How do I install Kali Linux? Everything you need to know

If you are someone pursuing a career in information security, one of the most important things is a security-focused operating system. The right OS will help you efficiently complete time-consuming and tedious tasks. There are countless Linux-based OSs out there nowadays, but Kali Linux is arguably one of the best options out there. It is used by cybersecurity experts for penetration testing, ethical hacking, and network security assessments. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to install Kali Linux.

Let’s take a look at the topics covered in this article:

  • What is Kali Linux?
  • Why do people use Kali Linux?
  • How do I install Kali Linux?

Let’s start!

What is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux Is the industry-leading Linux distribution for penetration testing, ethical hacking, and security auditing.

When it comes to penetration testing, hacking and attacking Linux distros, Kali Linux should be mentioned first. The software comes with a set of different command line hacking tools designed to address various information security tasks. Such as penetration testing, network security, computer forensics and application security. Basically, Kali Linux is the best OS for ethical hackers, widely recognized in all parts of the world, even among Windows users who may not even know what Linux is.

So what makes Kali Linux the preferred choice over other Linux distributions like Parrot Security, Backbox, Blackarch and many more?

Why do people use Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is the preferred operating system for various information security tasks for the following reasons:

  • It offers over 600 penetration testing tools from various areas of security and forensics.
  • Fully customizable, so if you don’t like the current Kali Linux features, you can customize Kali Linux however you want.
  • Although penetration tools are usually written in English, Kali provides multilingual support.
  • It supports a wide variety of wireless devices.
  • Comes with a custom core patched for injection
  • Designed in a secure environment
  • It is free and open source software.

So, for the reasons stated above, Kali Linux is the most popular OS used by cybersecurity experts around the world. If you want to dive into the world of cybersecurity and ethical hacking, learning how to install Kali Linux is the first step.

How do I install Kali Linux?

Installing Kali Linux is a fairly straightforward process and you have several installation options. The most preferred ones are:

  1. Installing Kali Linux using Kali bootable USB stick (linux)
  2. Installing Kali Linux from a hard drive
  3. Using virtualization software such as VMware or VirtualBox.
  4. Dual booting Kali Linux with the operating system

Although you have several options to choose from, in this article, we will learn how to install Kali Linux using virtualization software. Following are the steps below, you can set up your machine with all the tools you need to perform a comprehensive penetration test.


  • A minimum of 20 GB of free hard disk space is recommended.
  • When using VMware or VirtualBox, a minimum of 4 GB of RAM is recommended.
  • CD-DVD drive / USB support

Getting started with the installation

Step 1. Install VMware

To run Kali Linux, we first need some kind of virtualization software. While there are many options to choose from, like Oracle VirtualBox, we prefer to use VMware. Once the installation is complete, launch VMware from the Applications folder.

Step 2. Boot Kali Linux and check the integrity of the image.

To download Kali Linux, you can go to the official download page and select the one that best suits your needs from there. Also, on the download page, you will find a set of hexadecimal numbers. And it’s not for fun. Kali Linux is designed to be used for security related tasks. So, you need to check the integrity of the downloaded image.

You should check the SHA-256 fingerprint of the file and compare it to the one listed on the download site.

Step 3. Start a new virtual machine

On the VMware Workstation Pro home page, click Create New Virtual Machine, select the Kali Linux iso file, select the guest operating system and configure the virtual machine settings (here Kali Linux). Start the virtual machine by selecting the Kali Linux virtual machine and then clicking the green “Power on” button.


Step 1. After turning on the computer, you will be prompted to select your preferred installation mode from the GRUB menu. Choose a graphical installation and proceed.

Step 2: On the next few screens, you will be prompted to select localization information such as your preferred language, your country location, and keyboard layout.

Step 3: After viewing the local information, the bootloader will automatically install some additional components and configure your network parameters. The installer will then ask for the hostname and domain for this installation. Enter the appropriate information for your environment and continue with the installation.

Step 4: Set a password for your Kali Linux machine and click Continue. DO NOT FORGET THIS PASSWORD.

Step 5: After setting the password, the installer will prompt you to set the time zone and then pause while partitioning the disk. The installer will now offer you four options for disk partitions. The easiest option for you is to use “Managed – Use Whole Disk”. Advanced users can use the Manual split method for more detailed parameter setting.

Step 6: Select the drive to partition (for new users, it is recommended to use all files in one partition) and click “Continue”.

Step 7: Confirm any changes that need to be made to disk on the host machine. Be aware that if you continue, THE DATA ON THE DISK WILL BE DELETED.

When you confirm the changes to the partition, the installer starts the process of installing the files. Let him install the system automatically, it may take some time …

Step 8: After installing the required files, the system will ask you if you would like to set up a network mirror for future software pieces and updates. Be sure to enable this feature if you want to use Kali repositories.

Have it set up the package manager related files and then …

Step 9: Next, you will be prompted to install the GRUB bootloader. Select Yes and select a device to write the necessary bootloader information to the hard drive that Kali needs to boot.

Step 10: After the installer finishes installing GRUB to disk, click “Continue” to complete the installation, it will install some final stage files.

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At this point, Kali has been successfully installed and you are ready to start your Kali Linux journey!