A desktop computer has many advantages: it`s more powerful, it`s cheaper, it`s easier to upgrade and repair, it has a better keyboard, more ports, a bigger screen, and more. And only one drawback - the lack of mobility. If you are not faced with the task of going to objects, and in general you are just learning, then a desktop computer will be preferable.


What are the best laptops for hacking The Intelligent Investor
Do not use VPS for vulnerability analysis and even port scanning without prior permission…

Linux or Windows for hacking?

This question is almost that important as the question about the What are the best laptops for hacking. Most of the programs that are used in pentesting from Linux are cross-platform and work great on Windows. The only exceptions are programs for Wi-Fi. And even then it's not about the programs themselves (Aircrack-ng, for example, is a cross-platform set of programs that comes with official binaries for Windows), but in the network adapter monitor mode in Windows.

Nmap, Wireshark, Ncrack, Maltego, Burp Suite, DNSChef, hashcat and many more come with official Windows executables.

sqlmap, WPScan, and in general, almost all "scripting" programs in Python and Ruby are cross-platform.

Java programs are cross-platform by definition.

Moreover, with drivers for AMD video cards in Windows, everything is easy and natural, unlike Linux, where the headache due to AMD video cards drags on for years ...

There is a whole cohort of programs that work only under Windows. An example is NirSoft's huge selection of programs that include forensic and outright hacking tools.

Windows has its own potential, there is Cygwin, which can do a lot of what the Linux command line is capable of. I have no doubt that there are a large number of pentesters who "sit" on Windows. In the end, the main thing is not what OS is installed, but an understanding of the technical aspects, an understanding of the network, web applications and other things, as well as the ability to use tools.

For those who choose Linux as their hacking platform OS, the benefits are that:

There are many ready-made distributions, where the corresponding profile programs are installed and configured. If all this is installed and configured in Windows, then it may turn out to be faster to deal with Linux.

The web applications under test, various servers and network equipment are usually running or based on Linux or something similar. Mastering the Linux OS, its basic commands, you simultaneously study the "purpose" of pentesting: you gain knowledge of how it works, what files can contain important information, what commands to enter in the resulting shell, etc.

Number of tutorials

All foreign books on pentesting (and I have not seen domestic ones) describe the work in Linux. Of course, you can think and shift the commands to Windows, but the effort spent on making sure everything works as it should be equal to the effort required to master Linux.

Well, Wi-Fi. On Linux, if your network card supports it, there is no problem with monitor mode.