In this tutorial, you will be learning how to install Kali Linux on the hard drive of a dedicated machine from a USB drive and a Virtual Machine (VM) using VMware Player. The installation procedure on the hard drive and the virtual machine is the same, so you’ll be looking at the differences only.
The differences between the two installation methods are mostly limited to the installation media and defining the virtual machine settings. If you have the luxury of choosing between a virtual machine and a dedicated machine to install Kali Linux on, we suggest using the dedicated device.
Apart from the fact that a Virtual machine will consume a lot of resources on your computer, Kali Linux is said to run more stable on a dedicated machine and, in most cases, a lot faster, too.
Table of contents for quick access:
- Installing Kali Linux on Your Hard Drive
- Installing Kali Linux on a Virtual Machine
- Kali Linux Installation Procedure
- Update Kali Linux
- Kali Linux Installation Video Tutorial
As stated above, this tutorial will guide you through the steps of installing Kali Linux on your laptop’s hard drive using a USB drive. Installing Kali Linux on a hard drive is a tad bit different than installing it on a virtual machine (VM) since you must write the ISO to the USB drive, as well as booting the system from that same hard drive. If you haven’t downloaded the ISO image as of yet, then download Kali Linux from the official website.
After downloading the ISO file from the official Kali website, you can use Win32DiskImager to write the ISO to a formatted USB drive. Don’t worry, it’s totally free and safe to download.
Once you have installed Win32DiskImager, select the Linux Kali image, and then pick the USB drive, you’ll be using to install Kali.
When the transfer has finished, reboot your computer so that it boots Kali Linux from the USB. If the system fails to restart automatically into Kali, you’ll have to reboot it again, and press F12 as your computer begins to boot again. You will find yourself in the BIOS menu.
The BIOS menu will offer you the option to change the boot order of your machine so it will boot from the USB when you reboot the system again. If everything goes right, the computer should automatically boot into the Linux Kali installation menu.
When you want to run Kali Linux on a virtual machine you have two options: 1. Download the installation ISO and install the operating system yourself. 2. Download a virtual machine image with Kali pre-installed and skip the installation process. This tutorial covers the first option since the second option is self-explanatory.
After downloading the installation ISO from the official website you’ll need to download VMware player. VMware player is the free version for non-commercial use and can be downloaded here. After the installing VMware Player start it and create a new virtual machine from the Player menu:
Then select the downloaded Kali ISO and click next:
In the following menu, you need to specify the type and version of the operating system you want to install. Since Kali Linux is based on Debian Linux we select Linux and Debian 7.x or Debian 7.x 64 bit as the version depends on the version you downloaded earlier.
Click next to proceed the Kali Linux installation.
Then the installer will ask for a location to save the virtual machine image and needs the name of the VM specified. For the purpose of this exercise, call it “Debian 7.x 64-bit – Kali Linux” and click “Next.”
In the next menu, specify the maximum disk size of the image and how we want to store the virtual disk – as a single file or in multiple files. For now, keep the default settings regarding the maximum disk size and choose to store the virtual disc as a single file.
In the next menu, specify the virtual machine settings related to resources and networking options.
Click on the customize hardware button to change these settings.
First, click on the memory device and set the memory to at least two GB. If you have a lot of free memory available you can also set it higher.
We advise you to allocate one processor core to the virtual machine if you can, but you can also choose to allocate two to four cores, depending on how much processor power you have available on your host machine.
Second, change the network settings from “NAT” to “Bridged” mode. Then click the “Configure Adapters” buttons and select the network interface you want your virtual machine to use.
In our case, we selected the Realtek RTL 8187 network interface. We kept the other settings as default.
Save your virtual machine settings and click the “Finish” button. Your virtual machine is ready for the Kali Linux installation procedure.
To start the installation procedure, you need to select the new virtual machine and click “Play Virtual Machine”. The virtual machine will boot into the Kali Linux installation menu.
