What is Kali Linux

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This article created by Aaron Johns, the author of Mastering Wireless Penetration Testing for Highly Secured Environments introduces Kali Linux and the steps needed to get started. Kali Linux is a security penetration testing distribution built on Debian Linux. It covers many different varieties of security tools, each of which are organized by category. Let’s begin by downloading and installing Kali Linux!

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Downloading Kali Linux

Congratulations, you have now started your first hands-on experience in this article! I’m sure you are excited so let’s begin! Visit http://www.kali.org/downloads/. Look under the Official Kali Linux Downloads section:

In this demonstration, I will be downloading and installing Kali Linux 1.0.6 32 Bit ISO. Click on the Kali Linux 1.0.6 32 Bit ISO hyperlink to download it.

Depending on your Internet connection, this may take an hour to download, so please prepare yourself ahead of time so that you do not have to wait on this download. Those who have a slow Internet connection may want to reconsider downloading from a faster source within the local area. Restrictions on downloading may apply in public locations. Please make sure you have permission to download Kali Linux before doing so.

Installing Kali Linux in VMware Player

Once you have finished downloading Kali Linux, you will want to make sure you have VMware Player installed. VMware Player is where you will be installing Kali Linux. If you are not familiar with VMware Player, it is simply a type of virtualization software that emulates an operating system without requiring another physical system. You can create multiple operating systems and run them simultaneously. Perform the following steps:

  1. Let’s start off by opening VMware Player from your desktop:

  2. VMware Player should open and display a graphical user interface:

  3. Click on Create a New Virtual Machine on the right:

  4. Select I will install the operating system later and click on Next.
  5. Select Linux and then Debian 7 from the drop-down menu:

  6. Click on Next to continue.
  7. Type Kali Linux for the virtual machine name.
  8. Browse for the Kali Linux ISO file that was downloaded earlier then click on Next.
  9. Change the disk size from 25 GB to 50 GB and then click on Next:

  10. Click on Finish:

  11. Kali Linux should now be displaying in your VMware Player library. From here, you can click on Customize Hardware… to increase the RAM or hard disk space, or change the network adapters according to your system’s hardware.
  12. Click on Play virtual machine:

  13. Click on Player at the top-left and then navigate to Removable Devices | CD/DVD IDE | Settings…:

  14. Check the box next to Connected, Select Use ISO image file, browse for the Kali Linux ISO, then click on OK.
  15. Click on Restart VM at the bottom of the screen or click on Player, then navigate to Power | Restart Guest; the following screen appears:

  16. After restarting the virtual machine, you should see the following:

  17. Select Live (686-pae) then press Enter

It should boot into Kali Linux and take you to the desktop screen:

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Kali Linux.

Updating Kali Linux

Before we can get started with any of the demonstrations in this book, we must update Kali Linux to help keep the software package up to date.

  1. Open VMware Player from your desktop.
  2. Select Kali Linux and click on the green arrow to boot it.
  3. Once Kali Linux has booted up, open a new Terminal window.
  4. Type sudo apt-get update and press Enter:

  5. Then type sudo apt-get upgrade and press Enter:

  6. You will be prompted to specify if you want to continue. Type y and press Enter:

  7. Repeat these commands until there are no more updates:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Congratulations! You have successfully updated Kali Linux!


This was just the introduction to help prepare you before we get deeper into advanced technical demonstrations and hands-on examples. We did our first hands-on work through Kali Linux to install and update it on VMware Player.

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