This is by far going to be the easiest and quickest way on how to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox. We are specifically looking at the latest Kali version that was just released yesterday, version 2019.4. Kali Linux alongside the ParrotSec OS is my distribution of choice. I regularly switch between the two.
Gladly, both of them provide fully pre-installed images, ready to import to VirtualBox, making it really easy to install. I use those operating systems on multiple computers at a time, so going through a whole installation routine every single time would be a very time-consuming hassle for me.
In this tutorial, I show you how easy it is to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox.
Let's dive right in, I'll guide you through every step.
Step 1 - Downloading and installing VirtualBox
To install Kali Linux on VirtualBox, we first need to go ahead and download & install VirtualBox (If you haven't had it installed already).
Head to the VirtualBox Downloads Page and download the latest version of VirtualBox.
Also, make sure to download the VirtualBox Extension Pack. We need this to use all the features of VirtualBox.
After you have downloaded both, first install VirtualBox and then install the VirtualBox Extension Pack.
Step 2 - Downloading the Kali Linux VirtualBox Image
Gladly, to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox, the developers of Kali Linux provided us with a convenient, pre-installed, VirtualBox image that we just need to import. This is by far the easiest way to install Kali Linux on VirtualBox.
Go to the download section on the Kali Linux Website. Now scroll down until you find Kali Linux VirtualBox Images and extend it. Download Kali Linux VirtualBox 64-Bit.
Step 3 - Importing the Kali Linux image to VirtualBox
Now that we have everything ready, we can import the image to VirtualBox. Open VirtualBox. In VirtualBox, click on File -> Import Appliance. Now choose the kali-linux-2019.4-vbox-amd64.ova from your Downloads folder.
Optionally, you can choose a different name or storage location for the image if you want. Click Next and click on Import.
It takes a couple of minutes to complete the import process.
Step 4 - Configuring the Virtual Machine
The "Installation" is basically done now. We are going to tweak our machine a bit before booting it up for the first time. Right-click the Kali Virtual Machine in VirtualBox and select Settings.
On the System/Motherboard tab, allocate as much Base Memory (RAM) as you can spare. Usually, the green area tells you how much you can safely spare, try to stay in the green area. The more RAM you can allocate, the better the performance.
On the System/Processor tab choose how many processors you want to allocate to your machine. The same concept goes as for RAM. Stay in the green area, the more the better the performance.
If you click on the Storage tab, you can see that by importing the Kali image, it automatically created a Hard Drive with 80GB of storage. This storage is dynamically allocated, which means that it will only take up as much space from your actual hard drive as Kali is using, up to a maximum of 80GB. So this should be perfectly fine for most use-cases. In case, you need more, that's where you can add more.
Step 5 - Starting Kali Linux 2019.4
We are already ready to start our Kali Virtual Machine! How easy was that? Right-click the Kali VM and click Start -> Normal Start.
You can now login with the default credentials of:
- Username: root
- Password: toor
Where to go from here?
You successfully installed Kali Linux 2019.4 on VirtualBox. It doesn't get any easier than this. Now, I highly recommend reading my Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux article, which helps you securing your system and installing my favorite tools.
Also a good resource to continue is my Best Hacking Books article, which also features a book specifically for Kali Linux.
And of course, the constantly updated Best Hacking Tools article.
It has never been that easy before to get started with Kali Linux. Modern technology has allowed us to try out different operating systems without having to dedicate a whole hardware-based system to it. Most developers provide pre-installed VirtualBox or VMWare images nowadays, ready for us to import.
Also, Kali 2019.4 is the most visually beautiful version of Kali to date.