How to Create a Bootable USB Installation for Kali Linux

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How to Create a Bootable USB Installation for Kali Linux

Like This Blog 2Mike Danseglio
Added by December 14, 2015

I use Kali Linux extensively when doing penetration testing and security assessments. Besides being fast, Kali Linux has pretty much every security tool I need built right in. On top of that, it’s free!

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Another benefit, the topic of this blog, is that Kali Linux is easily installed on and run from a USB stick. Here’s how you can make your own bootable Kali Linux USB stick.

First, gather the necessary supplies. These are:

  • A working PC running Windows 7 or later. I build the image from a current PC.
  • A blank USB stick. It must be 8GB or larger, and should be USB 3 for speed.
  • The original installation ISO from Kali.org. Do not download it from anywhere else, as you never know what you’re getting.
  • Win32 Disk Imager. I always grab the most current version directly from SourceForge.

Before messing with the software I insert the USB stick in the PC and make sure it is recognized. I also remove any other USB or removable media to prevent mishaps.

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Next, I fire up Win32 Disk Imager.

01-Create-a-Bootable-USB-Installation-for-Kali-Linux

It’s got a lovely clean interface! Notice how it found the USB stick mounted as drive E on the right side.

Now I click the blue folder icon to the right of the Image File box. This opens a file browse window. I browse to the downloaded Kali Linux ISO and click OK.

Special note: If the ISO doesn’t appear on the file list, drop down the file type and choose *.* because, by default, Win32 Disk Imager only displays IMG files.

02-Create-a-Bootable-USB-Installation-for-Kali-Linux

Now all I need to do is click Write. Win32 Disk Imager automatically formats the USB stick as bootable and copies the Kali Linux files into the proper locations.

After about 5 minutes Win32 Disk Imager announces that it’s finished. Now that USB stick can be used as a boot device (on any PC that boots to USB) to run Kali Linux.

Enjoy!

Mike Danseglio – CISSP, MCSE, and CEH

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Mike Danseglio teaches IT Security Training, Windows, System Center and Windows Server 2012 classes at Interface Technical Training. His classes are available in Phoenix, AZ and online with RemoteLive™.

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  1. Pingback: Here’s how you can make your own bootable Kali Linux installer on USB

  2. Zanco

    Will u share how to run Kali Linux as full installation on USB.

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