Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux in 2020!

Kali Linux isn’t recommended for beginners. Period. This is the first thing you should learn. It is a Linux Distribution geared towards Security Professionals. I know, I know. This isn’t going to stop you. So I decided to put a list of Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux together for you, so you can maintain at least a certain level of security.

Kali Linux, out of the box, comes with a root user. Operating a Linux Distribution, especially a security distribution like Kali Linux as a root user is a bad idea. There are other distributions like ParrotOS that are a tad bit safer to use for beginners, as they come with a normal privileged user from the beginning. But you are here to learn the Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux, so creating a new lower privileged user to secure your system is one of them. Let’s dive right in.

I highly recommend reading this Getting Started in Cybersecurity in 2020 guide right after this one. It is a completely free beginner guide on how to get started with Cybersecurity that I put together. It’s guideline that you can use to follow along, there is also a lot of information about how I initially got started with Hacking.

A side note, I specifically didn’t call this “The Top 5 or whatever things to do after Installing Kali Linux”, because this is an ongoing affair. I will constantly update and maintain this list. So best Bookmark it and come back once in a while.

 

Tip 1 – Making sure Kali is Up to Date

The first thing after installing Kali Linux is to update it. To do that, we first have to update the repository and then we have to upgrade the system. Follow my Instagram Account to learn all the Linux Basics you’ll ever need.

Updating and Upgrading is a crucial first step in my workflow. I don’t want to start working with a outdated system or with outdated tools.

To Update and Upgrade Kali Linux, open a Terminal in Kali and run:

apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade -y

 

Tip 2 – Changing the default Password and taking a Snapshot (VirtualBox ONLY)

IF you have installed Kali Linux on a Laptop or anywhere else than VirtualBox, skip this step and continue with Tip 3.

I no longer recommend installing Kali Linux manually on VirtualBox. Kali provides us with a pre-installed VirtualBox OVA file, ready to import to VirtualBox and without the need of installing VirtualBox Guest Additions, which makes it much easier to get up and running within a few minutes. You can find a detailed tutorial on how to do that here.

If you have followed my tutorial to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox, make sure to change your root password from the default “toor” to something else by typing:

passwd

I highly recommend taking a Snapshot of your fresh installation. Because you probably will mess it up at some point. Instead of completely re-installing the whole thing again, you can save yourself some precious time and just revert back to the working Snapshot instead.

To take a Snapshot in VirtualBox 6.0, select your Kali VM, click on the dropdown icon next to it and select Snapshots. Click on the take icon to create a new Snapshot. Name it properly.

An idea would be: “Fresh Install” ->Description:”Fresh install DATE + Updates“. Because you will forget when you took the Snapshot later on.

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

 

Enable Shared Clipboard and Drag & Drop

Enable the shared Clipboard. It allows you to copy something like text from your Host to your Virtual Machine. Also, enable Drag & Drop, you can Drag & Drop files from your Host to your VM and Vice Versa, very useful. Set both to Bidirectional.

In your VirtualBox Window go to Devices -> Shared Clipboard -> Drag & Drop -> Set both to Bidirectional.

Definitely another bonus Tip of Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox!

Tip 3Creating a Low Privileged User Account

It is a good idea to create a new, lower privileged user account. Chrome and Firefox, and a couple of other apps should never be run as root. So, therefore, let’s create a new user with lower privileges. Open a Terminal and run:

adduser USERNAME

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

This will create a new user and automatically creates a home directory for him. To verify if that has worked type:

ls /home/

And your newly created user should show up.

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

Now we need to add our new user to the Sudo’ers group. If you want to use Kali Linux, you should be familiar with this command. I highly recommend getting your Linux Basics straight before starting to use Kali at all. By adding the user to the sudo group, or, as originally referred to as “superuser do” group, you are allowed to run commands that require root by putting the “sudo” command in front of it. For example, the apt-get upgrade command we ran above wouldn’t be allowed for our new user. Although, if you put “sudo apt-get upgrade” in front of it, it will ask you for your sudo password and run the command for you.

Just think of it as “Do this command as root”, or simply remember “Superuser Do”.

usermod -aG sudo USERNAME

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

Now just log out your root user and log in with your new user. You find the log out option in the upper right corner.

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

 

Always log in with your new user from now.

Now we just have to set the user up for BASH. To do that, run:

chsh -s /bin/bash USERNAME

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

Now that we have our user securely set up, it’s time to get us a nice Drop-Down Terminal!

 

 

4 – Installing Guake Terminal

Installing Guake Terminal doesn’t go on place 4 for the Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux for nothing. I absolutely love this Drop Down Terminal and can’t live without it anymore. If you have ever played Quake 3 (Rocket Arena, anyone?), or any old Shooter, you might remember you were able to pull down a console by pressing Tilde (^), mostly to enter codes like “god” or “noclip” that made your character a levitating god that ignored walls.

You can have the same thing in Linux! The name Guake was wisely chosen. You will come on it, I bet.

To install Guake Terminal simply go:

sudo apt-get install guake

Now we also want Guake to start automatically the next time we reboot our system, for that, we enter:

sudo cp /usr/share/applications/guake.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/
sudo reboot now

After you have rebooted your system, you can pull down Guake by pressing F12.

If you want to know how to change the Pull Down from pressing F12 to Tilde, or Circumflex(^) and do other customizations, read this. I prefer Circumflex over F12 out of obvious reasons.

