Tips on how to Set up Kali Linux in VMware Workstation

If you are ready to start your cybersecurity journey, Kali Linux is one of the best operating systems for you as a beginner. It offers numerous tools that you can use for ethical hacking or penetration testing.

Install Kali Linux on VMware as this is one of the best options to get familiar with this advanced operating system. Even if you mess up or incorrectly install a feature in the virtual environment, it will not have a negative impact on the host operating system.

Here is everything you need to know about installing Kali in VMware's virtual environment.

Installation requirements

The minimum requirements for installing Kali Linux on VMware are as follows:

  • Hard drive space: At least 10 GB
  • Architecture: i386 or amd64
  • R.A.M.: At least 512 MB
  • VMware

  • Kali Linux ISO image

Step 1: Download the Kali Linux ISO file

Before installing Kali Linux on VMware, the first thing to do is to download the Kali Linux image by visiting the official website.

Download: Kali Linux

a notice: Download the ISO file according to your system architecture (32-bit or 64-bit) to avoid downloading the wrong version altogether.

Step 2: Create a new virtual machine

After you've downloaded the ISO file, it's time to create a virtual machine on VMware. Open VMware and click Create a new virtual machine.

Once the next window appears, you'll need to mount the Kali Linux ISO by clicking on the Search Opportunity. Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file and select Next.

Normally, VMware automatically detects the operating system; However, VMware might display the following error:

It could not be determined which operating system is contained in this disc image. You need to specify which operating system to install.

If your installation does too, just ignore the warning by pressing Next.

Select the Guest operating system on the next screen. You have to choose Linux as a guest operating system. By doing execution Select the latest version of from the drop-down menu Debian, since Kali is a Linux distribution derived from Debian, followed by Next.

Provide a name for your virtual machine; this name is not fixed and can be any name of your choice. You can also change the location of the virtual machine or leave it unchanged. Then click on Next.

Specify the hard drive capacity / size, i.e. H. the total amount of disk space that the virtual machine can use after it is created. For ordinary users, it is best to leave the default settings unchanged; H. 20 GB. Depending on the system specification, you can increase or decrease the space.

Check the Split the virtual hard disk into multiple files Option for improved performance. Choose Next.

Finally, in the final dialog box, check all the settings and adjust the hardware settings if necessary. If everything is okay, click Finished to create your virtual machine.

Related: Practical Reasons to Use a Virtual Machine

Step 3: Install the operating system

Now that you've created a new virtual machine, you need to install Kali Linux. Select the newly created virtual machine and start it by running the Play virtual machine Opportunity. VMware will now boot into Kali Linux.

You will be presented with a list of options for installing Kali Linux; choose Graphic installation and choose Keep going. Use your arrow keys to navigate the screen.

Choose your preferred language for the operating system; By default it is English. If you want to select a different language, select the language followed by Keep going.

On the next screen, select the geographic location of your system. Next, select the native keyboard layout using the arrow keys; by default it is American English. This should start with the operating system installation which will continue to open Network configuration Dialog box.

Enter the host name for your system in it Network configuration Crate; Enter a machine name and choose Keep going.

Enter the domain name for your system. Then enter a username to create an account (the user does not have superuser access).

On the next screen you will need to re-enter the username you entered earlier. Set a password for your username, which you will enter into your system after installation.

Now is the time to partition your hard drive; leave this as the default (Guided – Use the entire hard drive) and press Keep going.

Select a hard disk to be partitioned (SDA, VMware virtual hard disk). The installation wizard will ask you to choose a partitioning scheme. Highlight the option that says All files in one partition (recommended for new users) and click on Keep going.

Once you have selected the appropriate options, you will be given a summary of your hard drive partitions. Choose Finish partitioning. Continue to click Keep going on each screen to move to the next.

Choose Yes to confirm the changes. Once you have selected all the required parameters, the actual installation begins, which will take some time.

If you would like to add additional software, you can select it on the following screen. Then click on Keep going Continue.

Install the GRUB boot loader by selecting / dev / sda (Boot loader device) followed by Keep going.

When the installation is complete, the system will ask you to restart your virtual machine. When starting the VM, the GRUB boot loader screen is displayed. Choose Kali GNU / Linux and log in with your username and password. This will take you to the Kali Linux desktop screen.

Once the virtual machine starts, you will get a pop-up menu asking you to install it VMware Tools for Linux. Install this to get advanced features for your virtual machine. If you don't want to install them, you can choose Remind me later.

Related: Dual Boot Vs. Virtual Machine: Which One Is Right For You?

Install operating systems on virtual machines

The installation process can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you don't know how to go about it. However, rest assured that you are in safe hands with the steps outlined above. The detailed procedure for installing Kali Linux on VMware is simple and is intended to help you install it directly on a virtual machine.

You can also install Kali Linux on Oracle's VirtualBox as the service is free to download and easy to access.

Would you like to try Kali Linux? How to install it in VirtualBox

Do you need the penetration test operating system Kali Linux, but don't want to install it? Instead, run it in VirtualBox.

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About the author

Wini Bhalla
(15 articles published)

Wini is a Delhi-based writer with 2 years of writing experience. While writing, she was associated with digital marketing agencies and technical firms. She has written content on programming languages, cloud technology, AWS, machine learning, and much more. In her free time, she enjoys painting, spending time with her family and traveling to the mountains whenever possible.

By Wini Bhalla

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