Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution that comes with a number of pre-installed penetration tools. The distro is mostly used by security enthusiasts to carry out security tests and it is purely opensource. Some of the security tasks that can be performed with Kali Linux include: Penetration testing, computer forensics, security research and reverse Engineering. Being used for security purposes, one would prefer to run Kali Linux as a virtual machine and run the other OS directly from the computer. You can use VMware workstation or Virtual box to run Kali Linux. In this guide, we are going to see how to install Kali Linux on Virtualbox.

Installing VirtualBox on Linux and Windows

To install VirtualBox, head over to Oracle official site for VirtualBox and download the corresponding package for your operating system. Once downloaded, you simply double-click on it to install. You can also check out our guide on how to install VirtualBox 6.x to install it from the terminal on Ubuntu/ Linux Mint. Remember that you can install VirtualBox on any base operating system including windows. The process for installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox will remain the same.

Install Kali Linux 2021.2 on Virtualbox

For this guide, we are going to use a Kali Linux ready-to-use virtual image for virtualbox. From Kali official site, you should find the various images you may need. In this case, we are going to download the 64bit .ova image for VirtualBox as shown below.

Once downloaded, open virtualbox and click on ‘Import’

Choose the .ova file from your computer to import and press ‘Enter’ to continue

You should be presented with a number of settings that you can choose for your Kali Linux virtual machine. Here, you can edit the name, RAM and the number of CPU cores

Press ‘Enter’ and you will be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions as below:

It will then start importing appliance as seen below:

When the import is complete, Kali Linux virtual machine will be listed with other virtual machines on your virtualbox.

You can now go ahead and launch your virtual machine by clicking on ‘Start‘. Both username and password are ‘kali

You may want to install virtualBox Extension Pack  which is a binary package intended to add functionality to VirtualBox. It provides support for USB 2.0 devices and USB 3.0 enabling the use of a physical USB on a guest operating system. Other features include the ability to connect your host webcam to a guest machine, the ability to control virtual machines remotely through VirtualBox interface even if a VM network is down and the ability to encrypt data stored in virtual disk.

Installing VirtualBox Extension Pack

Go back to the VirtualBox official site to download the Virtualbox binaries corresponding to your distribution.

Once downloaded, open virtualbox, click on file -> preferences -> extensions

Click on the + sign and browse to where the file has been saved. When you select the file, click on ‘Install

Next, agree to the terms of use to begin installation.

VirtualBox extension Pack will begin installing as shown:

Once the installation is complete, you should be notified of a successful installation as below:

That’s it on the installation of Kali Linux on VirtualBox. It is important that you run your Kali Linux as a virtual machine to isolate your security practices from your normal work. This ensures that your normal working environment is not interfered with while operating on Kali Linux. Your security operations will be kept isolated and you always reinstall your virtual machine whenever you need. I hope the guide has been useful.


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