Parrot is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Debian Testing and designed with Security, Development and Privacy in mind. It includes a full portable laboratory for security and digital forensics experts, but it also includes all you need to develop your own software or protect your privacy while surfing the net.



Always updated, frequently released and fully sandboxed! Everything is under your complete control.

Free (as in freedom)

Feel free to get the system, share with anyone, read the source code and change it as you want!
this system is made to respect your freedom, and it ever will be.


We care about resources consumption, and the system has proven to be extremely lightweight and run surprisingly fast even on very old hardware or with very limited resources.

A. Which Version Do You Use

Parrot Security

Parrot Security is our complete all-in-one environment for pentesting, privacy, digital forensics, reverse engineering and software development.

The system includes a full arsenal of security oriented tools to to ensure as security professional, you’ve got everything you need.

Parrot Home

Parrot Home is designed for daily use. It’s geared toward regular users who need a lightweight, always updated and beautiful system.

The distribution has the same look and feel of a regular Parrot environment and includes all the basic programs for daily work. Parrot Home also includes programs to chat privately, encrypt documents with the highest cryptographic standards or surf the net in a completely anonymous and secure way.

The system can also be used as a starting point to build a very customized pentesting platform with only the bare essentials, or you can use it to build your professional workstation by taking advantage of all the latest and most powerful technologies of Debian without the hassle.

Netinstall Images

Parrot offers netinstall images.

Netinstall images are special lightweight iso files containing only the installer.

The installer is configured to partition the disk, establish an internet connection and install the system from scratch by downloading all the packages via internet.

The netinstall image can be used to install only the headless Parrot Core, or it can be used to install different Desktop Environments.

Docker templates

Docker is a powerful containerization technology that allows the user to start multiple instances of a template and use them as isolated environments that can be destroyed and restarted in a matter of seconds.

A full virtual machine usually requires more computer resources (RAM, CPU time and storage), long installation and configuration times and maintenance.

The purpose of Parrot for Docker is to easily offer the whole Parrot toolkit on top of every operating system supported by Docker (*NIX distributions, Mac OS and Windows) without all the negative effects of a full virtualized environment.

You can fire up a Parrot container inside your existing system or using a cloud provider in just few seconds, and by using an extremely limited amount of resources (just the memory required by the individual tools you run).

If you want to perform more tests, each in an isolated environment/workspace, you can start multiple instances from the same Parrot template.

Open Virtualization Format

OVA is the standard for Virtual Machines and Parrot Linux is proud to offer OVA apps for both Parrot Home and Parrot Security.

Just import, configure system resources and start the VM.

Parrot Images


These images can be installed from removable DVD, USB or SD storage media.

The easiest way to prepare the installation media is to download any of the 64-bit Parrot images that will fit on the device and burn it. Of course this will destroy anything already there. Some BIOSes can boot USB or SD card storage directly or allow to boot temporarily from them, and some cannot. You may need to configure your BIOS to boot from a “Removable Drive” or even a “USB-ZIP” to get it done.

B. Installing Parrot


This image is intended to boot from small storage media (like an old USB drive or CD) and install additional packages over a network; hence the name ‘netinst’.

The image has the software components needed to run the installer and the base packages to provide a minimal Parrot system. There are several architectures to select: amd64, arm64 and armhf.

I have a Parrot USB or DVD, now what?

If you properly followed the precedent tutorial, then you have a bootable USB drive or DVD.

These storage devices can be used to boot the computer up with Parrot live environment.

Every computer firmware is different, and an unique omnicomprehensive tutorial to boot an external system from USB just does not exist.

It is your responsibility to know how your own computer works and how to change boot device on it.

Once you booted the system from the USB device you can choose many ways to boot the system from the Parrot Live Boot Menu.

Live Mode and Installer

The Parrot Boot Menu can let you install the system on your computer, or start it in Live Mode.

The live mode is a special boot mode offered by many linux distributions, including Parrot OS, which allows the users to load a fully working linux environment without the need to install it.

This is possible because the system is not loaded onto the system’s hard drive, instead it is loaded into memory.

Parrot OS offers the ability to install the OS while in the live environment offers the ability to test the system without interfering with the computer’s hard drive.

C. System Boot

So you’ve downloaded the ISO, you’ve burned it onto some media, and you’re ready to boot Parrot on your computer.

In order to do so, simply insert your boot media in the computer and reboot it. Now ensure your BIOS/UEFI is set to boot your removable media first or you’ll pass Parrot and go straight to your harddrive.

If everything goes well you will be greeted by the Parrot boot screen and soon on to endless fun.

By USB Drive

Obsolete computers

If you’re using a very old computer you might not be able to boot your system from a USB drive: in this case you will have to use a DVD or another device your computer will recognize as a boot device.

New computers

Most laptops allow you to access BIOS/Ueffi screen and/or booting menu pressing F2 or F12; for most desktop computers press F8; for other kind of devices try pressing esc, F12, f11 or F10. Google your manufacturer to find out what makes your system barf up its BIOS.

Boot Menu disabled

For some computers, the booting menu may be disabled by default: you will have to access the BIOS settings and enable it, then reboot the computer and press the right key to access the booting menu.

Boot Menu not available

Some computers allow you to boot the system from USB drives but don’t display a menu to select the booting device. If this is your case, you need to access the BIOS settings, go to the booting panel and change the order of booting devices, placing the USB drive on top of the list. Then simply reboot the computer and the BIOS will boot from USB drive.

Secure boot

In case you have a computer with Secure Boot enabled, you will have to access the BIOS settings, disable secure boot and set it to legacy boot. If your computer doesn’t provide a booting menu, follow the instructions displayed on this page in the section above (“Boot Menu not available”). If all else fails, google your make and model. Someone who attempted to install Linux might have a solution.

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