Parrot Security OS – A Debian Based Distro for Penetration Testing, Hacking and Anonymity

Parrot Security operating system is a Debian-based Linux distribution built by Frozenbox Network for cloud oriented penetration testing. It is a comprehensive, portable security lab that you can use for cloud pentesting, computer forensics, reverse engineering, hacking, cryptography and privacy/anonymity.

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It is a rolling release upgrade line and comes with some impressive penetration testing operating system features and tools.

Parrot OS Features

  1. System Specifications: based on Debian 9, runs on a custom hardened Linux 4.5 kernel, uses MATE desktop and Lightdm display manager.
  2. Digital Forensics: supports “Forensic” boot option to shun boot automounts plus many more.
  3. Anonymity: supports Anonsurf including anonymization of entire OS, TOR and I2P anonymous networks and beyond.
  4. Cryptography: comes with custom built Anti Forensic tools, interfaces for GPG and cryptsetup. Additionally, it also supports encryption tools such as LUKS, Truecrypt and VeraCrypt.
  5. Programming: braces FALCON (1.0) programming language, multiple compilers and debuggers and beyond.
  6. Full support for Qt5 and .net/mono framework.
  7. It also supports development frameworks for embedded systems and many other amazing features.

You can read a full features and notable tools list from the Parrot Security OS features and tools page.

Importantly, here is a changelog of Parrot Security OS from 3.0 to 3.1, you can look-over the list to find more about some of the few improvements and new features.

System Requirements

Before you hurry to download and test it, the following are the system requirements:

  1. CPU: At least 1GHz Dual Core CPU
  2. ARCHITECTURE: 32-bit, 64-bit and ARMHF
  3. GPU: No graphic acceleration
  4. RAM: 256MB – 512MB
  5. HDD Standard: 6GB – 8GB
  6. HDD Full: 8GB – 16GB
  7. BOOT: Legacy BIOS or UEFI (testing)

Next, we shall dive into the installation process but before we move any further, you need to download the Live ISO image from the link below:

  1. https://www.parrotsec.org/download.php

Installing Parrot Security OS

1. After downloading the ISO image, make a bootable media (DVD/USB flash), when you have successfully created a bootable media, insert it into a functioning DVD-drive or USB-port, then boot into it. You should be able to view the screen below.

Using the Down Arrow, scroll down to the “Install” option and hit Enter:

Parrot OS Boot Menu

Parrot OS Boot Menu

2. You should be at the screen below, where you can choose the type of installer to use. In this case, we shall use the “Standard Installer”, therefore, scroll down to it and hit Enter.

Select Parrot OS Installer

Select Parrot OS Installer

3. Then, select the language you will use for the installation from the next screen and press Enter.

Select Parrot OS Installation Language

Select Parrot OS Installation Language

4. In the interface below, you are required to select your current location, simply scroll down and choose your country from the list.

In case you do not see it, move to “other”, you will then view all the continents in the world. Select the appropriate continent and followed by your country, press Enter.

Select Your Country Location

Select Your Country Location

5. Then, configure the system locales, that is in case the country and language combination you selected have no defined locales. Do that in the following screen and hit Enter.

Configure Your Country Locales

Configure Your Country Locales

6. Thereafter, configure the keyboard by choosing the keymap to use and press Enter.

Configure System Keyboard

Configure System Keyboard

7. You will see the screen below, which indicates additional components are being loaded.

Loading Additional Components

Loading Additional Components

8. On the next screen, setup user and password. From the interface below, enter a root use password and hit Enter.

Set User Root Password

Set User Root Password

9. Next, setup a user account. Firstly, enter the full name for the user in the screen below and subsequently, set the username and password as well in the next screens, then press Enter to advance.

Set System Username

Set System Username

10. After setting username and password, at this point, you should be at the “Partition disks” screen below. From here, move down to the “Manual” option and hit Enter to advance.

