Imagine using Kali Linux, your penetration testing operating system of choice, in public. You don't want anyone to give you strange looks while you are doing a network scan through the terminal, do you?

Offensive Security, the company that supports Kali Linux, has developed a quick solution for this. Kali's undercover mode can change the look of your desktop, making it look like a traditional Windows system that most people are familiar with.

In this article, you will learn more about Kali Undercover, how to use it, and how to install it on your Linux system.

What is Kali Undercover?

As mentioned above, Kali Undercover is a series of scripts that change the look and feel of the default Xfce desktop in Kali Linux. The script applies a Windows-like design to the system to avoid unwanted attention when working in public.

Switching to undercover mode is easy. Just open the terminal and type:

Potash undercover

The transition begins when the script begins changing the fonts, icon package, and screen layout. It takes barely five seconds for the Xfce script to migrate to the "fake" Windows desktop.

Kali undercover mode

Type Potash undercover in the terminal to return to the standard desktop environment.

Why use Kali Undercover?

The primary intent behind the development of kali-undercover was to enable cybersecurity professionals to work comfortably in public places.

An essential part of a penetration tester's job is to find potential vulnerabilities by hacking into their client's network. This requires stealth, and if random people take a look at Kali's suspicious desktop environment, it will simply interfere with their work.

This is where Kali Undercover comes in. You can quickly switch back and forth between the two desktops to hide the operating system used. However, if someone takes a closer look at the desktop, they will most likely find that it is not Windows.

How to install Kali Undercover on Linux

The Kali Undercover script is pre-installed on Kali Linux. However, this does not mean that you cannot benefit from undercover mode while using other Linux distributions. Anyone can install the script on their system provided they are using the Xfce desktop environment.

Install Kali Undercover on Debian / Ubuntu

If you're using a Debian-based operating system like Ubuntu or Linux Mint, all you need to do is download the kali-undercover DEB package from Kali's official repository.

Download: Kali Undercover

Then switch to the Downloads Directory with the cd command.

CD / Downloads

Install the kali-undercover DEB package with dpkg as follows:

sudo dpkg -i kali-undercover_x.x.x_all.deb

Alternatively, you can install the package graphically by running the downloaded file. In Ubuntu, double-clicking the file opens the software installation window. You can then click on To install to install the script.

Related: How to Install Kali Linux in VMware Workstation

Install the script on other Linux distributions

On other Linux distributions, you can download the script using its Git repository:

Git clone https://gitlab.com/kalilinux/packages/kali-undercover

Use cd to navigate to the newly created folder:

CD Kali-Undercover

Copy the files into the share Folder for / usr / Directory. This folder contains all the assets related to the Windows design, such as icons, font packs, and background images.

sudo cp -r share / usr

Finally, copy the Potash undercover Binary file for / usr / bin Folder as follows:

sudo cp / bin / kali-undercover / usr / bin

Remove the script from the system

If you ever want to remove the script from your system, simply delete all files associated with kali-undercover using rm. First, delete the binary file from the / usr / bin Directory:

sudo rm / usr / bin / kali-undercover

Then delete the Windows icons and themes:

sudo rm -r / usr / share / icons / Windows-10-Icons
sudo rm -r / usr / share / themes / Windows-10

Finally, remove the desktop file and the Kali undercover share Folder with rm:

sudo rm /usr/share/applications/kali-undercover.desktop
sudo rm -r / usr / share / kali-undercover

Stay undercover with Kali Linux

In addition to Kali Undercover, the operating system includes a variety of scripts and command line tools. You can be sure that Kali Linux has everything you could want when it comes to network analysis, vulnerability detection, digital forensics, or anything else related to cybersecurity.

If you have not yet made the decision to switch, you should first install Kali Linux on a hypervisor. Virtual machine software like VirtualBox offers the best experience without affecting the machine's performance.

how do i install kali linux on virtualbox

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

Deepesh Sharma
(77 articles published)

Deepesh is Junior Editor for Linux at MUO. He writes informational guides on Linux with the aim of providing a blissful experience for all newbies. I'm not sure about movies, but if you want to talk about technology, he's your type. In his spare time he can be found reading books, listening to different genres of music, or playing guitar.

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