17 Most Common OS’s – Network Pentesting

Before you read the table below, I want to first say nixOS is one of my favorite OS’s used for network pentesting, followed by Kali. Neither are found on the table below, because this is a list of common OS’s found in organizations/in the wild.

No.Operating SystemURLDescription
1Windows 10Microsoft Windows 10Windows 10 is the latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, known for its widespread use in personal computers.
2Windows 7Microsoft Windows 7Windows 7, although now outdated, is still encountered in some systems; it was widely popular for its stability and features.
3Windows Server 2019Windows Server 2019Windows Server 2019 is a server operating system developed by Microsoft, designed for enterprise-level server applications.
4macOS CatalinamacOS CatalinamacOS Catalina is the sixteenth major release of macOS, Apple’s desktop operating system, known for its sleek design and performance.
5Ubuntu 20.04 LTSUbuntu 20.04 LTSUbuntu 20.04 LTS is a long-term support release of the Ubuntu operating system, favored for its open-source nature and user-friendly interface.
6CentOS 7CentOS 7CentOS 7 is a Linux distribution that provides a free, open-source alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, commonly used in server environments.
7Debian 10Debian 10Debian 10, code-named Buster, is a stable version of the Debian operating system known for its commitment to free and open-source software.
8Android 10Android 10Android 10 is a mobile operating system developed by Google, widely used in smartphones and tablets, known for its customizable features.
9iOS 14iOS 14iOS 14 is the fourteenth major release of the iOS operating system, powering Apple’s mobile devices, celebrated for its security features and performance.
10Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8RHEL 8Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is a distribution of the Linux operating system designed for business environments, known for its stability and support.
11Fedora 33Fedora 33Fedora 33 is a community-driven Linux distribution known for its cutting-edge features and commitment to free and open-source software.
12Kali LinuxKali LinuxKali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution designed for penetration testing and ethical hacking, equipped with various security tools.
13FreeBSD 12FreeBSD 12FreeBSD 12 is a Unix-like operating system known for its advanced networking capabilities and focus on performance and stability.
14Arch LinuxArch LinuxArch Linux is a rolling-release Linux distribution known for its simplicity and customization, popular among experienced Linux users.
15Chrome OSChrome OSChrome OS is a Linux-based operating system developed by Google, designed primarily for use with Chromebooks and Chrome devices.
16Solaris 11Solaris 11Solaris 11 is a Unix operating system developed by Oracle, known for its scalability and reliability, often used in enterprise environments.
17OpenSUSE Leap 15OpenSUSE Leap 15OpenSUSE Leap 15 is a community-driven Linux distribution known for its stability and compatibility, suitable for both desktop and server use.

We delve into the intricacies of the 17 most common operating systems found in the wild, shedding light on their unique features, applications, and significance in the ever-evolving world of technology. This comprehensive overview aims to equip readers with a nuanced understanding of the OS landscape and its implications for cybersecurity, emphasizing the role of network pentests in ensuring robust system defenses.

