Is there a way to go from Kali light distro to full? Which packages do I need to install?


3 Answers 3


The sets of packages installed for the various flavours of Kali are defined in live-build-config. In this instance you need to look at the set of packages in Kali light and packages in Kali full: the latter adds kali-linux-full and kali-desktop-gnome.

So to get all the utilities installed in Kali full:

sudo apt-get install kali-linux-full

If you want to install the GNOME 3 desktop used by default in Kali full:

sudo apt-get install kali-desktop-gnome

If you want to uninstall the XFCE desktop used by default in Kali light:

sudo apt-get purge kali-desktop-xfce

You can use the full set of utilities from the XFCE desktop, so you may want to try out the various possibilities before uninstalling anything.


According to this question the Light distro has a lighter desktop environment and fewer packages. To go to the 'full' one, I would guess you just apt-get install the ones you need to use.

  • 2
    As a respectful counterpoint to @StephenKitt, you may not want to remove kali-desktop-xfce. My personal preference at the moment is LXDE but there's nothing wrong with XFCE as an environment. I find LXDE and XFCE to be faster and just as capable as full Gnome or KDE. I don't want to spawn another instance of the desktop wars debate here, but play with them; find out which desktop works for you.
    – Skrrp
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:12
  • 3
    @Skrrp Yes, XFCE is worth trying; I mentioned removing the XFCE meta-package because Kali full doesn't install it by default, that's all (so strictly speaking to get a setup identical to an initial installation of Kali full it needs to be removed). Aug 12, 2015 at 18:40
  • 2
    @StephenKitt I understand your explanation.
    – Skrrp
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:42
  • @StephenKitt Here you go. Thanks again. @ Skrrp i follow your suggestion for sure (also Gnome is another 900mb to download ;)) Aug 12, 2015 at 20:20
  • @FedericoPonzi unless you are paying per MB download, there is no reason to not download. Gnome and KDE are for sure 'easier' environments to use, XFCE and LXDE are for sure 'lighter' environments. If you're unrestricted by cost then try them all.
    – Skrrp
    Aug 12, 2015 at 20:44

Thanks! But which packets do i need? – Federico Ponzi Aug 12 at 14:21

I thinks that depend on what you use kali for. If you use kali for wifi cracking you may need to install aircrack-ng, hashcat and others driver for monitor mode.

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