Kali Linux Commands Full list for Begineers From A to Z

kali linux commands

As all, we know that the Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution that is used for advanced Penetration Testing and Security Auditing, means a perfect platform for hackers, sounds good right!! So it can be a great start for you to becoming a hacker or internet security expert.

We assume that you definitely have installed Kali Linux on your system and if not then go through Kali Linux installation first.

As this post is for beginners let me explain few things about Kali. it comes with More than 600 penetration testing tool for learning penetration testing and the best part is that its all free and you don’t have to pay a single penny for access kali. Kali Linux is a CUI(Command Line Interface) based OS, so you must know some Kali Linux commands that will help you to execute or perform any action related to penetration testing because you can’t go for further steps in penetration testing before reading this because that will be a bad move.

kali linux commands

We have prepared a full list of kali Linux commands for beginners from A to Z that will help you to understand all the commands and you can test all commands to elaborate and understand the perfect mean and execute them on your kali Linux OS. Or you can download Kali Linux commands pdf for later read right after the below list.

Kali Linux Commands :

kali Linux Commands From aDescription
apt-getSearch for and install software packages (Debian)
aptitudeSearch for and install software packages (Debian)
aspellSpell Checker
awkFind and Replace text, database sort/validate/index
Commands From - bDescription
basenameStrip directory and suffix from filenames
bashGNU Bourne-Again Shell
bcArbitrary precision calculator language
bgSend to background
breakExit from a loop
builtinRun a shell builtin
bzip2Compress or decompress named files
Commands From - cDescription
calDisplay a calendar
caseConditionally perform a command
catConcatenate and print (display) the content of files
cdChange Directory
cfdiskPartition table manipulator for Linux
chgrpChange group ownership
chmodChange access permissions
chownChange file owner and group
chrootRun a command with a different root directory
chkconfigSystem services (runlevel)
cksumPrint CRC checksum and byte counts
clearClear terminal screen
cmpCompare two files
commCompare two sorted files line by line
commandRun a command – ignoring shell functions
continueResume the next iteration of a loop
cpCopy one or more files to another location
cronDaemon to execute scheduled commands
crontabSchedule a command to run at a later time
csplitSplit a file into context-determined pieces
cutDivide a file into several parts
Commands From - dDescription
dateDisplay or change the date and time
dcDesk Calculator
ddConvert and copy a file, write disk headers, boot records
ddrescueData recovery tool
declareDeclare variables and give them attributes
dfDisplay free disk space
diffDisplay the differences between two files
diff3Show differences among three files
digDNS lookup
dirBriefly list directory contents
dircolorsColour setup for ls’
dirnameConvert a full pathname to just a path
dirsDisplay list of remembered directories
dmesgPrint kernel & driver messages
duEstimate file space usage
Commands From - eDescription
echoDisplay message on screen
egrepSearch files for lines that match an extended expression
ejectEject removable media
enableEnable and disable builtin shell commands
envEnvironment variables
ethtoolEthernet card settings
evalEvaluate several commands/arguments
execExecute a command
exitExit the shell
expectAutomate arbitrary applications accessed over a terminal
expandConvert tabs to spaces
exportSet an environment variable
exprEvaluate expressions
Commands From - fDescription
falseDo nothing, unsuccessfully
fdformatLow-level format a floppy disk
fdiskPartition table manipulator for Linux
fgSend job to foreground
fgrepSearch files for lines that match a fixed string
fileDetermine file type
findSearch for files that meet a desired criteria
fmtReformat paragraph text
foldWrap text to fit a specified width
forExpand words, and execute commands
formatFormat disks or tapes
freeDisplay memory usage
fsckFile system consistency check and repair
ftpFile Transfer Protocol
functionDefine Function Macros
fuserIdentify/kill the process that is accessing a file
Commands From - gDescription
gawkFind and Replace text within files
getoptsParse positional parameters
grepSearch files for lines that match a given pattern
groupaddAdd a user security group
groupdelDelete a group
groupmodModify a group
groupsPrint group names a user is in
gzipCompress or decompress named files
Commands From - hDescription
hashRemember the full pathname of a name argument
headOutput the first part of files
helpDisplay help for a built-in command
historyCommand History
hostnamePrint or set system name
Commands From - iDescription
iconvConvert the character set of a file
idPrint user and group id’s
ifConditionally perform a command
ifconfigConfigure a network interface
ifdownStop a network interface
ifupStart a network interface up
importCapture an X server screen and save the image to file
installCopy files and set attributes
Commands From - jDescription
jobsList active jobs
joinJoin lines on a common field
Command From - kDescription
killStop a process from running
killallKill processes by name
Commands From - lDescription
lessDisplay output one screen at a time
letPerform arithmetic on shell variables
lnCreate a symbolic link to a file
localCreate variables
locateFind files
lognamePrint current login name
