We review the latest major release of Parrot OS 6, which brings several updates for its users.
The team behind Parrot OS, the renowned Debian-based Linux distribution catering to the security, privacy, and development communities, has released the much-awaited Parrot OS 6. Two years after the last major release in 2022, this latest iteration brings many enhancements and features, reaffirming the Parrot OS’s offerings to provide a robust and advanced environment for security professionals, developers, and privacy enthusiasts.
We did a test drive for this major release to explore the new additions.
Table of Contents
Parrot OS 6 review
First, let’s round up the key features of this release.
Parrot OS offers different flavours for a variety of use cases. It has the following editions:
- WSL edition
- Cloud edition
- Raspberry Pi edition
In this release, most of the updates arrive for all, i.e., the core of Parrot OS. A few tweaks were added in the Raspberry Pi image and Architect edition.
Parrot OS 6 introduces a significant upgrade to Debian 12 as its foundation, amplifying stability and feature sets. The Linux kernel, now at version 6.5, incorporates patches tailored for network sniffing and injection, amplifying cybersecurity capabilities and delivering improved performance with native support for the latest Intel and AMD CPUs.
The advanced DKMS modules and Wi-Fi drivers for Linux kernel 6.5 ensure expanded network analysis capabilities, along with the latest Nvidia drivers for enhanced hardware compatibility. Notably, all penetration testing tools have been updated to equip users with cutting-edge methods and techniques.
The system’s appearance has also undergone a facelift, with subtle modifications to the graphical interface providing a fresh and refined user experience. A noteworthy experimental feature allows users to containerize tools not currently supported by the system, fostering flexibility and potential integrations of tools that were previously challenging to include.
Grub Fail-Safe Boot options return, ensuring reliable and safe booting, while the Calamares installer sees improvements for a smoother installation process. The audio system is now powered by Pipewire as the default audio system, promising superior audio handling. For virtualization, the VirtualBox is backported from Debian Sid in this release with the latest version.
Raspberry Pi Images
Performance improvements, updated drivers, and compatibility with the latest Raspberry Pi 5 device headline the updates for Raspberry Pi users. The SSH key refresh process during the first boot has been streamlined for added convenience, and default graphics driver activation ensures improved out-of-the-box display performance. Integration with the Raspberry Pi Imager tool simplifies image writing and setup.
The Architect Edition of Parrot OS witnesses an improvement in Tasksel layout, enhancing the user experience during software selection. As part of a forward-looking approach, support for 32-bit systems is gradually phased out, aligning with modern architecture trends.
On an unrelated topic of this post, the look and feel of Parrot OS is exceptionally good. The flagship edition features a customized MATE desktop. The overall look with the Arck-dark theme, window borders, ARA icons, cool cursors and Cantarell fonts – is truly remarkable. Who says MATE can’t be beautiful and faster?
That said, overall, it’s a key and necessary update for the Parrot OS 6 with Debian 12 base and a critical update to the pen-testing tools.
Overall, the performance of Parrot OS is very good, thanks to the MATE desktop. It uses 1.4 GB of RAM in VirtualBox when it is idle. CPU usage is minimal, considering the idle state.
However, it uses 17GB of disk space for default installation. This is because all the penetration tools are pre-loaded with all necessary packages. Overall, it feels snappier, even in a virtual machine.
In essence, Parrot OS 6 is a perfect release to provide its user base with a secure, privacy-focused, and development-friendly operating system. It is one of the best pen-testing distributions featured in our Top List: Top 5 Privacy focussed Linux distributions.
You can download Parrot OS from the official website (all versions).
Via release notes