How to install kali linux on vmware

How To Install Kali Linux On VMware

Updated on: 01 Jan 2022

Kali Linux is a free Debian-derived Linux based operating system. Kali Linux is designed for the purpose of network security that helps in digital forensics and penetration testing. 

Vmware virtual machine is a virtualization software package used to run a different operating system virtually within an existing operating system without any disruption. Vmware is available in two versions – Free and Commercial (Paid).

Let’s understand how to install Kali Linux on VMware.

How to Install Kali Linux On VMWare

Step #1. Download Kali Linux

You would need to download kali Linux from the official website of Kali Linux by going here. You can download a 32-bit or 64-bit kali Linux depending upon the capability of your computer. 

Download 64-bit kali Linux only if you are sure that your computer is 64-bit otherwise go for 32-bit which will work on both.

You can use Torrent to download the Kali Linux from the official site.

If you don’t have a torrent client you can always use normal download but the torrent download is faster in downloading.  (Make sure you download the latest version of the Kali Linux).

 Kali Linux

Step #2. Download VMware 

You can download the free version of VMware using this link.

VMware Free

Download the paid version of VMware known as VMware Workstation Pro by going here.

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Step #3. Creating A Virtual Machine

Double click on the file you have downloaded to launch VMWare setup.

After you launch the VMware Workstation pro you will find the following screen.   Where you will get options for creating a new virtual machine or open an existing one.  Select the “Create a New Virtual Machine” option to create a virtual machine. 

VMWare Create New Virtual Machine

On the next screen, you get options to select the configuration of your virtual machine. When you get these options you should select “Custom (advanced)” for your virtual machine configuration. 

This option will provide you with more control over the creation of a virtual machine. You would be able to select different hardware compatibility, virtual disks among others as per your requirement.

Virtual Machine Configuration

Once you select ‘Custom advanced’ option, click on ‘Next’.

Step #4. Selecting Hardware Compatibility

You will arrive on the following screen to select the hardware compatibility for Kali Linux installation. 

This screen is for selecting “Virtual Machine Hardware Compatibility” where you will get the option to select from different hardware versions. 

The hardware version indicates the features that your virtual machine will support. This could include the number of virtual slots, maximum numbers of CPUs, Maximum memory configuration among other hardware characteristics.

VMware Hardware Compatibility

Select  “Workstation 8.x” under hardware compatibility and click “Next”. This will help you get maximum benefits from Kali Linux without the need of making changes later.

Step #5. Get started With Installation Process

On the Next screen, you will find options to install the operating system from physical disk or from an ISO file.

Since you have already downloaded the ISO file you can select “Use ISO file” then select “browse” and navigate to the location of the ISO file.

VMware guest operating system

After Selecting the “ISO file” and clicking “next” you will get the following screen to select the operating system type and version.

Here you will get the “Guest Operating System” Screen to select the operating system and its version. 

You should select “Linux” and then the latest version of Debian on which kali is based. You can choose x64(64-bit) or x32(32-bit) depending upon the version of your ISO file.

After selecting operating system details click “Next”

Step #6. Selecting The Hardware Configurations

After selecting the Operating system details you will get the following screen to select the name for your virtual machine.

VMware name of OS

Under the virtual machine name, you can name your machine “Kali Linux” and click “Next”. 

You will select “Processors” on the next screen that indicates the resources for kali Linux to perform simultaneous tasks. You can select “2 processors” and “2 cores per processors” or change it as per your system requirement. 

After selecting “Processors” click “next”.

On the next screen you will select “Memory” which will define the RAM your Kali Linux will use. The higher the RAM better the performance and you could open more applications.

For the general-purpose, you can select 2GB for RAM but you increase it further as per your requirement.

VMware RAM

After selecting “Memory” Click “Next”.

On the next window under the “Network Connection” option you should choose “Use network address translation (NAT)” and click Next.

VMware NAT

On the next screen, you will get the option to select the Input-output control type.

Under “I/O controller types” you should go with the default “LSI logic” 

After clicking “Next” you will get the following screen to select the type of virtual disk.

VMware Disk Type

Under “Virtual Disk Type” you should select the default option of “SCSI”.

On the next window, you will get the option to create a virtual disk.

VMware Disk

On this screen, you would get the option to Create a new virtual disk or create a new virtual disk as per your requirement.

You can select “create a new virtual disk” and click “Next”

On the next screen, you will get the option to select the size of the virtual disk.

VMware Disk Size

On this screen, you get the option to select “Disk Size” which will define the maximum size of the virtual hard disk. You should use “80 GB”.

You should select “Split virtual disk into multiple files” and don’t enable “Allocate all disk space” this will make your Virtual hard disk to grow over time to maximum size. 

You can always increase or decrease the hard disk after VM has been created as per your requirement. 

Next, you will get the following screen

Under “Disk File” you should go with the default option and move to the next window.

Next, you will get the final screen for VM setup.

VMware OS Ready

On the final screen of the Virtual machine setup wizard, you will see an overview of the setting you have picked.

You will also get the option to “Customize Hardware” to make any changes to your virtual machine.

After confirming the selection you can click “Finish”

Now you can access your newly installed Kali Linux on VMware.

Kali linux setup

By going to edit machine setting you can make changes to your virtual machine.

You can make the following changes for better functioning of your virtual machine.

  • Remove printer
  • Under “USB devices” disabled “Automatically connect new USB devices” and enabled “Show all USB input devices.”
  • Under “Display”, disable  “Accelerated 3D graphics” 
  • Under “Shared folders,” you should select “Always enable”
  • Go to “VMware Tool” and enable “Synchronize guest time with host”

Now your Kali Linux is fully configured to used without disruption.

Kali Linux Running

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Final Words 

Kali Linux is mainly used for securing the Networks and testing penetration. Using kali on Vmware can help you understand its functionality before using on an actual machine. 

There could be some difference in different versions of VMware. You can install Kali Linux in the free version of VMware following similar steps as mention above.