 

5 – Install your Favorite Code Editor

Now, this is your personal choice, if you don’t write your own code (Which you should be doing!), you can skip this step. I personally like the Atom Editor. To install Atom on Kali Linux, head over to the Atom website and download the .deb Package.

 

To install Atom, open a Terminal Window and install the missing dependencies first:

sudo apt-get install gconf2 gconf-service gvfs-bin libgconf-2-4 gconf2-common

After that go to your Downloads folder and install Atom:

cd Downloads
sudo dpkg -i atom-amd64.deb

 

Now Atom is fully installed.

6 – Installing OpenVAS

OpenVAS is a very popular Open Source Vulnerability Scanner. It is an essential tool at your repertoire. Because installing OpenVAS initially is a lengthy process by itself, I simply point you to my Detailed Article on how to install it.

I use OpenVAS almost all the time because you can run scans effortlessly in the background and it sometimes comes up with interesting findings.

7 – Installing your favorite Tools

Now this again is up to personal choice, I’ll just leave a list of Tools I like and use regularly below:

Install instructions for those scripts can be found on the Git website. But I am working on a nice little installer for you guys so you can install those tools easier. You’ll know once it’s available.

8 – Setting up VPN

I have recently written an article where I compare the two most popular VPN Providers out there. I always like to use a VPN when working with any security distribution. So I always have VPN Setup that automatically connects the VPN once I boot the system. But ideally, you have that set up on your Router. That ensures that all your Internet Traffic is routed through the VPN.

I use NordVPN in this example, because that’s what I am currently using myself. I have an affiliation with both NordVPN and PIA, so if you decide to sign up with them, use my link and I get a small provision, helping me to pay for server cost. As always, I only recommend stuff that I personally use.

It’s very easy to install NordVPN on Debian based Distributions.

After signing up with them, you have to download the NordVPN-Repository package.

Once this is done we need to install it via Terminal:

sudo apt-get install /home/YourUsername/Downloads/nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb
sudo apt-get update

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

 

sudo apt-get install nordvpn -Y

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

To login you type:

nordvpn login

To connect you type:

nordvpn connect

This connects you to NordVPN. To show settings and modify them type:

nordvpn settings

 

9 – Educate yourself!

Now that you are equipped with the right technical setup, it’s time to upgrade yourself through learning and playing. The Cybersecurity space is a huge playground with many challenges awaiting to be solved, but at the same time it can get very overwhelming because it’s such a complex topic.

If you don’t know where to continue from here, let me point you in the right direction. I have two very comprehensive articles that give you study material for a good while.

Next to that, make sure to check out the Cybersecurity category on this website and also check out my YouTube channel where I produce high quality Cybersecurity and Linux tutorials, all of them suited for beginners.

 

Conclusion

If I haven’t forgotten anything, those are the Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux. It is important that you understand that you can be at risk when running your OS as root. It is definitely not recommended for beginners. Keep my tips & tricks in mind and you have created yourself an extra layer of protection.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, this list is ongoing, so make sure to check back!

As always, use your Brain when Hacking.

 

7 thoughts on “Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux in 2020!

  • May 27, 2019 at 1:04 am
    Permalink

    So I would just like to mention that at least for me when downloading OpenVAS that didn’t take very long however when running the ” openvas-setup ” you where pretty spot on with that step taking a while (Like it was right around 1.2Gb’s @ 1.4Mb/s within my VM). But, Very good suggestion and I think it certainly is worth moving up a spot or two on you list.

    Reply
    • March 5, 2019 at 7:41 pm
      Permalink

      Hi there, thanks for leaving this here!

      Reply
  • February 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm
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    Hi,

    Just like to say your site is excellent. I just installed the lscript and even though I don’t know what a lot of the programs on there are yet, it looks fantastic. It’s a great help having people as yourself willing to do these things for free for people starting out and trying to learn =)

    I’m trying to learn all about Kali Linux and the things associated with it in my spare time, so to have great tutorials etc is great for me as I’m trying to learn it myself without anyone to mentor me. I’ve done quite a few courses on certain things and I’m currently trying to learn Python.

    My problem is, I seem to be learning things in the wrong order and thus have to go back and redo things to try and understand them better. But, as they say – Rome wasn’t built in a day =)

    I look forward to really scouring your site (after a few more courses) as there looks a plethora of great articles for me to learn new things and redo things I have done already, but with better tutorials. I already have lots of your articles bookmarked for future learning from your excellent newsletter. I can’t remember how i came across your site but it was a good day when I found it.

    Again, total respect and a big thank you for your time and efforts in helping people like myself =)

    Keep up the good work and have a great day!!

    Reply
    • February 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm
      Permalink

      Hey man! Thank you for leaving such a long comment! I built the Website for exact this reason. Hearing that it actually fulfills it’s purpose is great. And I know the struggle, I currently learn Python myself, so also a little bit of reverse-order on my side as well. Just stick with it and stay curious, you will eventually end up where you want to be. It’s good that you have the “Rome wasn’t built in a day” mindset, because you need to realize one thing: It takes time, a lot of it. And patience on top of it 🙂

      Good luck to you! Thanks again. Appreciate the praise!

      Reply
  • January 22, 2019 at 5:11 pm
    Permalink

    You should add command line FTP,nfs tools and maybe Filezilla which won’t be installed by default and they all are in repos.

    Reply
    • January 23, 2019 at 7:49 am
      Permalink

      Hey Erkan,

      good call! I might add it when I update the List next time.

      Reply

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