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10 Most Secure Linux Distros for Privacy & Security Concern Users

As a Linux user, you might be searching for the most secure distro to protect your operating system. If so, look no further! Here are the top 10 most secure Linux Distros options available, based on privacy and security concerns.

Linux Distro is important for a few reasons. First, it acts as the foundation that allows you to use and interact with all the other software and hardware on your computer. Second, it manages communication between different parts of your system, like the processor, memory, and storage devices.

If you use your computer without proper security, hackers can easily access and exploit your operating system. This gives them the ability to view files and see your internet history. Linux distros provide a lot of good options to select the best and most secure one for your system.

Most Secure Linux Distros


Linux is known for its security and privacy-focused features, and there are a number of distros that focus specifically on these areas. If you are looking for the most secure Linux distro for your system, here are 10 of the best options available. These distros are designed to provide maximum security and privacy, making them perfect for users who need to keep their data protected from prying eyes.

1. Qubes OS


If you are looking for a Linux distro that is focused on security, then Qubes should be at the top of your list. Qubes is a Fedora-based operating system that uses multiple virtual machines to isolate different parts of the system from each other.

This means that if one part of the system becomes infected with malware, your personal files will remain safe. Note that this OS is best suited for advanced users, so if you are new to Linux, it might be tough to manage this system.

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2. Tails


tails

If you’re searching for a secure Linux distro, Tails should be your go-to. Developed in 2009, it’s one of the most well-known and utilized OSes for personal security while browsing online.

It’s a live CD and a pre-installed Operating System with the Tor browser bundle using the onion circuit. All outgoing connections go through Tor, allowing users to browse the internet anonymously without leaving any trace.

Tails OS is a live DVD or live USB that doesn’t use any hard disk space; it only uses the required space in your RAM, but the data will be deleted automatically when you shut down your system. Instead of using a DVD, it’s more convenient to boot from a USB stick. Although recently, users have been claiming that Tails requires 2 USB sticks while installing, which is pretty tedious.

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3. Parrot Security OS


FrozenBox designed Parrot Security OS, which debuted in 2013. If you want to test your computer system’s Defender against real-world attacks, this software is for you. By simulating an authorized attack, you can find out whether your system is secure and identify any vulnerabilities that need addressing.

Parrot Security OS is the perfect option for anyone who wants to browse the internet safely and protect their system from any potential threats. If you’re a forensic expert, this operating system is specially tailored to your needs and provides unparalleled security features.

It offers a wide range of powerful tools and features, including an advanced firewall and malware protection. You can also use its built-in security scanner to detect any malicious software that may have been installed on your system. Additionally, Parrot Security OS allows you to monitor all activity on your computer in real-time and protect it from dangerous hackers or viruses.

The software also comes with an array of powerful encryption tools that help keep your data secure. With these, you can easily encrypt sensitive documents, emails, and other files, so they’re protected from unauthorized access. Additionally, Parrot Security OS has a built-in VPN to ensure your online activity is hidden and secure.

Overall, Parrot Security OS is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a secure and reliable operating system. It provides powerful tools and features to keep your data safe and secure and gives you the ultimate in online privacy. If you want peace of mind when surfing the web, this is the perfect software for you.

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4. Kali Linux


Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution that is developed specifically for penetration testing and digital forensics experts. It comes with tools such as Ettercap, Aircrack-ng, Foremost, Wireshark, Kismet, and Maltigo, which can be used to exploit victims’ networks or applications to perform network discovery or survey target IP addresses.

Kali Linux is known for being one of the most secure and top-ranked Linux distributions available, making it a favorite among developers. This distro also includes the graphical cyber attack tool Armitage, which allows users to launch and exploit vulnerabilities, get exploit recommendations, and access advanced features of the Metasploit Framework’s meterpreter.

Kali Linux is just as easy to use as Tails and can be booted from a live DVD or USB stick. It’s compatible with both 32 and 62-bit operating systems and requires only 512MB of RAM and 10GB of hard disk space for installation.

