know the ideal operating system for Internet research

Whether you are learning OSINT on your own as a hobby or your job requires heavy doses of Internet research, this operating system might interest you. While Kali Linux is widely known as the best OS for computer security, Sherlock Linux aims to be the default system for experts in research and analysis of open source data, although it bears some similarity to Kali.

It is a not so well-known open source Debian distribution that includes a huge catalog of tools specially designed to explore, investigate and extract data from the Internet. Using its name as a clear reference to how useful it will be for detectives or investigators in various areas, Sherlock Linux is designed to exploit the potential of OSINTacronym for open-source intelligence or open source intelligence.

Although some of its features and functions overlap with the range of tools that other hackers or cybersecurity professionals would use, Sherlock Linux comes with dozens of built-in programs or quick accesses to geolocate things or people, create identities false or temporary to investigate without the target knowing, search emails or phones.

Many of these facilities are simply pages added to favorites in advance in the Mozilla and Chrome browsers included in the system, however, having such an optimized environment can greatly facilitate the work of those who carry out research with this type of techniques. Of course it also includes the browser Thor to guarantee anonymity, as well as Maltego either YaCy to collect and organize information.

Also in the favorites tabs we will find direct access to user search websites on social networks, creation of temporary emails, tools to receive online SMS, blockchain explorers or access to public transportation or airport information, just to name a few. All desktop and web applications as well as console applications and favorites included in the operating system are detailed on its official documentation page.

This Linux-based distribution was first released in June 2023, receiving an update in December of the same year that transformed the distro into Sherlock Linux V2. This new version updated the core to Debian 12.4.0 and included 5 new OSINT tools: GHunt, GoBuster, IVRE, Mr Holmes or Tor Bot, as stated on their blog.

From their website, they allow you to download Sherlock Linux in formats .ova for use in a virtual machine or image .iso.

More systems for OSINT

This is not the only operating system designed specifically for Internet research or security or privacy work. The X user lists some others like Arch Linux, Black Arch Linux, Whonix, Huron, Dora, Samurai WTF or Demon Linux. We recommend maximum caution and take appropriate security measures before deciding to install this or another operating system on your computer.

Open source research is an interesting and useful discipline for various sectors such as public or private security, market intelligence, journalism, cybersecurity or academic or other researchers.

Both due to the growing amount of information that users share, as well as the security breaches suffered by platforms or companies that release large databases on the Internet, OSINT is one more way to extract information available on the Internet about any person.

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