A-Z Kali Linux Commands List with Free PDF

Exploiting through a security system is never easy, but it is always fun. This exploitation is an art, known as Hacking. Linux is probably the most preferred operating system for hackers. By both amateurs, and pros. This is due to the availability of several resources that help in cracking through the safety parameters. One of them is Kali Linux. Kali Linux gets simpler when one is well-known by its commands. In this article, I will present a list of all Kali Linux Commands and also explain their function. Firstly, let’s move to the quick introduction of Kali Linux.

Introduction: Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns, and Raphaël Hertzog are the core developers. It is maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd.  Kali Linux is preinstalled with over 600 penetration-testing programs. Including nmap (a port scanner), Wireshark (a packet analyzer), John the Ripper (a password cracker), Aircrack-ng (a software suite for penetration-testing wireless LANs), Burp suite and OWASP ZAP (both web application security scanners).

Kali Linux can run natively when it is installed on a computer’s hard disk, can be booted from a live CD or live USB, or it can run on a virtual machine. It is a supported platform of the Metasploit Project’s Metasploit Framework, a tool for developing and executing security exploits. Knowing about Kali Linux is essential for every aspiring hacker. More importantly, knowing the Kali Linux Commands is essential. So, without any ado, let’s proceed towards the Kali Linux commands.

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Kali Linux Commands List

There are plenty of commands available for Kali Linux. Each command is assigned for its particular functioning. Here, I’m presenting you a list of all Kali Linux commands in an alphabetical order. Also, I’ll quote their function. Scroll further.

Commands From- A Description
apt-get Search for and install software packages (Debian)
aptitude Search for and install software packages (Debian)
aspell Spell Checker
awk Find and Replace text, database sort/validate/index


Commands From – B Description
basename Strip directory and suffix from filenames
bash GNU Bourne-Again Shell
bc Arbitrary precision calculator language
bg Send to background
break Exit from a loop
builtin Run a shell builtin
bzip2 Compress or decompress named files


Commands From – C Description
cal Display a calendar
case Conditionally perform a command
cat Concatenate and print (display) the content of files
cd Change Directory
cfdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux
chgrp Change group ownership
chmod Change access permissions
chown Change file owner and group
chroot Run a command with a different root directory
chkconfig System services (runlevel)
cksum Print CRC checksum and byte counts
clear Clear terminal screen
cmp Compare two files
comm Compare two sorted files line by line
command Run a command – ignoring shell functions
continue Resume the next iteration of a loop
cp Copy one or more files to another location
cron Daemon to execute scheduled commands
crontab Schedule a command to run at a later time
csplit Split a file into context-determined pieces
cut Divide a file into several parts


Commands From – D Description
date Display or change the date and time
dc Desk Calculator
dd Convert and copy a file, write disk headers, boot records
ddrescue Data recovery tool
declare Declare variables and give them attributes
df Display free disk space
diff Display the differences between two files
diff3 Show differences among three files
dig DNS lookup
dir Briefly list directory contents
dircolors Colour setup for ls’
dirname Convert a full pathname to just a path
dirs Display list of remembered directories
dmesg Print kernel & driver messages
du Estimate file space usage


Commands From – E Description
echo Display message on screen
egrep Search files for lines that match an extended expression
eject Eject removable media
enable Enable and disable builtin shell commands
env Environment variables
ethtool Ethernet card settings
eval Evaluate several commands/arguments
exec Execute a command
exit Exit the shell
expect Automate arbitrary applications accessed over a terminal
expand Convert tabs to spaces
export Set an environment variable
expr Evaluate expressions


Commands From – F Description
false Do nothing, unsuccessfully
fdformat Low-level format a floppy disk
fdisk Partition table manipulator for Linux
fg Send job to foreground
fgrep Search files for lines that match a fixed string
file Determine file type
find Search for files that meet a desired criteria
fmt Reformat paragraph text
fold Wrap text to fit a specified width
for Expand words, and execute commands
format Format disks or tapes
free Display memory usage
fsck File system consistency check and repair
ftp File Transfer Protocol
function Define Function Macros
fuser Identify/kill the process that is accessing a file


Commands From – G Description
gawk Find and Replace text within files
getopts Parse positional parameters
grep Search files for lines that match a given pattern
groupadd Add a user security group
groupdel Delete a group
groupmod Modify a group
groups Print group names a user is in
gzip Compress or decompress named files


Commands From – H Description
hash Remember the full pathname of a name argument
head Output the first part of files
help Display help for a built-in command
history Command History
hostname Print or set system name


Commands From- I Description
iconv Convert the character set of a file
id Print user and group id’s
if Conditionally perform a command
ifconfig Configure a network interface
ifdown Stop a network interface
ifup Start a network interface up
import Capture an X server screen and save the image to file
install Copy files and set attributes


Commands From – J Description
jobs List active jobs
join Join lines on a common field


Command From – K Description
kill Stop a process from running
killall Kill processes by name