It also includes a variety of additional tools, such as John the Ripper, which can be used to crack passwords, and Snort, which can be used for network intrusion detection. It also includes the open source Metasploit Framework, which allows users to develop and execute exploit code against a target system.

Kali Linux is an ideal platform for ethical hackers looking to conduct security testing on networks and applications or digital forensics experts investigating a breach. With its wide range of tools, Kali Linux is a powerful tool that can help security professionals protect their systems from cyber-attacks.

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5. Whonix


Whonix is a Debian-based operating system that focuses on anonymity, privacy, and security. If you are looking to private your IP address, Whonix is the perfect solution for you. By providing isolation through its focus on the principle of isolation, it enables users to enjoy increased security, privacy, and anonymity.

Whonix is developed by two programs: a workstation and a Gateway. The gateway serves as a middleman, only allowing connections that go through the Tor network. By doing this, there is no opportunity for an IP address to be leaked–ensuring your security with Whonix OS.

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6. Linux Kodachi


kodachi Linux

If you’re someone that wants to stay anonymous online, then Kodachi Linux is one of the best options for you. It’s been said by many users to be the most secure Linux distro available. I can’t speak from personal experience as I haven’t tested it myself, but it comes with Tor, a VPN, and DNSCrypt, making it easily bootable from a DVD or USB drive. You can choose the exit routes country whenever you surf the internet.

Linux Kodachi comes with a host of useful applications like Pidgin internet messenger, Transmission, VirtualBox, Geany, and FileZilla, to name a few. Everything a user needs to stay secure is included in this Operating System.

Linux Kodachi also comes with quite a few preconfigured security measures. It has the AppArmor Mandatory Access Control system installed by default which monitors programs and restricts them from doing anything that’s not authorized by the system. It also has a number of built-in firewall rules that can help protect the system from malicious programs and users.

Overall, Linux Kodachi is an excellent choice for anyone looking to stay anonymous online. It’s easy to use and comes with a wide range of security features that make it one of the most secure Linux distributions available.

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7. BlackArch Linux


BlackArck Linux is a cutting-edge security distro created with a focus on penetration testing and security research. It provides users with an unprecedented amount of tools, many of which surpass what Kali Linux has to offer.

BlackArch Linux is built on top of Arch Linux, providing a stable and reliable platform and an easy-to-use package management system. It comes with over 2000 tools pre-installed, including some of the most popular security tools such as Metasploit, Nmap, Burp Suite, and AirCrack.

Blackarch Linux also provides users with a script that allows them to easily install any tool they want. Blackarch Linux is the perfect distro for experienced security professionals as well as hobbyists looking to learn more about hacking and cybersecurity.

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8. Heads OS


heads OS

Heads is a security-focused GNU/Linux distribution that is much smaller and easier to manage than other options on the market. Because Heads only uses free software, it prioritizes users’ freedom and community involvement.

Like the OS mentioned previously, Heads also employs Tor to keep you anonymous while browsing online. All your traffic will go through Tor by default, but they allow users to disable it if they wish. Above all else, Heads prioritizes its users.

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9. PureOS


pureos

If you want a user-friendly security distro that can be modified to your liking, PureOS is the perfect option. It’s free software with a robust security package, including Duck Duck Go as its search engine. Privacy is well-protected since personal search results are avoided.

PureOS is a dependable, user-friendly operating system that keeps your data secure and respects your privacy. With PureOS, you are the sole owner of your digital world. You’re even able to ask for and receive the source code, so you can modify it however you want!

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10. Alpine Linux


Alpine_LinuxAlpine Linux is a mus libc and BusyBox-based, most secure Linux distro. Its base system size of 5 MB is smaller than any other available out there. This makes Alpine compact and lightweight so that you can use it on almost any device.

Alpine Linux’s other primary component, BusyBox, contains numerous tools. Some of the more popular ones are bunzip2, bzip2, less, lzma unlzma vi and wget. These particular tools are found in an Alpine base image but not in a Debian one.

