Kali Linux 2019.4 OS Released With Undercover Mode

Kali Linux 2019-4 Undercover
Kali Linux 2019-4 Undercover

Great news for Cyber security researchers, Penetration Testers, the new version of Kali Linux 2019.4 operating system has released.

Kali Linux 2019.4 includes new exciting updates as follow:

  • A new default desktop environment, Xfce
  • New GTK3 theme (for Gnome and Xfce)
  • Introduction of “Kali Undercover” mode
  • Kali Documentation has a new home and is now Git powered
  • Public Packaging – getting your tools into Kali
  • Kali NetHunter KeX – Full Kali desktop on Android
  • BTRFS during setup
  • Added PowerShell
  • The kernel is upgraded to version 5.3.9
  • Normal bugs fixes and updates.

New Desktop Environment and GTK3 Theme

As a summary Kali Linux developers had a few issues we wanted to address head-on:

Performance issues – Gnome is a fully-featured desktop environment with a ton of awesome things it can do. But all these features comes with overhead, often overhead that is not useful for a distribution like Kali. Developers wanted to speed things up, and have a desktop environment that does only what it’s needed for, and nothing else.

Gnome has been overkill for most Kali users, as many just want a window manager that allows you to run multiple terminal windows at once, and a web browser.

Fractured user experience – Kali Linux support a range of hardware, from the very high end to the very low. Because of this, traditionally our lower-end ARM builds have had a completely different UI than our standard.

That’s not optimal, and they wanted to unify this experience so it did not matter if you were running on a bare metal install on a high end laptop or using a Raspberry Pi, the UI should be the same.

Modern look –We have been using the same UI for quite a while now, and our old theme maintainer had moved on due to lack of time. So we wanted to go with something fresh, new, and modern.

Kali Undercover Mode

If you are working in public place, and you do not want to show your desktop with Kali dragon, this mode will change your Kali theme to look like a default Windows Installation.

ARM Updates

Kali Linux 2019.4 OS is the last release that will support 8GB sdcards on ARM. Starting in 2020.1, a 16GB sdcard will be the minimum they support. You will always be able to create your own image that supports smaller cards if you desire.

RaspberryPi kernel was updated to 4.19.81, and the firmware package was updated to include the eeprom updates for the RaspberryPi 4.

During the release testing, a limited number of devices were not showing the Kali menu properly. This was not critical enough to delay the release, so instead as a work-around you can run the following command to display the menu correctly:

apt update && apt dist-upgrade

Once this completes, log out, so you’re back at the login manager. Then switch to a console via CTRL+ALT+F11 (on the Chromebooks this is the key pointing left next to the ESC key).

Login and then run:

rm -rf .cache/ .config/ .local/ && sync && reboot

After reboot, the menu will have the correct entries.

Download Kali Linux 2019.4

If you already have an existing Kali installation, remember you can always do a quick update:

[email protected]:~# cat </etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://http.kali.org/kali kali-rolling main non-free contrib
[email protected]:~#
[email protected]:~# apt update && apt -y full-upgrade
[email protected]:~#
[email protected]:~# [ -f /var/run/reboot-required ] && reboot -f


If you want to switch to new Xfce:

[email protected]:~# apt -y install kali-desktop-xfce


You should now be on Kali Linux 2019.4. We can do a quick check by doing:

[email protected]:~# grep VERSION /etc/os-release
[email protected]:~#
[email protected]:~# uname -v
#1 SMP Debian 5.3.9-3kali1 (2019-11-20)
[email protected]:~#
[email protected]:~# uname -r
[email protected]:~#


NOTE: The output of “uname -r” may be different depending on architecture.

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