Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux in 2021!

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.

If you also need a guide on how to Install Kali Linux on Windows, this guide is always up-to-date!

Last Updated: January 2021 Updated for Kali 2020.4 !

Kali Linux used to come with only a root user per default, this has changed since the Kali Linux 2020.4 release earlier this year. Now, Kali automatically sets up with a low privileged user called “Kali”. This is a great development, but in this Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux guide, I will still show you how to create a new user, if you don’t want to use the default Kali user.

I highly recommend reading this Getting Started in Cybersecurity in 2021 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 a guideline that you can use to follow along, there is also a lot of information about how I initially got started with Hacking. Another great resource to get you started is the very popular Best Hacking Books in 2021 article I have put together, this is a list of my favorite books to learn. I personally own all of those books and wouldn’t recommend them if they weren’t great.

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 & Changing the Keyboard Layout

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 I don’t want to start working with an outdated system or with outdated tools.

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

sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade -y

Changing the Keyboard Layout

If you are from another country than the US, you probably want to change your Keyboard Layout before continuing.

You can either do that by going to the settings menu and searching for keyboard, or, you just do it from the Terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

After choosing a layout of your liking you have to restart the service:

sudo service keyboard-setup restart

Tip 2 – Changing the default Password and taking a Snapshot (VirtualBox / VMWare 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 default password from the default “kali” to something else by typing:


You also want to change the default root user password from “kali” to something your own by typing:

sudo passwd root

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 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.

In case your Shared Clipboard stops working, I have a fix for you.

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

Tip 3 – Creating a Low Privileged User Account

Now, this has changed a bit since the update to Kali Linux 2020.4 which comes with a low privileged user account by default. IF you don’t care to use the default Kali user (which is perfectly fine), you can skip this step. If you want to create your own user, follow along.

sudo adduser Username

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”.

sudo usermod -aG sudo Username
Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

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

sudo chsh -s /bin/bash Username

Now just log out of your Kali user account and log in with your new user. You find the logout option in the upper right corner.

Top Things to do after installing Kali Linux

Always log in with your new user from now.

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

Tip 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.

Tip 5 – Install your Favorite Code Editor

I have been using Atom and Sublime in the past, but since I started to learn web development, I switched over to Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code is quickly becoming the favorite choice of many developers when it comes to code editors, including myself.

I also started to use Visual Studio Code on Kali Linux for my Python code. Visual Studio Code stands out because of its extensive extension library. You can get extensions for almost anything you can think of.

Gladly, it’s very easy to install Visual Studio Code on Kali.

1 – Downloading the Visual Studio Code deb package

First, you need to download the VSCode deb package. This automatically installs the Visual Studio Code Apt repository, so we are able to update our Visual Studio Code editor.  Choose the 64bit .deb package.

2 – Install Visual Studio Code

First CD into your Downloads folder, or wherever you have downloaded the file to.

cd Downloads/

Then we just install it using Apt.

sudo apt install ./code_yourversion_amd64.deb
Install VSCode on Kali Linux

3 – Starting Visual Studio Code

And that’s it. Now you can already go ahead and start VSCode via the app menu.

Install VSCode on Kali Linux

Tip 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.

Tip 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. You can also read the Best Ethical Hacking Tools article that goes a bit more in-depth.


  • Burp Suite

Subdomain Enumeration

  • Amass
  • Subfinder
  • AssetFinder
  • Ffuf
  • Gowitness

Directory Bruteforcing

  • FFuf
  • Turbo Intruder
  • GoBuster
  • Dirsearch

General Tools

  • Metasploit
  • Hydra
  • JohnTheRipper
  • Chrome (for testing)
  • Firefox (for surfing)
  • KeepassXC
  • DropBox
  • Cherrytree
  • Searchsploit
  • Evernote

The list goes on, I use a lot of tools but those are the ones I use most frequently.

Just search for those tools in Google, some of them are already pre-installed in Kali. There are always install instructions on the Github pages for each tool. Learn how to do this. I have also written a little tool called the ceos3c-baseline-installer. It’s written in Python and I usually run it on a fresh Kali Installation.

It’s installing all my basic tools, you can check it out on my Github.

Tip 8 – Setting up a 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.

Being a Bug Bounty Hunter, I need to be able to quickly change IP’s to avoid bans on websites. NordVPN serves me well as I have set up an alias and just need to type “reconnect” and NordVPN automatically reconnects to a new node, providing me with a fresh IP Address.

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

Tip 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 waiting 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.


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 at the beginning of the article, this list is ongoing, so make sure to check back!

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15 thoughts on “Top Things to do after Installing Kali Linux in 2021!”

  1. How to: Install openvas in kali linux

    To install openvas you used to type apt-get install openvas and right after that typed openvas-setup. But now that is not working anymore. The first part still works though but the openvas-setup command will give an error: openvas-setup: command not found.

    So whats that all about. Turns out this has something to do with a name change from the developers of openvas. The company is Greenbone and they are updating the branding towards more public visibility of Greenbone. More info in this thread

    To fix this you should type the following commands:

    sudo apt install gvm to install openvas, or rather Greenbone Vulnerability Management

    sudo gvm-setup to setup the tool for the first time use

    sudo gvm-feed-update to update the feed only

    sudo gvm-start/stop to start or stop the service

  2. It is interesting, on my side, I`m also able to able to do snapshot with Hyper-V, KVM and XEN, not just with VMWare and VirtualBox, not you ? so you should follow your own advice and Educate Yourself ! 🙂

  3. Hello, I just signed up for your course and was guided here to update Kali Linux with: sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade -y and now Kali will not work and is showing only a black screen. Please assist, thank you.

  4. Thank you, This post is really helpful.

    I get the wireless not detected problem while installing kali 2020.2
    *Wireless Connection is not showing while installation. I think the internal wifi adapter can not be detected, is there any solution ??

  5. 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.

  6. 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!!

    • 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!


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