2019.4 includes some exciting new updates:
- A new default desktop environment, Xfce
- New GTK3 theme (for Gnome and Xfce)
- Introduction of “Kali Undercover” mode
- Kali Documentation has a new home and is now Git powered
- Public Packaging – getting your tools into Kali
- Kali NetHunter KeX – Full Kali desktop on Android
- BTRFS during setup
- Added PowerShell
- The kernel is upgraded to version 5.3.9
- … Plus the normal bugs fixes and updates.
New Desktop Environment and GTK3 Theme
There are a ton of updates to go over for this release, but the most in your face item that everyone is going to notice first are the changes to the desktop environment and theme. So let’s cover that first.
An update to the desktop environment has been a long time coming:
- Performance issues – Gnome is a fully-featured desktop environment with a ton of awesome things it can do. But all these features comes with overhead, often overhead that is not useful for a distribution like Kali. We wanted to speed things up, and have a desktop environment that does only what it’s needed for, and nothing else. Gnome has been overkill for most Kali users, as many just want a window manager that allows you to run multiple terminal windows at once, and a web browser.
- Fractured user experience – We support a range of hardware, from the very high end to the very low. Because of this, traditionally our lower-end ARM builds have had a completely different UI than our standard. That’s not optimal, and we wanted to unify this experience so it did not matter if you were running on a bare metal install on a high end laptop or using a Raspberry Pi, the UI should be the same.
- Modern look – We have been using the same UI for quite a while now, and our old theme maintainer had moved on due to lack of time. So we wanted to go with something fresh, new, and modern.
Say you are working in a public place, hacking away, and you might not want the distinctive Kali dragon for everyone to see and wonder what it is you are doing. So, there are a new little script that will change your Kali theme to look like a default Windows installation. That way, you can work a bit more incognito. After you are done and in a more private place, run the script again and you switch back to your Kali theme. Like magic!
More info here.