How to Install Kali Linux in 10 minutes

Last updated on September 2nd, 2021 at 06:20 pm


Installing Kali Linux is a relatively simple and straightforward process. However, there are many different options along the way, as well as potential pitfalls.

In this article I am going to guide you through the process.

Let’s go!

Step 1. Download Kali

Firstly, go to the official website and download the image file. If you are trying to install Kali on a desktop, then most of the time you will need “Kali Linux 64-bit Installer” image, unless you’ve got a 32-bit CPU.

How do you know which CPU you have? Some information how to check it can be found here.

Step 2. Verify the hash

Next, verify the hash. If you are using linux, checking the hash is as simple as typing

sha256sum kali-linux-2021.1-installer-amd64.iso

in the terminal for the 64-bit image.

In Windows you can use the following command:

certUtil -hashfile kali-linux-2021.1-installer-amd64.iso SHA256

Step 3. Create a bootable USB-stick

My favorite utility for linux is dd. Be careful, though, or you can easily destroy your disk by typing the wrong disk letter.

For Windows I usually use Rufus. It’s a very convenient tool that works well with most linux images.

Step 4. Boot from the image

Kali Linux Boot Menu
Kali Boot Menu

If everything went well, you will see this screen. Choose “Graphical install”.

Select language menu
Select Language
Select location menu
Select Location
Configure the keyboard menu
Configure the Keyboard

After that select your language, location, keyboard layout and press Continue.

Step 5. Configure your network

Configure the network screen
Choose your Hostname
Configure the network screen (domain name)
Configure the network screen (domain name)

Choose your hostname and your domain name, if you are using one, and proceed to the next step.

Step 6. Set up users

Set up users and passwords
Enter Your Name
Set up users and passwords (username)
Choose a username
Set up users and passwords (password)
Choose your password

Enter your name, username and a password for your account. The username and the password will be used to log into the system.

Configure the clock
Select your timezone

Next, choose your timezone.

Step 7. Partition your hard-drive

Disk partitioning menu
Disk partitioning menu

Now we’ve come to disk partitioning. If you are willing to use the entire disk, I recommend choosing use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM option. This way you can enjoy full disk encryption and avoid complex manual partitioning.

Disk partitioning menu
Select the disk

Start with selecting the disk to use for the installation. Note that unless you chose manual partitioning, all the data on the disk will be erased.

Disk partitioning menu
Select partitioning scheme

Depending on your disk size you will have one or more different partitioning schemes. Select the one that is more convenient for you.

Disk partitioning menu (LVM)
Write changes to disk

After that select yes to confirm the disk changes and write them to the disk.

Random data overwrite
Random data overwrite

The random data overwrite is used prevent an attacker to determine how much and where on the partition data was written. However, it might take a significant amount of time, depending on your disk size. You can skip this step by pressing Cancel.

Encryption passphrase
Choose a passphrase for encrypted disk

Choose a passphrase to encrypt the disk. Make sure you remember it or write it down. You won’t be able to boot the system or recover any information from the disk if you forget it.

LVM size
Choose the size of the volume group
Finish partitioning
Finish partitioning

Finally, choose the size of the volume group, if you selected LVM, check the created partitioning scheme, press Continue and choose Yes when you are asked to write changes to disks.

Step 8. Select system components

Software selection
Select system components

Here you can choose which components you want to install. You can choose between XFCE, GNOME and KDE as your desktop environment and a set of additional tools that you want to use.

Step 9. Install GRUB

Install the GRUB boot loader
Install GRUB

On this screen the installer offers you to install GRUB boot loader. If you choose No, then next time you boot your system it will be impossible to boot into Kali Linux, unless you have another Linux distribution installed, which you can use to add Kali Linux to your boot loader.

In other words, you should choose Yes in most of the cases.

Finish the installation
Restart the system

Wait for the installer to finish installation and reboot the system.

Step 10. Boot into Kali Linux

Unlock the disk
Enter encryption password

If you chose to encrypt your disk, you will see this screen when you boot from your hard drive. Enter your encryption passphrase that you created while partitioning the disks and press Enter.

Log into the system
Log into the system
Start using Kali Linux
Start using Kali Linux

Congratulations! You can use Kali Linux now.

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