How to install Kali Linux OS on Virtual Box

by Rajaramachandran S on May 7, 2013

Backtrack Linux, a penetration testing suite from Offensive Security has been an awesome operating system for security testing since its first release 7 years back.

Kali Linux is Debian based Linux distribution developed by Mati Aharoni, Devon Kearns and Offensive Security and its latest version 1.0.3 was released on 26 April 2013. Kali Linux is a complete re-build of Backtrack with more than 300 penetration testing tools, with many useless Backtrack tools being eliminated. Details about Kali can be obtained from Official Kali Linux Documentation.

Now, I am going to you tell how to install Kali in a Virtual Box.

Things you need:

  1. Virtual Box (download it HERE)
  2. Kali Linux image (download it HERE)

Now let’s get into the installation.

  • Open Virtual Box.

Installing Kali _1

  • Click on New and then we will name the OS. In this case, I will name it Kali Linux. After selecting that we are intending to install Debian on the machine we will click next.
  • Check these :
  1. Name:  Kali Linux
  2. Type: Linux
  3. Version: Debian

Installing Kali _2

  • After naming section, we need to select the amount of memory (RAM) that we will allocate to it. I used 1024MB and then we click on next.

Installing Kali _3

  • We need to create the virtual hard drive for the OS. I usually select the default option to “create a virtual hard drive now”. We then click Create.

Installing Kali _4

  • Hard drive file type shows many options we will select VDI (VirtualBox Disk Image) and we click on next.

Installing Kali _5

  • To save space, I go with Dynamically allocated and click on next.
  • The VirtualMachine is now listed in our homescreen, so let’s double-click it to boot it up or click on Start.

Installing Kali _6

  • Now we need to select the installation media we want to use.

Installing Kali _7

  • We will browse out to the ISO file we downloaded earlier. Then, we will click Start.

Installing Kali _8

  • We land on the boot menu of Kali Linux, select Install and press Enter.
  • Now just follow the following screens, you need to choose
  1. Language,
  2. Location,
  3. Keyboard configuration

Name the host (I just used kali). If you have domain, you can use it. And Kali’s default root password is toor, you can use it or you can change it.

Installing Kali _9

Installing Kali _10

  • After conforming the password, we need to partition our virtual hard drive to install the OS.
  • Since we created a separate VDI, we can select to use the entire disk.

Installing Kali _11

Hooray! We installed Kali Linux but there is one more step to do before we can boot into the system.

We need to enable PAE/NX for the Kali Linux. Otherwise, you may get a fatal error when attempting to boot into Kali Linux.

  • Get back to the home screen of Virtual Box, highlight the Kali Linux in the homescreen, and click Settings.
  • From here, navigate to the System submenu and go to the Processor tab.
  • You will see the option to Enable PAE/NX. Check this box to enable it.

Installing Kali _12

That’s it. Now you can boot into your Kali Linux.

Installing Kali _13

Just login as root using the password set earlier and you’re good to go!


The Enable PAE/NX setting determines whether the PAE and NX capabilities of the host CPU will be exposed to the virtual machine. PAE stands for “Physical Address Extension”. Normally, if enabled and supported by the operating system, then even a 32-bit x86 CPU can access more than 4 GB of RAM. This is made possible by adding another 4 bits to memory addresses, so that with 36 bits, up to 64 GB can be addressed. Some operating systems (such as Ubuntu Server, Kali Linux) require PAE support from the CPU and cannot be run in a virtual machine without it.

I hope you enjoy Kali Linux. For any queries and suggestions, feel free to comment.

For more awesome stuff, please like and subscribe TechWikasta!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: