A Beginner's Guide to Installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox

In the realm of cybersecurity and ethical hacking, Kali Linux stands as a powerful toolset. Whether you’re a seasoned penetration tester or an aspiring enthusiast, having Kali Linux readily available for experimentation and learning is invaluable. One of the easiest and safest ways to explore Kali Linux is by installing it on VirtualBox, a virtualization platform that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single physical machine. In this guide, we’ll walk through the process of installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox, accompanied by step-by-step commands to ensure a smooth setup.

Step 1: Download VirtualBox

Before diving into the installation process, you need to download and install VirtualBox. You can find the latest version of VirtualBox on the official website: VirtualBox Downloads. Follow the instructions provided to install VirtualBox on your system.

Step 2: Download Kali Linux ISO

Next, you’ll need to download the Kali Linux ISO image from the official website: Kali Linux Downloads. Ensure that you select the appropriate version for your system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit). Once downloaded, you’re ready to proceed with setting up a virtual machine.

Step 3: Create a New Virtual Machine

Launch VirtualBox and click on the “New” button to create a new virtual machine. Follow these steps to configure the virtual machine:


  1. Name and Operating System: Enter a name for your virtual machine (e.g., “Kali Linux”) and select “Linux” as the type, and choose “Debian (64-bit)” as the version.
  2. Memory Size: Allocate memory to your virtual machine. A minimum of 2 GB is recommended for Kali Linux, but you can adjust it based on your system resources.
  3. Hard Disk: Create a virtual hard disk now. Choose the default option “Create a virtual hard disk now” and proceed.
  4. Hard Disk File Type: Select “VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image)” as the file type.
  5. Storage on Physical Hard Disk: Choose either “Dynamically allocated” or “Fixed size” depending on your preference. Dynamically allocated will use space on your physical hard disk more efficiently.
  6. File Location and Size: Allocate the desired size for your virtual hard disk. A minimum of 20 GB is recommended for installing Kali Linux, but adjust it based on your requirements.


Once you’ve configured the virtual machine settings, click on “Create” to proceed.

Step 4: Install Kali Linux on VirtualBox

With the virtual machine created, it’s time to install Kali Linux:


  1. Select your newly created virtual machine from the VirtualBox Manager and click on “Start.”
  2. VirtualBox will prompt you to select a startup disk. Click on the folder icon and navigate to the location where you downloaded the Kali Linux ISO file. Select the ISO file and click “Start.”
  3. The virtual machine will boot from the Kali Linux ISO. You’ll be presented with various boot options. Choose “Graphical Install” and press Enter.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the installation. You’ll be prompted to select your language, location, keyboard layout, etc.
  5. When prompted to partition disks, choose the default option unless you have specific partitioning requirements.
  6. During the installation process, you’ll be prompted to set up users and passwords. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  7. Once the installation is complete, VirtualBox will prompt you to remove the installation media (the Kali Linux ISO). Press Enter to reboot the virtual machine.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed Kali Linux on VirtualBox. You can now explore the vast array of tools and utilities that Kali Linux offers for cybersecurity testing and ethical hacking.

Common Commands:

Here are some common commands used in Kali Linux:


  • Update the package repository:


sudo apt update        


  • Upgrade installed packages:


sudo apt upgrade        


  • Install new packages:


sudo apt install package_name        


  • Search for packages:


apt search keyword        
  • Remove packages:


sudo apt remove package_name        


  • Shutdown the system:


sudo shutdown now        


  • Restart the system:


sudo reboot        

These commands will help you manage your Kali Linux system effectively as you explore its capabilities within VirtualBox.

Installing Kali Linux on VirtualBox provides a safe and convenient environment for learning and experimenting with cybersecurity tools and techniques. By following this guide and familiarizing yourself with the provided commands, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your journey of ethical hacking and penetration testing

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