How to update Kali Linux

Kali Linux is currently one of the most popular operating systems used for security audits of corporate and home LANs, peripherals, servers, workstations, and various SOFTWARE.

The software provided as part of the Kali Linux distribution is updated periodically, while getting new features or bug fixes in older versions of the SOFTWARE. Next, we’ll look at how to update Kali Linux from different branches of its repository.

  • Updating the Kali Linux system
    • Kali-last-snapshot repository
    • Kali-experimental repository
    • Kali-rolling repository
  • Conclusions

Updating the Kali Linux system

Kali Linux has three official branches of the repositories. And each has its own set of packages for updating the operating system.

Kali-last-snapshot repository

kali-last-snapshot (Kali last snapshot) is the most stable branch of the repository. SOFTWARE and OS updates are not published in it, except for critical patches that fix unstable operation or close security gaps in the operating system. All new features will appear only in the new version of the Kali Linux operating system.

To apply this default repository in your OS, change the /etc/apt/sources file.list:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Enter the following line in it (removing all the others, if any):

deb kali-last-snapshot main non-free contrib

Then update the list of packages available from your repository:

sudo apt update

Updating Kali Linux packages is performed by the command:

sudo apt upgrade

Kali-experimental repository

kali-experimental (experimental Kali) repository branch that is suitable for enthusiasts who are ready to receive the latest SOFTWARE versions that are currently under testing. Developers do not guarantee the stability of programs and the operating system when updating from this branch.

To use this repository by default, update the config in the /etc/apt/sources file.list.

Instead of kali-last-snapshot, insert kali-experimental. You should get the following string:

deb kali-experimental main non-free contrib

You can update packages from this experimental branch using the following commands:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

Kali-rolling repository

kali-rolling (literally rolling, rolling, or rolling) is a repository that is used by default in all Kali Linux distributions. This branch periodically releases relatively stable new versions OF software and operating system components.

If you want to use this default repository in the /etc/apt/sources file.list should be the next line:

deb kali-rolling main non-free contrib

Then you need to execute a series of commands in turn:

sudo apt update

Now you can update Kali Linux via the terminal using the command:

sudo apt upgrade

If you want to update everything, including OS components, run the command

sudo apt full-upgrade


Updating Kali Linux is by and large not much different from updating other operating systems based on Debian or Ubuntu. However, you should be careful when updating from the experimental branch of the Kali Linux repository. If necessary you can install individual packages from this repository without updating the entire operating system as a whole, even if something goes wrong, it is always easier to remove one unstable program than to fix a number of possible problems.