Alpine Linux also features an easy-to-use package management system. It uses its own Alpine Package Manager (APK), which is used to install, update and delete packages. APK is fast and flexible because it reads the entire package database first and then applies any changes you make afterward. This ensures that everything runs smoothly without any hiccups.

All of these features make Alpine Linux an ideal choice for embedded systems, cloud computing, or Internet of Things (IoT) applications. It’s also great for running containers on a single system—you can do all this while still having the full-blown benefits of a secure and reliable operating system.

Plus, due to its lightweight nature, it won’t bog down your system resources. Alpine Linux is the perfect solution for anyone looking for a secure and reliable operating system that’s also small in size and easy to manage.

In addition to its many features, Alpine Linux is also free and open source. This means that it can be easily adapted and modified to meet your specific needs. Plus, you don’t have to worry about licensing fees—Alpine Linux is free for personal and commercial use. So whether you’re a developer looking for an easy-to-manage operating system or an IT professional in need of a secure and reliable platform, Alpine Linux should be your go-to choice.

If you’re looking for an incredibly lightweight yet secure Linux distro that offers the same features and benefits as its larger counterparts, then look no further than Alpine Linux.

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Finally, Insights!


There are a number of Linux distros that tout themselves as being the most secure. However, when it comes down to it, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best way to find out which Linux distro is the most secure for your needs is to try them all out and see which works best for you. Each has its own unique features and benefits, so take the time to find the one that’s right for you.

Linux distros like Tails and Parrot Security OS are well known for their security, as they both have advanced security measures in place. They also provide support for strong encryption and other features to protect your data. Additionally, they are both built on open-source code, which is constantly updated with the latest security patches, making them even more secure.

Other distros, such as BlackArch Linux and Alpine Linux, are also highly secure. They provide advanced security features like two-factor authentication and firewalls to give you that extra peace of mind. Both distros come with plenty of additional features for more control over your system’s security.

For users who need the highest level of security, there are other distros that specialize in it. Kali Linux is a popular distro with advanced penetration testing capabilities. Qubes OS is another security-focused distro that isolates your applications from each other to protect against malware and malicious attacks.

No matter which Linux distro you decide to use, be sure to keep up with the latest security updates to ensure your system is as secure as possible. It’s also a good idea to regularly scan for malware and use other preventive measures such as setting up firewalls and encrypting sensitive data. With some effort, you can make any Linux distro the most secure one for you.

I truly hope that this article will help you choose the best option for yourself. If it does, please share it on social media with your friends and family who might be facing a similar situation. And finally, don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments below!

FAQ – Most Secure Linux Distros


1. What are the Most Secure Linux Distros?

When it comes to security, the most secure Linux distros are those that receive regular updates, offer a good selection of security tools, and have a strong focus on user privacy. Some popular, secure Linux distributions include Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Kali Linux.

2. How do I Choose a Secure Linux Distro?

The most important factor to consider when selecting a secure Linux distro is its security features. Look for distributions that offer good user authentication options and built-in encryption tools. Additionally, check if the distribution is regularly updated to ensure that known vulnerabilities are patched quickly.

3. What Other Measures can I Take to Improve My Linux Security?

In addition to using a secure Linux distro, there are several other measures you can take to further improve the security of your system. For example, you should regularly update all installed software and be careful about which applications you install from external sources.

Additionally, it’s important to use strong passwords for all user accounts and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. Finally, you should ensure that all your sensitive data is backed up regularly in case of any malicious attacks or hardware failure.

4. Which is the Safest Linux Distro?

When it comes to security, there is no single Linux distro that is objectively the safest. Different distributions may offer different levels of security depending on their features and how well they are maintained. Therefore, it’s important to do some research into each distribution you’re considering and select one that offers the features and level of security you need.

5. What Linux Distro do Hackers Use?

Hackers often use Kali Linux, which is a security-focused distribution designed for penetration testing and digital forensics. Additionally, some hackers may also use other distributions, such as Kali Linux, Tails, or Parrot Security OS, depending on their specific needs and preferences.

