A-Z Kali Linux Commands — Also Included Kali Commands PDF

If you are new to Kali Linux world, check out the list of all available Kali Linux commands for both newbies and advance users to ease up with Terminal.

Kali Linux is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. It is maintained and funded by Offensive Security Ltd. Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns, and Raphaël Hertzog are the core developers.

As we all know Kali Linux is one of the most used operating systems by hackers and security experts. It’s nothing like any other Linux based operating systems when it comes on features and functionality.

But knowing the basics of Linux kernel and Terminal will give a headstart to any newbie who likes to try this operating system. And for them, here is your Kali Linux commands cheat sheet, take a copy of the Kali commands pdf along with this article for your reference in future.

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). So some app-based commands are not mentioned in this list.

Kali Linux can run natively when installed on a computer’s hard disk, can be booted from a live CD or live USB, or it can run within a virtual machine. You can also dual boot Kali Linux with Windows 10 — check out our detailed tutorial.

A-Z Kali Linux Commands:

Here below we are listing A-Z Kali Linux commands which will help you to ease of flow in work.

All Kali Linux commandsFunction
 apropos Search Help manual pages (man -k)
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 jobs List active jobs
 join Join lines on a common field
 kill Stop a process from running
 killall Kill processes by name
 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
 make Recompile a group of programs
 man Help 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
 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
 open Open a file in its default application
 op Operator access
 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 Format and print data
 ps Process status
 pushd Save and then change the current directory
 pwd Print Working Directory
 quota Display disk usage and limits
 quotacheck Scan a file system for disk usage
 quotactl Set disk quotas
 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)
 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
 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
 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
 v Verbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
 vdir Verbosely list directory contents (`ls -l -b’)
 vi Text Editor
 vmstat Report virtual memory statistics
 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
 xargs Execute utility, passing constructed argument lists
 xdg-open Open a file or URL in the user’s preferred application
 yes  Print a string until interrupted

Now you know all Kali Linux commands and for future reference, we also included a Kali commands PDF for you. Print it out to guide through Kali Linux while your offline.

Also, check out our list of other commands:

Sabarinath is the tech-savvy founder and Editor-in-Chief of TechLog360. With years of experience in the tech industry and a computer science background, he's an authority on the latest tech news, business insights, and app reviews. Trusted for his expertise and hands-on tips for Android and iOS users, Sabarinath leads TechLog360 with a commitment to accuracy and helpfulness. When not immersed in the digital world, he's exploring new gadgets or sharing knowledge with fellow tech enthusiasts.


  1. I hate this form of deception. Look ar what @Aryan is asking: What about Ubuntu commands?
    As far as I can tell these commands apply to all Debian-based distroes, and (other than apt-commands) to most distroes in general!
    Don’t get me wrong, I also PDF’d the page, but WHY call it Kali specific when it ain’t???

  2. I just skimmed it so far, but is this every command?
    I have a hard time finding a good manual for anything these days and I want a complete reference. Found they do still exist when I got the manual for the python pandas module (5000+ pages). I thought maybe good references were dead till I found that, but it gave me hope. (Especially since google has become worthless – how am I supposed to find anything if you only give me 5 pages of results? What happened to the endless results when I was a teenager? I could go on for hours about it, but thats only slightly on topic…..)


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