ParrotOS Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use ParrotOS?

Penetration testing is a time intensive job, maintaining your toolkit shouldn't be also. We make it easier for professionals to accomplish the important stuff by reducing the time and effort wasted making sure their tools work.

Not sure if Parrot is for you? Check out "Should I use Parrot?" to be sure.

What is the default live password?

Live user: user Live pass: toor

Parrot may not have a root password since Parrot 4.4, to launch programs as root or to obtain a root terminal, use sudo

How do I upgrade my system?

First please, do NOT use apt-get upgrade. Because ParrotOS is a rolling distribution and how APT works, the command will cause considerable problems to your system. We don't recommend apt-get in general as the command is not really meant for end-users. The following are the recommended ways to update your system:

1) First method

Open a terminal window (default is Alt+T) and launch the following command:

sudo parrot-upgrade

2) Second method

Open a terminal window and launch the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

3) Third method

Open System > Administration > Package Manager (synaptic)

Then click on the button to update the packages list.

Click on the other button to select the upgrades and finally apply the changes.

Security or Home edition, which one should i choose?

Parrot Home Edition and Parrot Security Edition are identical, and the only difference between them is the set of software that comes pre-installed.

Parrot OS Home Edition comes with no security tools, while Parrot OS Security Edition comes with all the hacking and pentest tools pre-installed.

You can install Parrot Home and install only the hacking tools you actually need, or you can install all of them at once with sudo apt install parrot-tools-full

You can also install Parrot Home as your primary OS and then install the Security Edition as a virtual machine to isolate your home environment form your working one.

MATE or KDE, which one should i choose?

MATE is our primary Desktop Environment and it is what we consider to be the default one.

If you don't know which one to choose, go with the MATE edition.

KDE Plasma is another Desktop Environment with a different look and feel that you can try if the MATE edition is not for you.

We also support other desktop environments like XFCE and i3, but these are experimental and it is up to you to customize them to fit your needs.

Why isn't $toolname installed?

We have a set of prerequisites to check before a tool makes its way into our repositories such as:

  • Is the tool actively maintained?

  • Does it have the necessary documentation?

  • Is it FLOSS, FOSS or does it's license allow redistribution?

  • Are there other tools that do the same thing?

  • Is there someone available to package and maintain it?

and more[...];

If the answers were “Yes” we're more than glad to take your request via our Community Portal.

Where can bugs be submitted?

If the bug involves a specific piece of software maintained by Parrot, then search the project on our Dev Portal and open an issue.

If the bug involves a software package that is not listed, then you should contact the maintainer of that particular software.

If you are not sure what software is involved, or if you don't know how to contact the upstream developer, then contact us on our Community Portal

What should my sources.list look like?

/etc/apt/sources.list should be EMPTY

/etc/apt/sources.list.d/parrot.list should contain the following content

deb rolling main contrib non-free
#deb-src rolling main contrib non-free
deb rolling-security main contrib non-free
#deb-src rolling-security main contrib non-free

The installer wants a CD/DVD but I'm using a USB drive.

If this happens, then you did something terribly wrong during the creation of the USB bootable device.

This usually happens when you use software that doesn't respect the isohybrid standards.

The following page will describe the issue, how to fix it and why it can occur.

Create a Boot Device

How do I prepare a bootable Parrot USB drive?

1) Download Etcher from our Download page or directly from

2) Download the ISO file of the Parrot version you need from our our Download Page

3) Use Etcher to flash the ISO file into a free pen drive (the pen drive will be erased).

Read more here.

I'm new to Linux, please help me!

Of Course! Please check out helpme, the Using ParrotOS pages and the further reading. We also strongly recommend taking the EdX course by the Linux Foundation.

Should I encrypt my harddrive?

Yes, always. Do it during your initial install or you will need to reinstall.

My hardware is xyz-super-cool gizmo . . . will it run ParrotOS?

Maybe, check our supported hardware page.

Can you teach me how to hack, become a Linux uber-duber user, or live a holy life like Cucumber Bob?

Uh no. Nooope. . . You do not know deh way.
Seriously, reading will lead you down the path of autodidactic salvation.

How can I disable the GUI update reminder?

Please see here

I can't login at startup as root?

That is by design, use sudo instead.

How do I setup auto-login?

Our OVA images are already configured for auto-login (any passwords needed are on the desktop). We don't recommend or support auto-login for our other builds.

Does Parrot Replace Heads/Tails?

No, although similar Parrot isn't designed to replace or be used as a Heads/Tails system.

What is the difference between Kali Linux and ParrotOS?

There are several and we think you should try both to really get a solid feeling of which one fits you best.

Can I contribute to this FAQ?

Of course! The pages are written in Markdown and can be accessed here.



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