6. Is Linux Really Secure?

Yes, Linux is generally considered a very secure operating system compared to other popular platforms such as Windows and macOS. This is due to the fact that Linux generally receives regular security updates, offers a variety of built-in security features, and has an active community of users who are constantly monitoring for vulnerabilities.

28 COMMENTS

  1. The problems with various Linuxes is just about the same as in the past and that were poor hardware support, freezing at install, not booting at all, still CLI dependent (user doesn’t like complicated things) … and the list goes on ! Those distros can be all that, that developers claim it is (sure more secure and performance wise better), but at the end of the day, if one cant install it for various reasons or even unable to use it then …. u can’t use it ! I have try various distros on Asus Z87 Quad Deluxe with i7-4970K, GPU GeForce 750 Ti and performance 24 GB RAM Kingston HyperX Beast, system runs at normal settings isn’t in overclock mode and secure boot disabled. Qubes OS not supported due missing features (OS has gone ballistic with exotic hardware requirements), Parot freezes at install, Tails and similar not suited for my requirements as few other Distros not mentioned here, like ExTix and Deepin ! Linux well … still sucks ! I went to Linux due native Android app run in WayDroid coz i need WiFi and Bluetooth to work wit Android app – so virtualization is of the table for that particular need, but not unwanted either for other tasks. So there will be a lot of testing losing time and nerves over it and huge disappointment over Linux Distros just like in the past. Nothing changes with Linux thus Microsoft can play rough ! At the end i might be forced to buy over expensive Android Table coz i need big screen and latest Android 11 supported on 64 bit hardware ! Remix OS cant be used also Phoenix OS if anyone lifting eyebrow here – not working at all. So that’s my negative experience and have been use computer as for few years before milenium. Linux was overcomplicated to use in some cases, no software needed existed under Linux or for that distro, not compatible software between Linuxes, have to use more than one OS, install procedures, forced CLI, no package managers, even as per to day in some … etc … all well known issues with Linux. Open source, let put it the way it really is – constant free as free problems all the time – nothing less nothing more. Linux is still the most strictly dedicated OS for what ever purpose developed, but as a desktop OS poorly supported and adopted. Too much freedom is a total anarchistic mess, we need some sort of freedom tidiness in Linux world.

    • Sounds like you need compatible hardware and probably need to study & learn linux before writing any more reviews, better yet stay with Windows or macos. Linux supports most hardware today (except NVIDIA gpu’s which will work but are finicky if you dont have the right drivers, this was most likely your problem but I would stay away from NVIDIA and go with AMD if you need a gpu). There are several places you can go to check compatibility; linuxhardware.org, ubuntu certified hardware website, and redhat certified hardware website to name a few. I have been using Linux for over 25 years and the only time I have had any issues was when I tried using unsupported hardware, most anything that runs on Windows in 2022 will run linux except for maybe just released cpu’s. Once you get a compatible machine you will hopefully find that Linux is one of the most trouble free OS’s out there, it just runs and never pukes the blue screen of death that Bill Gates’s virus infested OS’s are known for.

  2. Hello

    My name is Chris and I had nothing to do with IT and security two years ago. A typically Windows using stupid guy. But since some time, I get at least three VPN’s since I found the best for me NORDVPN… But now I do have bought an ACER Nitro with 16gb RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX , AMD Ryzen 7 and so on… BUT I DO NOT WANT TO STAY ONE MINUTE MORE with WINDOWS…
    So, I do need help, beeing a “newbe” in Linux things. I want a SAFE / SECURE / ANONYMOUS distro, but easy to install and run with a “beautiful” DESKTOP and I can work with it and install my two or three softwares I do pay for like tutanota.com, a private Mail-Server I can really recommend….

    I DO TRIED KODACHI, but there where ALL times difficulties with it and after I could read here… NO WAY.

    IS THERE ANYONE WHO COULD ADVISE ME AT THE BEGINNING? I AM THINKING ABOUT “openSUSE Tumbleweed” ?

