means that your device is safe even when it gets stolen. Since you can protect your files with encryption, it will be impossible for anyone to access those files without a password.

Kali NetHunter

This feature lets you use Kali on your phone. You can use Kali Linux to protect your phone from attacks and even check for breaches. You can also use it to access apps and their features on Kali Linux through your phone.

Kali Undercover

Kali Linux’s Undercover feature enables it to change its environment to look like a Windows 10 desktop environment. Many Kali Linux users use this feature for people who prefer the Windows interface to the original look of Kali Linux.

Pros of Kali Linux

Open Development Tree

One of the best advantages of Kali Linux is that it is open source. Being open source means it can easily let its users edit or modify the codes in any way. Sharing Kali Linux with others is also easy because of the open source feature.


Unlike other Linux distributions, Kali Linux has tighter security. The basic tools and components in Kali Linux make the operating system very strong in terms of security. It can detect security breaches to inform you of possible solutions to the threat.

Multiple Languages

Kali Linux has a wide range of languages available for you to choose from to use their services. Unlike other distributions that are limited, Kali Linux is multilingual. Most of the major languages in the world are available here, making it easy for many users that aren’t native English speakers.

Supports Multiple Wireless Devices

Kali Linux can connect with a wide range of wireless devices. It has no limits when it comes to this feature. All you have to do is navigate through the settings and successfully pair Kali Linux with your devices

Cons of Kali Linux

It is Slow

On average, Kali Linux is generally slower than any of the other distributions. Kali Linux is slow because it has a lot of tools available, which causes it to be a bit heavy.

Not Beginner Friendly

If you’re a beginner at penetration testing distribution, it will be difficult for you to use Kali Linux. The features available on this distribution are for people already experienced with Linux.

Unfit For Daily Activities

You can’t use Kali Linux for your day to day activities like it’s a normal operating system. Kali Linux is only designed to tighten cybersecurity. You can’t use it to create documents like word documents or to create presentations.

Differences between Ubuntu and Kali Linux



Firstly Ubuntu is an operating system designed for computers and a few other devices. It serves the same purpose as Windows and macOS. You can use it to create documents, play games and watch videos like a normal operating system.

Kali Linux

The main purpose of this distribution is to offer proper security and penetration testing. It helps in cybersecurity. For instance, ethical hackers use Kali Linux to detect security breaches in their applications and strengthen programs to avoid getting hacked.

User friendly Experience


Using Ubuntu as a newbie is easy because the system is very user friendly. You do not need a wide knowledge of how Linux works. With a basic understanding of how a computer works, you can easily install and use Ubuntu.

Kali Linux

Using Kali Linux will be a bit difficult for a beginner. The tools available usually need experience before you can use them effectively. If you have no knowledge of Linux and how cybersecurity works, it won’t be easy to use Kali Linux.



The default terminal used by Ubuntu is the gnome terminal. This terminal allows you to carry out simple functions like executing a command by typing it in and clicking ENTER, creating a new tab from a file or creating a new window from a file.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux uses a different default terminal called qterminal. The qterminal comprises features like customized shortcuts, multiple tabs and split terminals. With the qterminal available, it’s also possible to pick a colour scheme.

Tools Available


There are only a few tools available, and you can’t use them for anything other than your day to day activities. You are only restricted to using the basic tools and apps like any other operating system.

Kali Linux

There are lots of tools available for Kali Linux. All of these tools are to help in penetration testing and cybersecurity. They have different functions that help ethical hackers work efficiently.



The processing speed of Ubuntu is pretty normal. Apps and other features usually run at a moderate or fast speed, so you can easily get your work done. The speed is a bit fast because of how light Ubuntu’s operating system is.

Kali Linux

The speed of Kali Linux is generally slower than Ubuntu across all or any platform. It is slow because of the number of tools available in Kali Linux.

Target Audience


The target audience for Ubuntu are those who are looking for different alternatives to windows or macOS. These people generally want a good operating system (OS) to use on their computers.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux is very important for ethical hackers and data forensics. People who generally deal with cybersecurity are the main users of Kali Linux. The Kali Linux software makes it easy for them to put their skills to use. 

Thank you for reading Ubuntu vs Kali Linux – What’s the Difference? (Pros and Cons).

Ubuntu vs Kali Linux - What's the Difference? (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

After reading this article we hope you understand the differences between Ubuntu and Kali Linux. Not only have you learned their differences, but also how they work and their pros and cons. Both Ubuntu and Kali Linux are different in many ways but the main takeaway is that Ubuntu is primarily an operating system much like Windows for computers, while Kali Linux is all about security improvement.

Take a look at our Ubuntu content as well and thank you.

Avatar for Kamso Oguejiofor
Kamso Oguejiofor

Kamso is a mechanical engineer and writer with a strong interest in anything related to technology. He has over 2 years of experience writing on topics like cyber security, network security, and information security. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

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