Commands From – L Description
less Display output one screen at a time
let Perform arithmetic on shell variables
ln Create a symbolic link to a file
local Create variables
locate Find files
logname Print current login name
logout Exit a login shell
look Display lines beginning with a given string
lpc Line printer control program
lpr Off line print
lprint Print a file
lprintd Abort a print job
lprintq List the print queue
lprm Remove jobs from the print queue
ls List information about files
lsof List open files


Commands From – M Description
make Recompile a group of programs
man Show manual
mkdir Create new folders
mkfifo Make FIFOs (named pipes)
mkisofs Create an hybrid ISO9660/JOLIET/HFS filesystem
mknod Make block or character special files
more Display output one screen at a time
mount Mount a file system
mtools Manipulate MS-DOS files
mtr Network diagnostics (traceroute/ping)
mv Move or rename files or directories
mmv Mass Move and rename files


Commands From – N Description
netstat Networking information
nice Set the priority of a command or job
nl Number lines and write files
nohup Run a command immune to hangups
notify-send Send desktop notifications
nslookup Query Internet name servers interactively


Commands From – O Description
open Open a file in its default application
op Operator access


Commands From – P Description
passwd Modify a user password
paste Merge lines of files
pathchk Check file name portability
ping Test a network connection
pkill Stop processes from running
popd Restore the previous value of the current directory
pr Prepare files for printing
printcap Printer capability database
printenv Print environment variables
printf print and format data
ps Process status
pushd Save and then change the current directory
pwd Print Working Directory


Commands From – Q Description
quota Display disk usage and limits
quotacheck Scan a file system for disk usage
quotactl Set disk quotas


Commands From – R Description
ram ram disk device
rcp Copy files between two machines
read Read a line from standard input
readarray Read from stdin into an array variable
readonly Mark variables/functions as readonly
reboot Reboot the system
rename Rename files
renice Alter priority of running processes
remsync Synchronize remote files via email
return Exit a shell function
rev Reverse lines of a file
rm Remove files
rmdir Remove folders
rsync Remote file copy (Synchronize file trees)


Commands From -S Description
screen Multiplex terminal, run remote shells via ssh
scp Secure copy (remote file copy)
sdiff Merge two files interactively
sed Stream Editor
select Accept keyboard input
seq Print numeric sequences
set Manipulate shell variables and functions
sftp Secure File Transfer Program
shift Shift positional parameters
shopt Shell Options
shutdown Shutdown or restart linux
sleep Delay for a specified time
slocate Find files
sort Sort text files
source Run commands from a file
split Split a file into fixed-size pieces
ssh Secure Shell client (remote login program)
strace Trace system calls and signals
su Substitute user identity
sudo Execute a command as another user
sum Print a checksum for a file
suspend Suspend execution of this shell
symlink Make a new name for a file
sync Synchronize data on disk with memory


Commands From – T Description
tail Output the last part of file
tar Tape Archiver
tee Redirect output to multiple files
test Evaluate a conditional expression
time Measure Program running time
times User and system times
touch Change file timestamps
top List processes running on the system
traceroute Trace Route to Host
trap Run a command when a signal is set(bourne)
tr Translate, squeeze, and/or delete characters
true Do nothing, successfully
tsort Topological sort
tty Print filename of terminal on stdin
type Describe a command


Commands From – U Description
ulimit Limit user resources
umask Users file creation mask
umount Unmount a device
unalias Remove an alias
uname Print system information
unexpand Convert spaces to tabs
uniq Uniquify files
units Convert units from one scale to another
unset Remove variable or function names
unshar Unpack shell archive scripts
until Execute commands (until error)
uptime Show uptime
useradd Create new user account
usermod Modify user account
users List users currently logged in
uuencode Encode a binary file
uudecode Decode a file created by uuencode


Commands From – V Description
v Verbosely list directory contents (ls -l -b’)
vdir Verbosely list directory contents (ls -l -b’)
vi Text Editor/ vi editor
vmstat Report virtual memory statistics


Commands From – W Description
wait Wait for a process to complete
watch Execute/display a program periodically
wc Print byte, word, and line counts
whereis Search the user’s $path, man pages and source files for a program
which Search the user’s $path for a program file
while Execute commands
who Print all usernames currently logged in
whoami Print the current user id and name (id -un’)
wget Retrieve web pages or files via HTTP, HTTPS or FTP
write Send a message to another user


Commands From – X Description
xargs Execute utility, passing constructed argument lists
xdg-open Open a file or URL in the user’s preferred application


Commands From – Y Description
yes Print a string until interrupted

So this is it. We have listed every Kali Linux Command with its description so that you no longer have to spend time searching for each of them separately.

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Kali Linux Commands List PDF

If you are a regular user of Kali Linux, then you might want to have the full list of Kali Linux commands on your PC. We have compiled a complete list of A-Z Kali Commands in a PDF file.

You can Download PDF Here for free and save it anywhere you like.

The PDF file contains all Kali Commands listed in this article.


These were all the Kali Linux commands available with their assigned functions. For any queries, suggestions or doubts regarding this topic, comment down in the Comments section below. Hope I helped you to find what you were looking for. Have a nice day, Folks!

About the author

Jeff Peterson

Jeff is a tech geek whose hobby is to learn about the latest developments in the tech world. When he is not writing at you may find him coding or playing his favorite video games