logoutExit a login shell
lookDisplay lines beginning with a given string
lpcLine printer control program
lprOff line print
lprintPrint a file
lprintdAbort a print job
lprintqList the print queue
lprmRemove jobs from the print queue
lsList information about files
lsofList open files
Commands From - mDescription
makeRecompile a group of programs
manShow manual
mkdirCreate new folders
mkfifoMake FIFOs (named pipes)
mkisofsCreate an hybrid ISO9660/JOLIET/HFS filesystem
mknodMake block or character special files
moreDisplay output one screen at a time
mountMount a file system
mtoolsManipulate MS-DOS files
mtrNetwork diagnostics (traceroute/ping)
mvMove or rename files or directories
mmvMass Move and rename files
Commands From - nDescription
netstatNetworking information
niceSet the priority of a command or job
nlNumber lines and write files
nohupRun a command immune to hangups
notify-sendSend desktop notifications
nslookupQuery Internet name servers interactively
Commands From - oDescription
openOpen a file in its default application
opOperator access
Commands From - pDescription
passwdModify a user password
pasteMerge lines of files
pathchkCheck file name portability
pingTest a network connection
pkillStop processes from running
popdRestore the previous value of the current directory
prPrepare files for printing
printcapPrinter capability database
printenvPrint environment variables
printfprint and format data
psProcess status
pushdSave and then change the current directory
pwdPrint Working Directory
Commands From - qDescription
quotaDisplay disk usage and limits
quotacheckScan a file system for disk usage
quotactlSet disk quotas
Commands From - rDescription
ramram disk device
rcpCopy files between two machines
readRead a line from standard input
readarrayRead from stdin into an array variable
readonlyMark variables/functions as readonly
rebootReboot the system
renameRename files
reniceAlter priority of running processes
remsyncSynchronize remote files via email
returnExit a shell function
revReverse lines of a file
rmRemove files
rmdirRemove folders
rsyncRemote file copy (Synchronize file trees)
Commands From - sDescription
screenMultiplex terminal, run remote shells via ssh
scpSecure copy (remote file copy)
sdiffMerge two files interactively
sedStream Editor
selectAccept keyboard input
seqPrint numeric sequences
setManipulate shell variables and functions
sftpSecure File Transfer Program
shiftShift positional parameters
shoptShell Options
shutdownShutdown or restart linux
sleepDelay for a specified time
slocateFind files
sortSort text files
sourceRun commands from a file
splitSplit a file into fixed-size pieces
sshSecure Shell client (remote login program)
straceTrace system calls and signals
suSubstitute user identity
sudoExecute a command as another user
sumPrint a checksum for a file
suspendSuspend execution of this shell
symlinkMake a new name for a file
syncSynchronize data on disk with memory
Commands From - tDescription
tailOutput the last part of file
tarTape Archiver
teeRedirect output to multiple files
testEvaluate a conditional expression
timeMeasure Program running time
timesUser and system times
touchChange file timestamps
topList processes running on the system
tracerouteTrace Route to Host
trapRun a command when a signal is set(bourne)
trTranslate, squeeze, and/or delete characters
trueDo nothing, successfully
tsortTopological sort
ttyPrint filename of terminal on stdin
typeDescribe a command
Commands From - uDescription
ulimitLimit user resources
umaskUsers file creation mask
umountUnmount a device
unaliasRemove an alias
unamePrint system information
unexpandConvert spaces to tabs
uniqUniquify files
unitsConvert units from one scale to another
unsetRemove variable or function names
unsharUnpack shell archive scripts
untilExecute commands (until error)
uptimeShow uptime
useraddCreate new user account
usermodModify user account
usersList users currently logged in
uuencodeEncode a binary file
uudecodeDecode a file created by uuencode
Commands From - vDescription
vVerbosely list directory contents (ls -l -b’)
vdirVerbosely list directory contents (ls -l -b’)
viText Editor/ vi editor
vmstatReport virtual memory statistics
Commands From - wDescription
waitWait for a process to complete
watchExecute/display a program periodically
wcPrint byte, word, and line counts
whereisSearch the user’s $path, man pages and source files for a program
whichSearch the user’s $path for a program file
whileExecute commands
whoPrint all usernames currently logged in
whoamiPrint the current user id and name (id -un’)
wgetRetrieve web pages or files via HTTP, HTTPS or FTP
writeSend a message to another user
Commands From - xDescription
xargsExecute utility, passing constructed argument lists
xdg-openOpen a file or URL in the user’s preferred application
Commands From - yDescription
yesPrint a string until interrupted

After reading the above kali linux commands you can test them or you can test these commands while reading them. These are the all basic kali linux commands that you can use for your purpose in kali.


If you want to check the Kali Linux command list later then you can download the pdf.

Download Here: Kali Linux Commands pdf

Bonus Tip : In the table of Alphabet -m, there is a command called man that stands for manual. All the Kali users use this command to see a manual of a particular command that is very useful every time you want to see the manual of any command.

for example: To see the manual of ls command in Kali: # man ls

we will recommend you to use this command for every single command in Linux so you can learn more about that command.