Kali Linux 2021.4 – Last Release of 2021

Kali Linux 2021-4
Kali Linux 2021-4

Kali Linux 2021.4 released with improve Apple M1 support.

With the end of 2021 just around the corner, the last release of the year with Kali Linux 2021.4, which is ready for immediate download or updating.

The summary of the changelog since the Kali Linux 2021.3 release from September 2021 is:

  • Improved Apple M1 support
  • Wide compatibility for Samba
  • Switching package manager mirrors
  • Kaboxer theming
  • Updates to Xfce, GNOME and KDE
  • Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W + USBArmory MkII ARM images
  • More software updates

Kali on the Apple M1

As we announced in Kali 2021.1 we supported installing Kali Linux on Parallels on Apple Silicon Macs, well with 2021.4, we now also support it on the VMware Fusion Public Tech Preview thanks to the 5.14 kernel having the modules needed for the virtual GPU used. We also have updated the open-vm-tools package, and Kali’s installer will automatically detect if you are installing under VMware and install the open-vm-tools-desktop package, which should allow you to change the resolution out of the box.

New tools in Kali

It would not be a Kali release if there were not any new tools added! A quick run down of what’s been added (to the network repositories):

  • Dufflebag – Search exposed EBS volumes for secrets.
  • Maryam – Open-source Intelligence (OSINT) Framework.
  • Name-That-Hash – Do not know what type of hash it is? Name That Hash will name that hash type!
  • Proxmark3 – if you are into Proxmark3 and RFID hacking.
  • Reverse Proxy Grapher – graphviz graph illustrating your reverse proxy flow.
  • S3Scanner – Scan for open S3 buckets and dump the contents.
  • Spraykatz – Credentials gathering tool automating remote procdump and parse of lsass process.
  • truffleHog – Searches through git repositories for high entropy strings and secrets, digging deep into commit history.
  • Web of trust grapher (wotmate) – reimplement the defunct PGP pathfinder without needing anything other than your own keyring.

Desktop and Theme Enhancement

This release brings updates for all the 3 main desktops (Xfce, GNOME, and KDE), but one that is common to all of them is the new window buttons design. Previous buttons were designed to fit the window theme of Xfce but did not work well with the other desktops and lacked personality. The new design looks elegant on any of the desktops and makes it easier to spot the currently focused window.

Bonus Tips For Virtual Desktops!

  • You can add or remove workspaces with the shortcuts: Alt + Insert / Alt + Delete
  • You can move through workspaces with the shortcuts:
  • Ctrl + Alt + <ARROW_KEY> to move in the direction of the arrow key.
    (if you add Shift you move the current focused window)
  • Ctrl + Alt + <WORKSPACE_NUM> to move to a specific workspace, based on its number.
  • Ctrl + Super + <WORKSPACE_NUM> to move a window to a specific workspace, based on its number.


In this update, GNOME desktop has received not one, but two version bumps. It’s been one year since the last major update of the GNOME desktop in Kali (with GNOME 3.38).

KDE 5.23

The KDE team celebrated its 25th anniversary releasing the update 5.23 of the Plasma desktop. This update, now available in Kali, brings a new design for the Breeze theme, which improves the look of Plasma with details that add glossiness and style to the desktop. Along with the theme improvements, the System Settings (Under Global Theme > Colors) brings a new option to pick the desktop accent color.

Kali ARM Updates

Notable changes this release

  • All images now use ext4 for their root filesystem, and resize the root filesystem on first boot. This results in a speed-up over previous releases which were using ext3, and a reduced boot time on the first reboot when resize happens.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W support has been added, but like the Raspberry Pi 400, there is no Nexmon support.
  • Speaking of the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, since it is so similar to the Zero W, we have also added a PiTail image to support the new processor with better performance.
  • Raspberry Pi images now support USB booting out of the box since we no longer hardcode the root device.
  • Raspberry Pi images now include versioned Nexmon firmware. A future release of kalipi-config will allow you to switch between them, if you would like to test different versions.
  • Images that use a vendor kernel will now be able to set the regulatory domain properly, so setting your country will give access to channels properly for wireless.
  • Pinebook Pro can now be overclocked. The big cores get 2GHz and the little cores get 1.5GHz added.
    echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/boost to enable
    echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/boost to disable
  • USBArmory MkII image has been added.

How To Download Kali Linux 2021.4

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

└─$ echo "deb http://http.kali.org/kali kali-rolling main non-free contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list

└─$ sudo apt update && sudo apt -y full-upgrade

└─$ [ -f /var/run/reboot-required ] && sudo reboot -f
You should now be on Kali Linux 2021.4. We can do a quick check by doing:

└─$ grep VERSION /etc/os-release

└─$ uname -v
#1 SMP Debian 5.14.16-1kali1 (2021-11-05)

└─$ uname -r

Download Kali Linux 2021.4

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