Hey Mal, is your surname Ware (really bad Aussie humour
Seriously, the 'Buntus and the Linux Mints are really good starting points for someone new to Linux
They are "Debian-descendants", where Debian is like their father or grandfather.
Then there are "Debian-derivatives
" which are more closely related to Debian, and in the world of Penetration aka Pen Testing, which is what you are looking at, best known are Kali, by Offensive Security Ltd, and Parrot Security OS.
Both of these contain a plethora of tools for learning about "Ethical Hacking", which is where we believe you are headed.
Kali, however (and this likely applies to Parrot and others) is not what we recommend for those whom have had no other experience with at least several other home user Distros. If someone asks us "How do I install Kali?" we suggest they try a number of other Distros and come back to us in 12 months (arbitrary figure). You WILL, however, likely be using it in the fullness of time.
What is not so well known
, is that in quite a number of mainstream distros including your Ubuntu, you can install a number of the tools from your own Repositories (repos). Have you made the acquaintance of Synaptic Package Manager yet? If you cannot find it by starting to type it in your Dash, then it can be installed as follows
WIZARD'S RECOMMENDED READING
sudo apt-get install synaptic
Now when you have read those, and have an idea of some of the names, your can search through Synaptic for the ones you want to try.
I am writing this from one of my Linux Mints, but yours will be similar if not the same, in results generated:
SCREENSHOT 1 - PEN TESTING TOOLS SEARCHED FOR IN SYNAPTIC
You can see that I have in the background the Wikipedia article for reference, and then in Synaptic I have performed a search for a number of them. with a high percentage of hits.
So very many Linux Distros can be turned into your own Pen Testing laboratory.
If you choose to do so, then I would advocate your making the acquaintance of Timeshift. I have a Tute for it here
Timeshift is a bit like Windows Restore, but way more versatile, and it actually works (as a friend of mine says)
With Timeshift, you might take an On Demand snapshot of your system, before trying the pen testing tools, and then if anything goes wrong, you can rollback.