Kali Linux announced a new security model for Non-Root Users which is going to be released in kali 2020.1 update, and it is currently scheduled for late January.
Kali Linux decided to move into a “traditional default non-root user” model in which the kali team planned to implement the following number of changes.
- Kali in live mode will be running as user
kali. No more
- On install, Kali will prompt you to create a non-root user that will have administrative privileges.
- Tools that we identify as needing root access, as well as common administrative functions such as starting/stopping services, will interactively ask for administrative privileges
Why does Kali Moving to Non-Root Users By Default?
In earlier day while the Backtrack usage was a peak in the security community, a lot of pen-testing tools resides in the
/pentest/ directory either required root access to run or ran better when ran as root.
At the time OS was running from CD and it was never be updated, so “everything as root” security model was implemented.
Since the modern Kali Linux moved into Debian which earned a lot of reputation for being one of the most stable Linux distros, many users have started using Kali as a day to day OS even though it not advisable to use due to security concern.
“Additionally, Kali’s dev team based this move on the fact that over the years a lot of the security tools included with the distro no longer need root access to provide users with full access to all their features, with some of them even going as far as coming with defaults that prevented their use as the root user.
In this case, Kali Linux said ” When people do so, they obviously don’t run as the default root user. With this usage over time, there is the obvious conclusion that default root user is no longer necessary and Kali will be better off moving to a more traditional security model.”
Also since many applications require non-root access, abandoning this default root policy will thus simplify maintenance of Kali and will avoid problems for end-users,
“All that said, we are still not encouraging people to use Kali as their day to day operating system,” Jim O’Gorman, president of Offensive Security’s US-based services further explains. “More than anything else, this is because we don’t test for that usage pattern and we don’t want the influx of bug reports that would come with it.
You are also recommended reviewing our Kali Linux Tutorials page which covers dozens of Kali Linux Tools.