    A Linux that I can run my GEFORCE GTX (I am not a gamer, but not having TV at home, I do look documentations and also good movies and I also bought an ACER with WQHD 2560 x 1440 I want to exploit and I do have enough place, 1000gb SSD.

    I also do hear about security packages like pfsense or IPFire to install on every Linux OS – but I really want to be 101% anonymous and safe from FACEBOOK & GOOGLE & F…. Co.

    SO, IS THERE ANYONE WHO WANTS TO HELP ME WITH TIPPS AND SO ON ?? I would be very, very gratefoul !!!

    • Hi Christian, Sorry I did not see this earlier, hopefully you have found a good Linux distro to use, if you have some linux experience Opensuse Tumbleweed is probably the most secure distro out there, I have done security testing on it with lynis and out of the box it scores in the low 90’s vs all the others Fedora, RHEL Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, macos, etc all score in the low 60’s meaning they need alot of security hardening to be considered really secure but even out of the box any of them are still more secure than Windows anyway. If you want to learn Linux I would highly recommend The Linux Bible by Christopher Negus, it will teach you all you need to know and get you started on your Linux journey. The best way to stay anonymous from Google and Facebook is to NOT use them period! They can track you through browser fingerprinting and webrtc among other ways which brings up another point. Nordvpn leaks most of the time, I used it with their cheap 2 year offer and found that some websites that I order from were tracking me even if I was logged on to another country, they would send me emails basically showing me items that I was looking at and recommending me to purchase (now thats creepy). Long story short I would ditch Nordvpn and go with Mullvad, it is a much better service does not leak and I have not had any issues since, on their website they do leak testing, log on to it with Nordvpn enabled and I bet it will show your connection is leaking, if you have to keep using Nordvpn at least install a webrtc plugin that lets you disable it.

  3. I have tried out kodachi and have found it to be highly secure and i am able to lock ports down when not needed.

  4. No matter what system you choose for your intended purpose there is a common downfall demoninator: the operator-you, me, whoever is using the system. Personally I use tails for browing and sending end to end encrypted files. My main goal is anonymity and security. Without privacy we have neither.

  5. I used to mess with Debian on an old… well not that old as it’s processor could likely give my current (granted refurbished,) laptop a run for its money. O do like what purism offers with their hardware. Unfortunately, I am finding that much of the PureOS seems to have bundled into it very ancient software. While that is in and of itself not necessarily a BAD thing, it does make me wonder if perhaps doing both the hardware and software may be causing both to not be as good as they could be. Since so many are working on GNU / Linux perhaps they may provide the best solution by focusing on open source hardware?

  6. you are missing the new Astralinux, fly is by far best desktop and file explorer experience I’ve ever had, it’s hardened by code and it was made from scratch, I have it on all my computers

  7. Subgraph OS deserves #1 easy to install and safe. Qubes is a great contender. rest is not even in the same league. But although not mentioned openSUSE Tumbleweed can be set up easy and secure too. For most starting Linux users concerned about security openSUSE Tumbleweed is already a leap forward and very easy to handle (especially when the user comes from a windows environment).

  8. Have downloaded and burned to cd/dvd – numbers 2,4,6,8,9,11 and found some are old outdated versions,Firefox is like version 49-57,or if FF ESR or Quantum is still outdated.Tails and Heads are okay as Live CDs,didn’t have user name and password for BlackArch, and when I finally got it, it wouldn’t run or install to HDD,subgraph said no hardware detected and no network card seen, so no Internet access, Ipredia OS was either old as or it was only 64 bit able,Subgraph OS and Discreet OS just didn’t run, install, or no hardware detected so no network card seen, so no Internet access.

    Kodachi – the most secure,has full protection , a free VPN … But if you go and look at the wrong website or download something from a torrent site, they may van you from their network,therefore pulling the plug on your free VPN protection, IP address hiding.Only indication is flashing red “You’ve been banned from our network” warning,no reason told you unless you contact the provider by email. Will try Parrot OS, but think I have before, and it was okay.
    Qubes looks good, but i couldn’t be bothered setting up the gateway then the workstation. Open OS firewall ran, but thats all.My try Pure and Alpine and see if they’re good.