Partitioning a Disk

Partitioning a Disk

11. Next, you will view a list of the current disk partitions on your harddisk from the interface below. Select the disk partition, which in my case is the 34.4 GB ATA VBOX HARDDISK, by scrolling to highlight it and continue by pressing Enter.

Select Disk to Partition

Select Disk to Partition

Note: In case you have selected an entire disk to partition, you will be prompted as below, choose <Yes> to create a new empty partition table and continue.

Create New Empty Partition Table

Create New Empty Partition Table

12. Now, select the free space created and advance to further instructions.

Select Free Space Created

Select Free Space Created

13. Go on to select how to use the new empty space, choose “Create a new partition” and proceed by pressing Enter.

Create a New Partition

Create a New Partition

14. Now create a root partition with 30GB size and hit Enter to create it.

Create Root Partition

Create Root Partition

Then, make the root partition primary as in the interface below and proceed to the next stage.

Make Root Partition Primary

Make Root Partition Primary

Thereafter, also set the root partition to be created at the beginning of the available free space and press Enter to continue.

Make Root Partition Beginning

Make Root Partition Beginning

Now you can view the interface below, which displays the root partition settings. Remember that the file system type (Ext4) is selected automatically, to use another file system type, simply hit Enter on “Use as” and select the file system type you want to use for the root partition.

Then scroll down to “Done setting up the partition” and continue by pressing Enter.

Root Partition Summary

Root Partition Summary

15. Next, you need to create a swap area, it is a portion of the hard disk space which temporarily holds data from the system RAM that is not currently scheduled to be worked on, by the CPU.

You can create a swap area of size twice as your RAM, for my case I will use the free space left. Therefore, move down to highlight the free space/partition and press Enter.

Select Free Space to Create Swap

Select Free Space to Create Swap

You will view the create a new partition interface, select “Create a new partition” option and proceed by pressing Enter.

Create a New Partition

Create a New Partition

Enter the Swap area size, make it a logical partition and proceed to the next step by pressing Enter.

Set Swap Size

Set Swap Size

Then select “Use as” and press Enter again.

Create Swap Partition

Create Swap Partition

Choose “Swap area” from the interface below, hit Enter to advance.

Select Swap Area

Select Swap Area

Finish creating the Swap area by scrolling down to “Done setting up the partition” and press Enter.

Swap Partition Created

Swap Partition Created

16. When you have created all the partitions, you will be at the screen below. Move down to “Finish partitioning and write changes to disk”, then hit Enter to proceed.

All Partition Summary

All Partition Summary

Select <Yes> to accept and write changes to disk and then advance by pressing Enter button.

Write Changes to Disk

Write Changes to Disk

17. At this point, the system files will be copied to disk and installed, depending on your system specifications, it will take a few minutes.

Installing Parrot OS

Installing Parrot OS

18. At a certain point, you will be asked to choose the disk in which the Grub bootloader will be installed. Select the primary harddisk and press Enter to continue and Yes to confirm on the next screen to finish the installation.

Select Disk to Install Grub Loader

Select Disk to Install Grub Loader

Finishing Parrot OS Installation

Finishing Parrot OS Installation

19. In the screen below, hit enter to finish the installation process. But the system will not reboot immediately, some packages will be removed from the disk, until that is done, the system will then reboot, remove the installation media and you will view the Grub boot loader menu.

Parrot OS Installation Completed

Parrot OS Installation Completed

20. At the login prompt, enter your username and password to login.

Parrot OS Login Screen

Parrot OS Login Screen

Parrot OS Desktop

Parrot OS Desktop

Conclusion

In this installation guide, we walked through the steps you can follow from downloading the ISO image, making a bootable media and installing Parrot security OS on your machine. For any comments, please use the feedback form below. You can now perform cloud based pentesting and much more like a boss.

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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45 Responses

  1. Netvine says:

    Thank you for the steps was very helpful when I got confused.

