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install Kali Linux on the VMWare Workstation

If you are into cybersecurity and you don’t even hear about Kali Linux, then you never be considered a cybersecurity professional. Don’t worry we are here to introduce you to the wonderful Linux distribution. Kali Linux is not a general-purpose desktop or server operating system. It is designed and developed to help cybersecurity professionals. Since it is not a general-purpose Linux distribution, it is not preferred to use as a host operating system. This doesn’t mean that you can’t install Kali Linux on your hardware. It’s recommended to install this on a virtual platform like VMWare Workstation, Virtual Box, WSL, or live boot. This post we have created to show you how to install Kali Linux on the VMWare Workstation.

What Is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is an open-source Linux distribution built on the Debian platform like Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Kali Linux is not a general-purpose Linux distribution. It’s developed with a specific purpose especially for cybersecurity professionals, It has hundreds of utilities, applications, tools, software, and services that would be used by pentesters, security auditors, security testers, security researchers, cybersecurity forensics, threat hunters, reverse engineers, mostly the professionals found themselves in the cybersecurity landscape. Learn more about Kali Linux from here.

What Is VMWare Workstation?

VMWare Workstation is an application developed by VMWare to create virtual machines, containers, and Kubernetes clusters on any desktop or server system. VMWare released VMWare Workstation in two products: VMWare Workstation Pro and VMWare Workstation Player. VMWare Workstation Player is released on a free license with limited features, whereas VMWare Workstation Pro is an enterprise paid version that has loaded with a lot of features. Full documentation is published on the VMWare portal for free. Refer to the documentation from here.

  1. VMware Workstation Pro Documentation Center
  2. VMware Workstation Player Documentation Center

Prerequisites To Install Kali Linux On VMWare Workstation:

To install Kali Linux on VMWare Workstation you just need a physical machine, VMWare Workstation Pro or Player installed on your machine and Kali Linux ISO image.

  1. A host system with minimum:
    1. 8 GB of memory
    2. A quad core CPU
    3. 500 GB of Hard Drive
  2. VMWare Workstation Pro or Player application:0
    1. Download VMWare Workstation
  3. Linux Mint Operating System to install on VMWare Workstation.
    1. Download Kali Linux

How To Install kali Linux On VMWare Workstation?

Time needed: 30 minutes

How to Install Kali Linux on VMWare Workstation?

  1. Fier up VMWare Workstation

    Download the VMWare Workstation application for your host operating system and install it on your machine. The installation procedure is pretty simple and straight. Read the documentation for more details. Open the app after installation. Create a new Virtual Machine.

    Create a New Virtual Machine

  2. Select Custom Configuration Wizard

    You can choose either Typical or Custom Wizard. We recommend selecting Custom if you want to install with all the configurations. If you are okay with default configurations then go ahead with Typical configurations.

    What Type of Configuration Do you Want

  3. Select Virtual Machine Hardware Compatibilityrkstation 16x – Next

    Go with the default option if you don’t have the choice.

    Virtual Mechine Hardware Compatibility

  4. Select the Operating System Media

    Select ‘I will install the operating system later’ for an interactive installation.

    Install Operating System From

  5. Select Guest Operating System

    Guest Operating Sustem

  6. Name the Virtual Machine Name and location

    Type a name and give the location details.

    What Name Would You Like To Use For This Virtual Machine

  7. Allocate the Processors

    Assign the processors, Calculate the processor required to run the host machine. Assign the leftover resources to the virtual machine.

    allocate precessors for the VM

  8. Allocate the Memory for Virtual Machine

    Memory allocation calculation is the same as the processor allocation. Leave sufficient memory for the host system and allocate the remaining memory for the virtual machine.

    Memory For The Virtual Machine

  9. Choose the Network Configuration

    Select any one of the network configurations as per your requirement.

    Network Conection

  10. Select the I/O Controller Type

    Which SCSI Would You Like To Use For SCSI Virtual Disk?

  11. Select Disk Type

    Select A Disk Type

  12. Select Virtual Disk

    Select the Virtual Disk if you have or create one.

    Select A Disk

  13. Select Disk Capacity

    Select the disk size. Selecting a single disk will increase the performance. However, selecting a split disk will help in the disk transfer scenario.

    Specify Disk Capacity

  14. Specify Virtual Disk File

    Where Would You Like To Store The Disk file?

  15. Create Virtual Machine

    Ready To Create Virtual Machie

  16. Supply Kali Linux ISO Image to Virtual Machine

    Download Kali Linux image. Edit the CD/DVD settings and import the downloaded Linux Mint image.

