In this article, you will learn how to install Kali Linux. Kali Linux is a very popular penetration testing Linux distro. It’s a Debian-based distro, and it’s maintained by Offensive Security. If you are planning to be a security researcher or just have a general interest in pen-testing, you should have it in your toolkit. First, let’s dive into installing it.


Step 1: Download the ISO

Go to Kali Linux for Bare Metal and download the ISO file.

Download 64-bit Kali Linux installer

You can also check the SHA256 hash of the file. First, click on the sum link on your page. You should see a value that looks like this:

SHA256 hash value of the ISO shown in the browser

After your download has been completed, open a terminal, change to your download directory and run the following command:

shasum -a 256 { filename }

Compare the hash value you see on your screen to the one you have on your browser.

Actual SHA256 value of the downloaded ISO file

If the values don’t match, that means the ISO was corrupted during the download. Delete your local file and retry.

Step 2: Burn the ISO to a flash drive

How you burn the ISO depends on your operating system (OS). On Windows, we recommend a free tool called Rufus. It’s a GUI application. You can download and follow the instructions on your screen.

On the macOS command line, you can follow the steps below:

Plug in the USB flash drive.

In a terminal window, run:

diskutil list

Note the identifier of the partition you want to burn the ISO.

First, unmount the disk by running

diskutil unmount /dev/disk2s2

You should see a confirmation that the disk has been unmounted:

Then, run:

sudo dd if=kali-linux-2022.2-installer-amd64.iso of=/dev/disk2s2 status=progress

Make sure to change the ISO file’s path and partition identifier to match your system.

Depending on your system and the USB drive’s speed, this process may take a while. You don’t get any progress indicators on the screen unless you use the status=progress parameter, so I’d highly recommend using it to keep an eye on the process.

On Linux, first, run the following command to view the drives:


Then, run the following command to burn the ISO:

sudo dd bs=4M if=kali-linux-2022.2-installer-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdb conv=fdatasync status=progress

Again, ensure the ISO path and the drive are correct before running your command.

Step 3: Boot the target computer from the USB

Next, insert your USB drive into your computer and reboot. You need to boot from the USB drive. If this doesn’t automatically, you need to change your BIOS settings. Unfortunately, there are so many variations to cover in a single blog post. Your best bet would be to search your computer’s make and |model and how to enter the BIOS settings.

Step 4: Once you’ve booted your computer from the USB drive, select Graphical Install.

The rest is following the installation wizard. First, make the basic selections:

  • Language
  • Location
  • Keyboard layout

Regarding network adapter selection, I’d recommend Ethernet as you will likely get better speeds, and it doesn’t require any configuration.

Give your computer a recognizable name (such as Kali) and create a new user.

Disk partition can be complicated, but the installer offers an easy guided setup. If you are going to use the computer entirely for Kali Linux, you can choose the Guided – Use entire disk option, then select the All files in one partition.

Confirm the rest with defaults and start the installation.

Reboot your computer.

Make sure to remove the USB drive first otherwise, your computer might boot straight back to the installer.

Log in to Kali Linux with the user account you created during the installation.

You should see the default desktop screen:


Kali Linux is an essential tool for any pentester. Now that you have it installed, you are ready to explore its potential. Check out the certification programs here if you want to see how important Kali Linux is to pen-testing.

See you in another post where we discuss Kali Linux in more detail.

Categories: pentest