  1. Windows 10:
  • URL: Microsoft Windows 10
  • Description: Windows 10 stands as the latest iteration of Microsoft’s widely adopted operating system, known for its intuitive user interface and broad application in personal computing. Network pentests play a crucial role in assessing the security of Windows 10, uncovering potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors aiming for unauthorized access.
  1. Windows 7:
  • URL: Microsoft Windows 7
  • Description: Despite its phased-out status, Windows 7 continues to linger in some systems. Network pentests become instrumental in evaluating the security of legacy Windows 7 installations, ensuring that these systems are not susceptible to exploitation, especially in environments where upgrading to newer OS versions may not be immediately feasible.
  1. Windows Server 2019:
  • URL: Windows Server 2019
  • Description: Tailored for enterprise-level server applications, Windows Server 2019 powers the backend of numerous organizations. Network pentests on Windows Server 2019 assess the robustness of server-side security, scrutinizing potential vulnerabilities that could compromise critical systems and services.
  1. macOS Catalina:
  • URL: macOS Catalina
  • Description: Apple’s macOS Catalina is renowned for its sleek design and performance. Network pentests on macOS environments focus on ensuring the integrity of Apple’s operating system, preventing unauthorized access and data breaches that could impact users of Mac devices.
  1. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS:
  • URL: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
  • Description: Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution, offers Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as a stable release. Network pentests on Ubuntu environments are essential to fortify the security of Linux-based systems, particularly those used for desktop computing, ensuring resistance against network-based attacks.
  1. CentOS 7:
  • URL: CentOS 7
  • Description: As a free and open-source alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS 7 finds its place in server environments. Network pentests on CentOS 7 scrutinize the Linux distribution’s defenses, contributing to the creation of secure server infrastructures.
  1. Debian 10:
  • URL: Debian 10
  • Description: Debian 10, codenamed Buster, upholds the Debian project’s commitment to free and open-source software. Network pentests on Debian 10 contribute to the overall security of Debian-based systems, ensuring they adhere to rigorous standards of privacy and reliability.
  1. Android 10:
  • URL: Android 10
  • Description: Android 10, a mobile OS developed by Google, powers a significant portion of the world’s smartphones. Network pentests on Android environments are vital for securing mobile devices against a myriad of potential threats, safeguarding user data and privacy.
  1. iOS 14:
  • URL: iOS 14
  • Description: Apple’s iOS 14, the latest iteration of the iOS operating system, emphasizes security features and performance. Network pentests on iOS environments focus on protecting Apple’s mobile devices from network-based attacks, ensuring a resilient defense against evolving cyber threats.
  1. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8:
  • URL: RHEL 8
  • Description: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 serves as a robust operating system for business environments. Network pentests on RHEL 8 contribute to the security posture of enterprise-level systems, safeguarding against network-based exploits that could compromise sensitive data and services.
  1. Fedora 33:
  • URL: Fedora 33
  • Description: Fedora 33, a community-driven Linux distribution, embraces cutting-edge features and free software principles. Network pentests on Fedora 33 help fortify the Linux ecosystem, ensuring the resilience of systems that adopt bleeding-edge technologies.
  1. Kali Linux:
  • URL: Kali Linux
  • Description: Kali Linux is purpose-built for penetration testing and ethical hacking. Network pentests utilizing Kali Linux provide security professionals with a powerful toolkit to assess the vulnerabilities of systems, networks, and applications, underscoring the importance of proactive cybersecurity measures.
  1. FreeBSD 12:
  • URL: FreeBSD 12
  • Description: FreeBSD 12, a Unix-like operating system, prioritizes advanced networking capabilities and system stability. Network pentests on FreeBSD environments contribute to securing critical systems, ensuring they withstand network-based attacks and maintain optimal performance.
  1. Arch Linux:
  • *URL

:* Arch Linux

  • Description: Arch Linux, a rolling-release distribution, is favored for its simplicity and customization. Network pentests on Arch Linux environments focus on ensuring that systems maintain security while adopting a dynamic and continuously updated operating system.
  1. Chrome OS:
  • URL: Chrome OS
  • Description: Chrome OS, developed by Google, is designed for use with Chromebooks and Chrome devices. Network pentests on Chrome OS evaluate the security of these cloud-centric systems, safeguarding against network-based threats that may compromise user data.
  1. Solaris 11:
  • URL: Solaris 11
  • Description: Solaris 11, a Unix operating system by Oracle, is recognized for scalability and reliability. Network pentests on Solaris 11 contribute to maintaining the security of enterprise-level systems, ensuring they are resilient against network-based attacks and vulnerabilities.
  1. OpenSUSE Leap 15:
  • URL: OpenSUSE Leap 15
  • Description: OpenSUSE Leap 15, a community-driven Linux distribution, emphasizes stability and compatibility. Network pentests on OpenSUSE Leap 15 contribute to the overall security of Linux-based systems, fostering an environment where systems remain secure and performant.

Network pentests emerge as a crucial component in the proactive defense against cyber threats. As organizations and individuals navigate the diverse OS ecosystem, understanding the intricacies of each system becomes paramount to maintaining a secure digital environment. The insights gained from network pentests empower security professionals to identify vulnerabilities, fortify defenses, and ensure the integrity of systems across the broad spectrum of operating systems found in the wild.


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