How to Run Kali Linux Without Installing in Virtual Environment

how to run kali linux without installing

Installing kali linux has never been smooth for me when I was a kid. I’ve failed over 12+ times before my first complete installation of kali linux. Even now, I see people who find installing kali linux as a difficult task.

If you’re one among them, then this post is completely for you. Before speaking into the installation of Kali Linux, Why we need to install even? While we can run Kali Live!

What is Kali Live :

If you’ve already tried installing Kali Linux at least once, then you must have noticed this word “Kali Live”. Yes, unlike windows, we don’t have to install Kali Linux to use it. We can then use the operating system for live for temporary purposes.

That is, you can use this live for once and when you shut down, all the changes you have made to the operating system will be lost. It is more like a temporary operating system which becomes renovated for every login.

The pro feature of Kali live is also the problem of it. Because not everyone prefers a temporary operating system. Well, we still can use Kali Linux Virtual Images to skip installation.

What is Kali Linux Virtual Image :

These are Image files of Kali Linux operating system created and maintained by offensive security for the people who wish to run kali linux in a virtual environment without installing. People can use these virtual images to run Kali Linux without installing it.

Unlike Kali Live, it’s not a temporary feature. It’s made possible because the images have already been configured and completed the installation steps. As of now, these virtual images are available for Virtual environments like VMware, Virtual Box, and HyperV.

You can find the virtual images of Kali Linux here. These images can be downloaded via torrent and also available for direct download.

How to Run Kali Linux Without Installing in Virtual Environment :

Requirements :

  • Virtual Environment like Vmware/Virtual Box
  • A virtual Image file of Kali Linux to the corresponding virtual environment.

Please download the virtual images file according to the software you use. For example, If you’re using VMware as the virtual environment to run kali linux, then download Kali Linux virtual images of VMware.

They will be in .VMDK format. If you want to run kali linux in Virtual Box, download Kali Linux virtual images of the Virtual box which will be in .OVA format.

Steps :

  • Open your virtual environment emulation software. In my case, I’m using VMware to run kali linux.
  • Next, you’ll be displayed with 4 options on the screen
    • Create a New Virtual machine
    • Open a New Virtual machine
    • Connect to a Remote Server
    • Connect to VMware vCloud Air

      Run Kali Linux Without Installing
      Virtual Machine Homescreen

  • Click on “Open a New Virtual machine” and select the .vmdk file which you’ve downloaded.
  • Now the operating system will load and within few minutes, you’ll be prompted with Kali Linux linux login screen
  • The default username and password for all the Virtual Images of kali linux is
    • username : root
    • password : toor
  • Use the above credentials to login and after successful login, you can now use kali linux without any installation procedure.
  • Like Kali live, this is not a temporary operating system which will lose all the changes and file you have saved after a reboot.
  • This is a permanent virtual image and you can make whatever changes you want and all the changes will be saved and visible even when you login the next time
  • It’s better to change the default password of the virtual  image after the first login
  • To change the default password, open the terminal and type “passwd”
  • Now you’ll be prompted to enter the old password.(default one)
  • Type the old password “toor” and hit enter
  • Now you’ll be asked to enter the new password
  • Enter the password of your choice and hit enter.

It’s always a mandatory measure to change the default password not only in kali linux, but in all environments where you’re served with default passwords.


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