BlackArch Linux

From LinuxReviews
Jump to navigationJump to search

BlackArch Linux is a special purpose Penetration Testing distribution which comes as a 12 GB ISO meant to be put on a bootable USB stick. It includes a huge as in gigantic collection of more than 2000+ security-related softwarez. The latest version 2019.06.01 was released on May 25th, 2019.

Features and usability[edit | edit source]

First of all: This distribution is meant to be put on a USB stick and used for security research on systems in hostile or friendly environments. It is not meant to be a desktop OS used to browse Instagram (It can be installed and it does come with Firefox and Chromium so you could use it for that purpose too).

The initial boot-screen when put on a USB stick and booted into from a system of interest gives you the option of booting "BlackArch Linux" or "BlackArch Linux (non-free)". The non-free option will load the proprietary Nvidia drivers. There is also the option of running memtest, "Hardware Information", "Boot existing OS" and reboot and power-off.


Booting BlackArch takes you to a login screen where you have to use root as username and blackarch as password. You will find yourself in fluxbox once you have logged in.

Fluxbox is configured with a nice-looking theme and it's menu is populated with security-software divided into logical categories.


Starting the majority of items in the menu will simply launch xterm with with a help-text explaining the syntax of the program you ask for. This is to be expected as the majority of the included tools are command-line tools.

BlackArch's no-desktop with fluxbox window-manager interface and do it in a terminal approach makes this distribution hard to impossible to use for most people while it is also very user-friendly for it's target audience. It has exactly what you need in terms of both tools and interface.

So much software[edit | edit source]

There is a very long list of tools at the BlackArch Linux here:

Many books can and probably are being written about all these tools. There are a lot. If you've heard rumors of some piece of security-related software you'll very likely find that it is included in this distribution. It's clearly got that area covered.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

If you need to do some security-research or simply forgot your Windows password or your WIFI password and you are looking for a Live distribution then you will probably find that BlackArch has everything you need and more.

You can download it from

You will want to use the "torrent" download option as that's much faster. It's a big download, so it will take a while regardless of what you choose.

Add your comment
LinuxReviews welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Last reviewed Linux distributions:
  • HarmoniKR
    Flag of South Korea.png
    HarmoniKR, sometimes called "Harmonica", is a South Korean Linux operating system used by both the South Korean Army and government from 2019 onward. It comes in several flavors based various versions of Linux Mint. The distribution is customized for local use with Korean language packages and fonts as well as custom educational tools for the Korean school system.
  • Manjaro Linux
    Manjaro Linux is a community-made Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It comes in four flavors, there are Xfce, KDE and GNOME desktop editions and an Architect option for more advanced users. It aims to have all the advantages of a bleeding edge rolling-release distribution like Arch while not being stable and user-friendly and quite so over-the-top bleeding edge as Arch.
  • Mageia
    Mageia symbol.png
    Mageia is a user-friendly modern community-made Linux distribution with Xfce, KDE Plasma and GNOME editions. It was started as a fork of Mandriva (Mandrake) Linux in 2011 when a group of employees jumped ship from the now defuct Mandriva S.A corporation. It has since become a full distribution in it's own right with modern features and polished desktop environments.
  • Red Star OS
    Red Star OS is a Fedora-based Linux distribution which is very popular in North Korea.