Friday, November 8, 2013

Installing Kali On Hard Disk using usb

Booting and installing Kali from a USB stick is the easiest and fastest method of getting up and running. In order to do this, we first need to create the Kali ISO image on a USB drive. 

Preparing for the USB copy

  1. Download Kali linux.
  2. If running Windows, download Win32 Disk Imager.
  3. No special software is needed for a *nix OS.
  4. A USB Key (at least 2GB capacity).

Kali Linux Live USB Install Procedure

Imaging Kali on a Windows Machine

  1. Plug your USB stick into your Windows USB port and launch the Win32 Disk Imager software
  2. Choose the Kali Linux ISO file to be imaged and verify that the USB drive to be overwritten is the correct one.
  3. kali-usb-install-windows
  4. Once the imaging is complete, safely eject the USB drive from the Windows machine. You can now use the USB device to boot into Kali Linux.
If you just want to use Kali live, you can stop right here. Reboot and press F-12 or whatever shows up the multiboot menu, select the USB drive and run kali live.

Imaging Kali on a Linux Machine

Creating a bootable Kali Linux USB key in a Linux environment is easy. Once you’ve downloaded your Kali ISO file, you can use dd to copy it over to your USB stick as follows:
WARNING. Although the process of imaging Kali on a USB stick is very easy, you can just as easily destroy arbitrary partitions with dd if you do not understand what you are doing. 
In other words, you can completely mess up your hard drive to a state from which repair would required professional help. You have been warned.
  1. Plug in your USB device to your Linux computer’s USB port.
  2. Verify the device path of your USB storage with dmesg.
  3. Proceed to (carefully!) image the Kali ISO file on the USB device:
 dd if=kali.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=512k
That’s it, really! You can now boot into a Kali Live / Installer environment using the USB device.

Adding Persistence to Your Kali Live USB

Adding persistence (the ability to save files and changes across live boots) to your Kali Linux image can be very useful in certain situations. To make your Kali Linux USB stick persistent, follow these steps. In this example, we assume our USB drive is /dev/sdb. If you want to add persistence, you’ll need a larger USB device than we listed in our prerequisites above.
  1. Image the Kali Linux ISO to your USB stick as explained above, using the “Linux Method” and dd.
  2. Create and format an additional partition on the USB stick. In our example, we usegparted by invoking: 

     gparted /dev/sdb
  3. Your current partitioning scheme should look similar to this: 

  4. Proceed to format a new partition of your desired size to be used for persistence. In our example, we used all the remaining space available. Make sure the volume label of the newly created partition is persistence, and format it using the ext4 filesystem.
  5. Once the process is complete, mount your persistence USB partition using the following commands:

     mkdir /mnt/usb
     mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/usb
     echo "/ union" >> /mnt/usb/persistence.conf
     umount /mnt/usb
  6. Plug the USB stick into the computer you want to boot up. Make sure your BIOS is set to boot from your USB device. When the Kali Linux boot screen is displayed, select “Live boot” from the menu (don’t press enter), and press the tab button. This will allow you to edit the boot parameters. Add the word “persistence” to the end of the boot parameter line each time you want to mount your persistent storage. 


  1. I am trying to image kali 1.0.7 into a memorycard size is 4gb, using a card reader and win32 disk imager , but I keep getting an error message, Error 5: Access denied to lock usb, pls can I get help as to wats the problem,

    1. some SDCards have a lock, verify locking mechanism/slide (is read-only, or rw?) Like at old floppy disks.

  2. i m getting an error messg when creating a new virtual machine via vmware..its--could not detect which opertng systm is in the disc image..
    plz help me what should i do..

  3. Can I use a HDD for this purpose instead of a USB ??

    1. You don't want to lose all your data in the HDD in case things go wrong. It's like using a swimming pool to store a drop of water. A simple 8 gb flash drive is just perfect.

  4. What will happen to my computer after I install it? I loss my files? I will not get back on Windows ...?
    Thank you in advance,
    Coen (-Sorry, Google Translation)

    1. Search on google for Live OS . Read a bit about it. Kali supports live boot from USB. Learn about that too. Then use it live (recent versions have persistence too).

  5. If you get an Error, "Volume Lock", you must format your USB to 64bit.

    Right click it and look for 32, click it and choose 64 instead.


    1. it was a SD card... Tell me, how to format a usb to 64bit?:D

  6. hahaha most of you are exactly what he meant by "needs a one page guide to download a tool"

  7. Thanks! you saved my life, I tried many tools such usb universal installer, unetbootin, rufus, and others with no luck to install kali from usb on my hard drive thanks again and thanks to GREAT dd command :-)

    1. Ever try BalenaEtcher? It's awesome if you have a mac!

  8. Thanks for your thorough guidance. :)

  9. Is it normal for my USB to be corrupted to FAT32 format for Kali Live after imagin the .iso?

  10. wht is dd commands ?

    1. Al your info is on the net. Just use google m8.

    2. dd if=/path/to/file of=/dev/sdb(usually) bs=512k

      if= input file (image file)
      of= output file (all ^nix-like distros treats all devices from a PC as files)
      bs=bytes per sector=512 kilobytes(k)

  11. Um when I tried to boot from the USB, my computer said that it "didn't authenticate"
    Please help
    (I'm new at this)

  12. After upgrade linux kali 2018.1 x64 persistence keyborad a mouse dont work !

  13. can i install Kali on internal HDD?

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