Kali Linux is a distribution of Linux that we will be downloading in this tutorial. Linux was first developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991 as an open source alternative to Unix. Since Linux is open source volunteer developers code the kernel (the heart of the operating system that controls the CPU, RAM etc.), utilities, and applications. There are many distributions of Linux, among them Debian, RedHat, Ubuntu and more. Kali Linux is built from the Debian distribution. Kali was designed for penetration testers and hackers and comes with a significant amount of hacking tools.
To begin, go to https://www.kali.org and hover over the Downloads link at the top of the page and select Download Kali Linux. You have two choices to make before you select a link. You have a choose to download HTTP or Torrent, and then you must determine if your system is 32-bit or 64-bit. Most modern systems are 64-bit Intel or AMD CPU, but to make sure you can Control Panel -> System and Security -> System to check whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit. I did not choose Torrent because I am not familiar with torrenting applications (like BitTorrent). If you choose HTTP, then Kali will download like any other application to your system into the Downloads folder. So, to finalize I chose “Kali Linux 64-Bit (Installer)”. Once you have Kali downloaded, do not install anything yet as we need to talk about virtual machines.
Virtual machine (VM) technology allows you to run multiple operating systems on one type of hardware, for example your laptop or desktop. This means that you can continue to run MacOS or Windows and that you can have an instance of Linux running inside your original operating system. You don’t have to overwrite your existing operating system in order to learn Linux. Numerous virtual machine applications are available from VMWare, Oracle and Microsoft; but we will be installing Oracle’s free VirtualBox.
And here are the instructions for installing VirtualBox: go to https://www.virtualbox.org and click on the Downloads link in the left nav bar (see screen capture below).
Make sure you download the latest version and choose your current operating system
When the download has been completed, select the set-up file and you will be greeted by a familiar set-up wizard. Follow my screen shots and you should not get lost.
In figure 10 (below) you can give the operating system any Name you like (I just chose Kali for simplicity). The Type is Linux. And the Version is Debian (32-bit) or Debian (64-bit) depending on whether you downloaded Kali 32-bit or Kali 64-bit.
Note: Looking at figure 10 you may notice that for the Version I selected Debian (32-bit), but you may remember that earlier on in this tutorial I downloaded Kali 64-bit and so I should have chosen Debian (64-bit) … for some reason the ONLY choice I was given on this screen was Debian (32-bit). I am not sure why this happened and I wanted to finish the tutorial; and so I backtracked and downloaded Kali 32-bit. I am looking into this and will post an explanation when I find one in the near future.
Looking at the screen indicated by figure 11, it is recommended to not enter more than 25% of your RAM
If you choose Dynamically Allocated, the system will not take the entire maximum size you allocate for the virtual hard disk until you need it, saving more unused hard disk space for your host system. I suggest you select dynamically allocated.
The default is 8GB. I usually find that to be a bit small and recommend that you allocate 20–25GB at a minimum. Remember, if you chose to dynamically allocate hard drive space, it won’t use the space until you need it, and expanding your hard drive after it has already been allocated can be tricky, so better to err on the high side.
You will see that Kali is powered off. Click on the green Start arrow to the right
The VirtualBox Manager will then ask where to find the startup disk. You’ve already downloaded a disk image with the extension .iso, which should be in your Downloads folder (if you used a torrent to download Kali, the .iso file will be in the Downloads folder of your torrenting application). Click the folder icon to the right, navigate to the Downloads folder, and select the Kali image file (see figure 20)
The result should have been that I installed Kali Linux on a virtual machine but what I got was an error (see figure 21).
When I clicked on the details of the error I was given an explanation: AMD-V is disabled in the BIOS (or by the host OS). And so I went to Google and typed in “amd v is disabled in the bios virtualbox” and searched around for some answers. I found a helpful article, which is almost perfect: https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/access-bios-windows-10 . The only thing missing in this article is a step after Step 8, and that is when you Select UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart … while your PC is restarting tap F1 to enter the BIOS. Your system will restart and bring you to the BIOS.
When you are in the BIOS, look for BIOS Set Up (which should be F10). And then look for Virtualization Technology, which according to this error is disabled … click on it and select Enabled. Save your changes and restart your PC. Now when you try and power on Kali it should work. Congrats you installed Kali Linux on a virtual machine. My next post will be on how to set up Kali.