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How do I install Kali Linux on a virtual machine?

September 5, 2023

Reading time : 5 min


Are you interested in the fascinating world of cybersecurity and want to learn how to use Kali Linux, one of the most popular Linux distributions for security testing and pentesting?

In this article, we'll take you step-by-step through the process of installing Kali Linux on a VirtualBox virtual machine. Whether you're an inquisitive beginner or a computer security expert, you'll find valuable information on how to get the most out of this installation. And you, are you team #Kali or not my little script kiddies ?? #cybersecurity ♬ original sound - Stanislas | Seela

🥷 What is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution specially designed for computer security and penetration. It offers a wide range of pre-installed security tools, such as nmap, wireshark, metasploit and many others. This makes it a preferred choice for cybersecurity professionals and security researchers.

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How do I install Kali Linux?

There are several ways to install Kali Linux, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:

  1. Installation on a virtual machine (VirtualBox, VMware, etc.):
    This is the simplest method, and what we'll be looking at in this article. You can create a virtual machine on your computer using virtualization software such as VirtualBox or VMware. This allows you to run Kali Linux in parallel with your main operating system.

  2. Installation on a physical computer:
    If you wish to use Kali Linux as the main operating system on your computer, you can install it directly on your hardware. This method is more advanced and usually involves creating a bootable USB key with the Kali Linux ISO and installing from there.

  3. Installation as a virtual machine on the cloud:
    Some cloud computing platforms, such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, offer preconfigured images of Kali Linux that you can deploy as a virtual machine. This can be useful if you need a remote Kali Linux environment for security testing.

  4. Installation on a Raspberry Pi:
    You can install Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi to create a small, portable security testing device. This method is ideal for mobile IT security projects.

👀 Why use a VirtualBox virtual machine?

VirtualBox is a free, open-source virtualization solution that lets you run virtual operating systems on your computer. There are many advantages to using VirtualBox, including isolation from your host system, the flexibility to test different operating systems, and the ability to create snapshots to easily restore your virtual machine in the event of a problem.

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👀 Prerequisites for installing Kali Linux on a virtual machine

Before diving into the installation of Kali Linux on VirtualBox, make sure you have the following:

  • A powerful computer: Kali Linux can be resource-hungry, so make sure you have a computer with sufficient RAM memory and free disk space.

  • VirtualBox installed: Download and install VirtualBox from the official website.

  • Kali Linux ISO image: Download the latest version of the Kali Linux ISO image from the official website. (Please select the VirtualBox version)

  • A little time and patience: Installation can take some time, so be prepared to follow the steps carefully.

👀 Installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox

Now that you've got everything you need, we'll show you how to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox. Follow these simple steps:


Step 1: Create a new virtual machine

  1. Open VirtualBox and click on "New" to create a new virtual machine.
  2. Give your virtual machine a name, like "Kali Linux."
  3. Select the location of the Kali Linux ISO you've just downloaded
  4. Select "Linux" as type and "Debian (64-bit)" as version.
  5. Allocate the amount of RAM memory you wish to use for Kali Linux. We recommend allocating at least 2 GB of RAM for optimum performance.
  6. Create a new virtual hard disk by following the steps in the wizard. Make sure you allocate enough disk space for your needs.
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Step 2: Installing Kali Linux

  1. Start your virtual machine by clicking on "Start".
  2. Select "Install" from the Kali Linux start menu.
  3. Follow the steps to install Kali Linux, choosing your language, location, keyboard, etc.
  4. When you reach the disk partitioning stage, you can choose the "Use whole disk" option if you don't want to customize partitions.
  5. There you go!
illustration kali linux

Installing Kali Linux on a VirtualBox virtual machine is an essential step for those wishing to delve into the world of cybersecurity. By following this guide, you've learned how to create a virtual machine, configure VirtualBox and install Kali Linux. Now you're ready to explore the many possibilities that Kali Linux offers for IT security.

Remember to always use Kali Linux ethically and legally, respecting the privacy and security of others.

Enjoy exploring the world of cybersecurity!

Of course, you can install Kali Linux as the main operating system on your computer. However, bear in mind that Kali Linux is primarily intended for use as a test and security system. Installing it as the main system may lead to disadvantages in terms of compatibility with certain software.

To update Kali Linux after installation, open a terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This will update all the packages installed on your system.

Yes, Kali Linux is open-source software and totally legal to use for security testing and learning purposes. However, its use for malicious purposes is illegal.

Absolutely! You can customize your Kali Linux environment by installing new tools, changing the look and feel, adding themes, and much more. That's one of the advantages of using Linux.

To secure your Kali Linux virtual machine, make sure you regularly update the system and tools, activate a firewall, don't run penetration testing tools against systems you don't have permission to access, and follow good IT security practices.

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