Kali Linux has come a long way since its BackTrack days, and it is still widely regarded as the ultimate Linux distribution for penetration testing. The system has undergone quite a transformation since its old days and includes an updated look, improved performance and some significant changes to how it is used.
Offensive Security is the team behind Kali Linux, a Debian-based system. Kali is the weapon of choice on Null Byte, and you can install it as your primary system (not recommended), use it with dual boot, use it in a virtual workstation or create a portable live version on a USB flash drive.
We will guide you through a very basic installation today, enough to get you started and follow with the Zero Byte guides. In fact, there are many things that can be done to customize the installation, but we just want the fast and dirty process.
What's new in Kali Linux?
In Kali Linux version 2019.4, released At the end of 2019, Offensive Security made significant changes to how Kali looks and feels. And its 2020.1 update, released in January 2020, was based on the new foundation.
Perhaps the most important update is the default desktop environment, which is now Xfce, a change most frequently made for performance-related issues. For most users, GNOME is exaggerated and a lightweight desktop environment like Xfce provides lower costs, resulting in smoother and faster performance. For all the tough GNOME fans out there, the previous desktop environment is still supported and even has an updated GTK3 theme.
Other new features include the introduction of undercover mode, new public packaging and documentation processes, an update to Kali NetHunter, the addition of PowerShell, non-root users are now standard, and other bug fixes and updates.
Choosing the Right Kali Linux
To get started, navigate to kali.org and go to the download page, where you can choose from a variety of images.
Available images include Kali Linux for both 64-bit and 32-bit architectures (via Installer), Little Editions (via NetInstaller) and Live versions, and there are links to downloads for the ARM architecture and VMware and VirtualBox virtual machines. How you want to use Kali is entirely up to you.
- The " Installer " links are for Intel-based computers and contain a copy of the standard packages. You can install Kali later with them without internet connection. These are good if Kali will be your primary operating system or part of a dual-boot system. For best performance without sacrificing your preferred primary system, dual booting is best.
- " NetInstaller " links are much smaller than those installed because they do not contain copies of the packages to be installed. These are only recommended if you do not have enough bandwidth to download a full version, as you probably want to install the missing packages at a later date.
- " VM " links are for installing Kali as a virtual machine on your primary system. The two virtual environments are compatible with VirtualBox (free) and VMware Workstation (not free). These are great options for Null Byte readers, as you can practice hooking between systems on a computer, which can prevent you from breaking cyber security laws. However, keep in mind that a decent amount of RAM is needed for everything to work smoothly, and to perform all wireless hacking, you need an external wireless adapter, one that you can put in monitor mode, preferably.
- Kali NetHunter is not listed for mobile devices, but you can find them on the Offensive Security website. They work on various Android devices, such as OnePlus, Sony Xperia and Nexus models.
If you want to run an older version of Kali, you can visit its older image index. While Kali 2020.1 replaced root users with non-root users by default, you might want to install a 2019 version instead, which still gives you most of the latest features offered. In this guide, I'm installing version 2019.4 as my primary system because I want to maintain the root user's default.
Once you have decided how you want to run Kali, click on the image name to download it. You can also hit the link "Torrent" instead if it will do the job better.
Installing Kali Linux
The process for installing Kali Linux will be different depending on which version you chose. VirtualBox, see our previous article on using Kali in VirtualBox on a Mac; The article is a bit old, but the process is generally the same and works on Windows. For help installing Live Images, the Wizard of Kitten, a Zero Byte reader, may be of some help.
I downloaded the image of Kali 2019.4 64-bit installer and burned ISO to a disk, and that is what I will show you today. After opening the installer, the Start menu offers several options. We keep it simple and do the graphic installation. At least 20 GB of disk space is recommended.
Then select the language and keyboard layout options.
Th en, enter a host name for the system.
Then set a password for the root user. Remember that if you install 2020.1 or higher, there is no root user by default, just a non-root user, but you can also set a custom password for the user.
Now set the desired time zone to configure the clock:
After that we can start partitioning the disk. We keep it simple again and use the "Guided" method. In my case the method "user disk".
After everything is configured, the changes are written to disk.
And the installation will start. It may take some time to do so.
A network mirror can be used to update the software during installation. If you are connected to a network, it usually makes sense to do so.
The GRUB boot loader must also be installed to allow the operating system to boot.
Finally, the installation is complete. Now we can restart the machine and restart in the new system.
When Kali starts, we will be presented with a new login prompt, which looks very different from Kali. version 2019.3 and older. If you installed 2019.4, the credentials would be the host name you chose and the root password you created, or the non-root user and password you created. For 2020.1 and later, "kali" and "kali" are the default user information for some installations as in VirtualBox. (The default voice user information used to be "root" and "toor.")
Now we can see the newly designed desktop, which uses the Xfce environment.  How to get started with Kali Linux 2020 ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>