  9. Kali Linux is actually one of the LEAST secure distros, since every session gives you root privileges without a password. This means that it’s easier to execute commands quickly, but it also poses a major security risk. Kali is specifically designed to attack OTHER computers to test them for security flaws. If you want a good pen-testing distro that you also want to use as your main distro, consider Parrot Security.

    • I was just getting ready to leave a comment also about that very thing. I think that the author used a very biased non objective view when writing opinion for #4. Great for hacking and very user friendly as opposed to Black Arch, CAINE, NST, and some of the more complicated ones like that that are hard to install and then do nothing but run, no complications. But Kali and the others I mentioned are pentesting distros, offensive and created with less emphasis on everyday user desktop security, Kali doesnt even come with TOR or AnonSurf ( Parrot Does ). I use Kali all of the time, I love it, but I personally think Parrot is better and Im liking Tsurgi also for its forensic tool set, Crypto coin, Forensic Imaging, Disk Forensics and many more, far more than what Kali has and retains some user friendliness on top of everything. A really nice OSINT suite also, with TOR available. I think of all the distros in this list for anyone who doesnt know very much about how to use Linux and reading this, youre better off just using Ubuntu and going from there… If youre coming from Windows then your already more secure out of the box plus its EXTREMELY user friendly, you dont have to use the terminal if youre non comfortable with it. Other than that I wouldnt try anything on this list except for Tails, Heads or Whonix and thats it or even Parrot cause I have a personal bias for recommending it. I myself have always wanted to try Whonix, I would have that as #1 then Heads/Tails and then Parrot and end the list there because all the rest either are pentesting platforms or just dont work or arent updated regularly or at all…… So anyone looking to try a secure Linux there you have it. The poster that I made this reply behind is right about Kali and probably would say similar to what I did here if he/she felt like typing so much lol…

      • “youre better off just using Ubuntu”

        I strongly advise against the use of Ubuntu for anyone concerned about privacy as it unfortunately has a history of data mining and other privacy/security related issues. If you look into its history, and even more recently, there’s a lot of warranted criticism. Most major distros like Mint switched from Ubuntu to Debian for good reason.

  10. Linux Kodachi would have been on the top if you have tested it I use to use tails but since I found Kodachi I say its the best when it comes to privacy and anonymity no one can beat it period.

  11. WOW! A lot to learn.
    I am new to Linux.
    I just bought a book, about Ubuntu.
    I am looking for high security, in all areas.
    I am a researcher, Investor, and I do some writing on a small scale and still learning to type, HA HA!
    I was a diesel Tec and an Instructor.
    Thank You, so very much!!

  12. You forgot the most secure of them all, Gentoo. Compiling executables from source and removing support for things that you do not need,extra languages, whittle out the kernel as only you need it, the list is quite extensive for it. That means a lot less for a hacker to utilize to get into your system. That and it has incremental updates. So you’re always at the latest but fixes and features.
    Sad that this one did not get mentioned. It would truly be at the top of them all.

      • I would say so. Do you (Jonathon) know how to build a systemd platform from scratch? Do you believe that Windows is more secure than Qube OS? Remember that in one case you depend on the perfection of systemd (almost 100% Red Hat) and in the other case you depend on the perfection of the Windows 10 kernel (almost 100% Microsoft).

        Distributed development of critical software elements is crucial for a secure OS (IMHO), but if you ignore that requirement, like most of the world, then I would recommend you use Chrome OS with Linux and/or Windows in VMs. Chrome OS is about as inherently secure as Windows or Fedora (Qubes) and probably has more open source code as Fedora. And provides a simpler VM architecture, so it’s less likely to be hackable.

        But you might disagree on almost all those counts.

        • Compiling software by yourself doesn’t make it safe. Isolated virtualization of apps remove many attack vectors, however.

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