    Virtual Machine Settigs

  17. Power On the Virtual Machine

    Press the Play button to power on the Virtual Machine.

    Kali Linux Installer Meu (BIOS Mode)

  18. Welcome, Kali Linux Virtual Machine

    you will be treated with a welcome screen on which you will see the option to select the language. Select your language and click Continue.

    Select Language

  19. Select your Location

    Select Your Location

  20. Select Keyboard Layout

    Configure The Keyboard

  21. Configure the Network for updates

    Configure The Network

  22. Enter the hostname for your Kali Linux machine

    Configure The Network Two

  23. Set up a user account and password

    Set Up User And Passwords

  24. Partition the Disk

    Select Erase the Disk for auto partition. Or Select the Advance option to create the custom partition.

    Partition Disk

  25. All Files In One Partition (recommended for new users)- Continue

    Partition Disk Two

  26. Finish Partitioning And Write Changes To Disk

    Partition Disks three

  27. Select the software packages according to your needs

    Select And Istall Software

  28. Installation of Kali Linux in Progress

    Select And Install Software One

  29. Install the GRUB boot loader

    Install The GRUB Boot Loader

  30. Select the Drive to install GRUB

    Install The GRUB Boot Loader One

  31. The installation procedure of Kali Linux has finished.

    Finish The Istallation One

  32. Reboot Virtual Machine

    Reboot the machine after installation.

    Kali Linux Loading

  33. Login to the Kali Linux with the user account

    Kali LogIn

  34. Kali Linux Desktop after login

    Kali Main Screen

  35. Shut Down Kali Linux

    Log out

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This is how you should install Kali Linux on VMWare Workstation. We hope this tutorial post will help you in installing Kali Linux on VMWare Workstation. Thanks for reading this post. Please share this post and help to secure the digital world. Visit our social media page on FacebookLinkedInTwitterTelegramTumblrMedium & Instagram and subscribe to receive updates like this.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is Kali Linux?

Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. It comes pre-installed with numerous security and hacking tools, making it an ideal choice for cybersecurity professionals and enthusiasts.

2. What is VMware Workstation?

VMware Workstation is a popular virtualization software that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single computer. It provides an isolated environment for each operating system, allowing you to run and test various applications without affecting your main system.

3. Why should I install Kali Linux on VMware Workstation?

Installing Kali Linux on VMware Workstation provides several benefits, such as easy setup and management, system isolation, and the ability to run multiple instances of Kali Linux simultaneously. It also enables you to easily revert to a previous snapshot in case of any issues, making it a convenient choice for cybersecurity professionals and learners.

4. How do I download Kali Linux and VMware Workstation?

You can download Kali Linux from the official website (https://www.kali.org/downloads/) and VMware Workstation from the VMware website (https://www.vmware.com/products/workstation-pro.html). Ensure that you download the appropriate version for your operating system.

5. Can I install Kali Linux on VMware Workstation Player instead of VMware Workstation Pro?

Yes, you can install Kali Linux on VMware Workstation Player, a free version of VMware Workstation. The installation process is similar, but there may be some differences in the features and functionality offered by the two products.

7. Can I install Kali Linux on other virtualization platforms besides VMware Workstation?

Yes, you can install Kali Linux on other virtualization platforms such as VirtualBox, Hyper-V, or Parallels Desktop. The installation process may vary slightly depending on the platform, but the overall concepts remain the same.

8. Can I use Kali Linux as my primary operating system?

While it is possible to use Kali Linux as your primary operating system, it is not recommended for everyday use. Kali Linux is designed specifically for penetration testing and security tasks, and using it as a daily driver could lead to potential security risks.

9. Can I install Kali Linux on a physical machine instead of a virtual machine?

Yes, you can install Kali Linux on a physical machine by creating a bootable USB drive or burning it to a DVD. However, using a virtual machine provides better flexibility, easier management, and the ability to run multiple operating systems simultaneously.

10. How do I update Kali Linux and its tools after installation?

To update Kali Linux and its tools, open a terminal window and run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

This will update the system packages and tools to their latest versions. It is essential to keep your Kali Linux installation up to date for the latest security patches and features.

About the author

Arun KL

Arun KL is a cybersecurity professional with 15+ years of experience spanning IT infrastructure, cloud security, vulnerability management, Penetration Testing, security operations, and incident response. He is adept at designing and implementing robust security solutions to safeguard systems and data. Arun holds multiple industry certifications including CCNA, CCNA Security, RHCE, CEH, and AWS Security.

To know more about him, you can visit his profile on LinkedIn.

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