  2. Debayan says:

    When I write something in the terminal, when the line ends it don’t comes to the second line it again go back to the first line and when I hit the backspace it delete the first line in the terminal.

    So better suggestion what to do

  3. jim says:

    Hi, I’m following your instructions and receive an error. After partitioning the disk as you suggest, I get the error “Failes to create file system: the ext4 file system in partition #1 of SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) failed. I’m booting from a USB drive onto a Dell laptop. Any ideas what happened?

  4. Simba nyamande says:

    Very helpful and easy to understand

  5. Zain says:

    It is super OS

  6. Abdulhalim says:

    Is it possible to install alongside the windows 10?

  7. Paul Belanger says:

    I have seen a couple ways of doing the install. I am putting it on a virtualbox. I can use it live but when I try to install I go through the prompts but I don’t get a root password. I get a user password instead.

    After I go through everything it quits at like 30% every time. I am doing the guided partition using the whole disc and following the noob prompts. I have tried like ten times, following videos and even the guide on the parrot site. They all get a root password and I get a non root user. dell inspiron 15 64bit windows 8.1 with virtualbox 5.0

    • Aaron Kili says:

      @Paul

      Try out this guide and follow the steps carefully, you should be able to setup both root user and a normal user account.

      • Paul Belanger says:

        The problem is that I don’t get a step 8, it goes from 7 right to 9. I have tried changing the settings in the virtualbox, downloading and installing the additions pack for the virtualbox, and it makes no difference.

        I can use it live, and save it but can’t install it. When I get to step 17 it takes really long and stops at 30% where a screen pops up saying installation failed. I even tried downloading a new iso image and it does the same thing.

        • Aaron Kili says:

          @Paul

          This is an interesting issue, try to consult the developers of Parrots Sec OS using this email address: [email protected]

          • Paul Belanger says:

            Ok, thanks. At least I can use it as a live system, better than nothing. It just sucks that I cant save any settings or files. I will email the developers, I am sure they will want to know about this. Thank you.

  8. Alejandro Serrano says:

    Also, I’m trying to install Parrot on my Desktop, which had a dual-boot between Windows and Ubuntu 15.10, but the Ubuntu boot damaged, and it only shows a command prompt to which I cannot provide any input.

    Weird stuff is: I tried reinstalling Ubuntu 15.10, when the CD starts, it just shows me the very same empty command prompt to which I cannot provide input. Now even weirder stuff, if I start the Parrot Live version from the USB, it shows me the same command prompt that takes no input. If I start the install option, instead, it just shows a bunch of text and freezes. WTF, help!?

    • Aaron Kili says:

      @Alejandro

      Your situation is a little tricky. Did you create a partition for Parrot OS before installing it? If not, you possibly installed it on the Ubuntu partition, thus damaging it. But, still, if you installed grub/grub 2 boot loader in the process, it should have loaded well allowing you to access Windows and Parrot OS.

      I believe you should be able to re-install Ubuntu 15.10, after inserting the CD, press the BIOS key on your machine(varies for one manufacturer to another), for accessing a list of bootable devices, then choose DVD/CD drive and press [Enter] to boot into Ubuntu.

      Check out this guide for installing Windows alongside Ubuntu: https://www.tecmint.com/install-ubuntu-16-04-alongside-with-windows-10-or-8-in-dual-boot/

      Thanks.

  9. Alejandro Serrano says:

    Hey I’m trying to install this OS, but it’s simply impossible. I’m trying it on my dell laptop. I hit install and get to the point of “Loading additional content“. It gives me then an error saying disk image is damaged.

    I tried downloading and re-imaging a USB, same error every time. I’m asking this from a live version of Parrot booted from the same USB with which I was trying to install the OS. If I try to install from the Live USB, it just freezes. Any suggestions?

  10. Ethan says:

    Very Helpful Thanks. Is this a fresh install ?

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