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Parrot Operating System

Parrot is a worldwide community of developers and security specialists that work together to build a shared framework of tools to make their job easier, standardized and more reliable and secure.

Parrot OS, the flagship product of Parrot Security is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian and designed with Security and Privacy in mind. It includes a full portable laboratory for all kinds of cyber security operations, from pentesting to digital forensics and reverse engineering, but it also includes everything needed to develop your own software or keep your data secure.

Secure Always updated, frequently released with many hardening and sandboxing options available. Everything is under your complete control.

Free (as in freedom) Feel free to get the system, share with anyone, read the source code and change it as you want! this system is made to respect your freedom, and it ever will be.

Lightweight We care about resources consumption, and the system has proven to be extremely lightweight and run surprisingly fast even on very old hardware or with very limited resources.

Portable and universal Our tools are designed to be compatible with as many devices as possible via containerization technologies like Docker or Podman. Feel free to use the Parrot tools on Windows, Mac OS or any other Linux distribution without changing your habits.

History :

Parrot OS was first released in 2013 and was developed by a team of security experts, Linux enthusiasts, and open source developers. The team was headed by Lorenzo Faletra.

Requirements and Download:

  1. USB flash drive with a minimum capacity of 8GB. You may also use an SD card inserted into an SD card reader. In fact, that is what I used in making this tutorial.

    • Buy a USB Flash Drive or Class 10 Memory Card & SD Card Reader – (Amazon links)

    • Buy a USB Flash Drive or Class 10 Memory Card & SD Card Reader – (Ali Express links)

  2. Download Parrot OS ISO file. (I recommend downloading the Parrot Security Mate ISO file).

  3. Download Etcher for burning the Kali Linux file on your USB stick or SD card.


Step 1: Boot your computer from the Parrot OS USB drive you created.

Plug the Parrot USB drive on your computer and restart it. As soon as your computer reboots and it’s trying to come back on, quickly press the special key designated to launch the boot or startup menu.

On the next screen, for this computer, pressing the key F9 will open the Boot Device Options menu. There I will select the Parrot OS USB drive as the boot device.

In your case, the boot menu key for your PC might be different, just do a quick Google search!

Step 2: On the Parrot Boot Screen. Select “Install” –> “Install with GTK GUI“ and press enter.

Step 3: Select your preferred system language.

Step 4: Specify your geographic location.

Step 5: Select your preferred keyboard layout.

Step 6: Set a password for the ROOT user account.

This is like the administrator’s password on Windows systems, so make it strong and ensure you don’t forget it.

Step 7: Next, create a standard, non-administrative user account for the system.

You will use this user account for the day-to-day operation of this Parrot machine.

Create a username for the standard user.

Set a password for the standard user.

Step 8: Set the system time zone.

Step 9: Now the installer will launch the disk partitioner and offer you 4 options. Select the Guided – use entire disk option.

Select the disk you want to install Parrot OS. Only your laptop’s hard disk will probably be listed here.

Select how you want the disk to be partitioned.

I recommend you choose the separate /home partition option. Because by having your user files and system files on separate partitions, you can upgrade the system freely without the risk of losing your documents, photos, videos, and any other user files.

Review your disk partitioning configuration.

Select “No” on the next screen to skip setting up a Swap partition.

Now write the partitioning changes to disk. This is the last time to change your mind after now, the disk formatting cannot be reversed. Select yes and press enter.

Step 10: Select “yes” to install GRUB bootloader.

Select your laptop’s hard disk to install GRUB on it.

Step 11: Finally, give the installer a little while to wrap things up… and ta-da! Installation is completed!

Congrats! You have just succeeded in installing Parrot OS version 4.9 on your laptop or computer as the primary OS.


Anonymity & Security

A lot of Linux distros even Kali Linux don’t have anonymity tools like Tor Browser, Anonsurf, Tor chat, I2P pre-installed. Parrot Security OS has a lot tools to hide your identity on local network and on the internet. For example, Macchanger is used to change the MAC of your PC, it can change it on regular basis. Tor network or Anonsurf is used to hide your IP Address on the internet. Firefox in Parrot OS also has “No Script” extension installed which prevent running JavaScript on your computer, it keeps you safe from Crypto Jacking attacks or running malicious scripts to monitor your activities.


Parrot Security has pre-installed tools which can be used to encrypt files, folders and drives with passwords or private keys to keep them safe and away from hackers. These tools include TrueCrypt, Zulu Mount GPA that support both symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms. You can send someone an encrypted message or file so no one in the middle can read the communication.

Programming & Development

Parrot Security OS doesn’t only has tools for Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing, it comes with a lot of powerful languages’ compilers and interpreters and IDEs. So in Parrot Security OS, you can even program Arduino or you can write code in your favorite language.


Parrot Security OS is lightweight if compared to Kali Linux because it has MATE as its default desktop environment and Kali Linux has GNOME. Parrot Security OS with its MATE environment just needs 256-320 Mbs of RAM which is way less than GNOME. It runs faster and smoother on even old hardware with limited resources. This feature makes it favorable to use in virtual environments where less consumption of resources is a preference.


Parrot OS offers a restricted and secured environment for its users’ better security. That makes it more secure than Kali Linux which is root by default.

Hardware hacking

Parrot Security OS also ships with Hardware Programming & Hacking tools installed in it. These tools include Arduino IDE, GNU Radio, Kayak and other Radio sniffing tools. One of the interesting tool you’ll see here is the “Kayak – The car hacking tool” that can be used to test cars for vulnerabilities. Despite having only WiFi tools, it also has Bluetooth, RFID and NFC communication hacking tools.

User friendly

Parrot OS is more User friendly as compared to Black Arch Linux or Kali Linux according to reviews. It comes pre-installed with Libreoffice packages and a lot of other general purpose tools that make it really easy to use.


  1. A great amount of tools come pre-installed, and there are thousands more to download in their repositories should you have need to download one of them. (need a tool, i.e. snort, then just do "apt-get install snort" and you're good to go)

  2. The theme of Parrot is sleek, and easy to navigate. Perfect for a hacking NewB

  3. Has everything right where you need it. The menus are beautifully Organized. Absolutely wonderfully so.

  4. Widgets are very handy and easy to read.

  5. Doesn't even need a GPU to run! (I can easily put this on my Dell Inspiron 600m)

  6. Comes with anonymization services you can enable with one mouse click. (anon surf)


  1. Must download important tools (such as snort) from repositories

  2. Not minimalistic out of box, although that can be changed with a few GUI tweaks and a different wallpaper.

  3. Out of Box desktop is somewhat cluttered with shortcuts. (6 to be precise)

Source: Ojoiszy, Parrot OS

Sofia Sondh

The Tech Platform



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