After having set up your virtual machine or USB device with the installation ISO, continue with the actual Kali Linux installation procedure. The installation procedure is pretty similar on both machines but the differences or specific bugs for both platforms will be highlighted.
After starting the machine on which you will be installing Kali Linux, you will be presented with the installation menu.
The Kali Linux installation menu looks as follows:
In this menu, choose to install Kali Linux using the regular installation menu.
Choose “Install” from the menu and press enter.
In the language menu, select the desired language you want to use in Kali Linux and press enter.
The next step in the installation procedure is the location. Select your location and press enter.
Then we need to select the keymap we want to use for the keyboard. Select it and press enter.
After pressing enter the installation process is started. Wait for it to finish, this might take a little while.
At this point, you can get an error related to your CDROM drive when you are installing Kali Linux on a hard drive from a USB device. The following error will be presented on your screen:
And after trying to mount it again:
Select Yes and press enter. It will fail again to mount a CD ROM and you will be presented a few options to continue the installation procedure. From these options, you should choose to start a command line. Use the command line to mount your USB device using the following command:
The USB device will be mounted and the installation process should continue as normal. Some users reported they had this issue solved by removing and reconnecting the USB device. We tried this procedure but unfortunately, it did not work in our case.
Another error that might pop-up during the installation process is an error regarding to your network settings. You can solve this error on your virtual machine by using your host OS to connect to a network using the network device we’ve specified for the VM earlier. You can also skip the error and configure the network settings later after the installation procedure has been finished.
Next, we need to specify a hostname for our Kali Linux installation. We’ll keep it default and press enter to continue:
We’ll keep the domain name settings default as well, which is blank, and we’ll continue the installation by pressing enter.
In the following menu, we need to specify an administrator/root password. Choose a password and continue the installation procedure.
Re-enter the root password and continue:
Now we need to select our time zone to configure the clock. Select your time zone and press enter to continue.
Now we need to partition the disks we want to install Kali Linux on. We will use the guided partitioning method on the entire disk.
In the following menu, we need to select the disk we want to install Kali on. When you’re installing Kali on a virtual machine there will be one disc available which you should choose. When you’re installing Kali on a hard drive be sure to select the right hard drive because it will be formatted before installation. Choosing the wrong drive might cause permanent data loss which can be hard to recover. All data on the selected drive will be erased!
In the following menu, we can choose how to partition the selected drive. We’ll choose for the default and recommended option: All files in one partition.
The following menu will show us an overview of the selected partitioning options. Read through them carefully and press enter to start the partitioning process.
Confirm again by selecting yes and press enter:
The disc will be formatted and partitioned and the installation procedure will start automatically. Now grab a cup of coffee or another drink to recover from all this hard work because this might take a while to finish 😉
Close to the end of the installation you’ll be asked to use a network mirror, you can ignore this setting and choose no. After that you will be presented the following menu:
Choose yes and press enter to continue. In the next menu choose the disk you’ve installed Kali Linux on /dev/sda
The installation procedure has been finished, choose to reboot and start into Kali Linux. If you installed Kali Linux from a USB device be sure to remove it before rebooting. Otherwise, you will trigger the installation process again.
Thank you for following this tutorial on Hacking Tutorials. We hope it was helpful to you and that you were able to successfully complete the installation process without any error.
Do not hesitate to ask questions about this tutorial or other hacking tutorials using the comment function below, social media or e-mail.
You are now ready to follow any other hacking tutorial on hackingtutorials.org because most of them use Kali Linux as operating systems and the included tools like Metasploit, Websploit and the Aircrack-Ng suite for Wifi Hacking.
After rebooting and logging into our fresh Kali Linux installation it is suggested to run an update on the OS and installed components. You can do this by opening a terminal and type the following commands:
Choose yes and wait for the updating process to finish. Depending on the downloaded images, the available updates and your connection speed, this process might consume a lot of time.