how to install kali linux on usb

Getting started with Kali Linux? Great! Welcome to “Security auditing & penetration testing” world. Your first step should be installing Kali on your machine.

Note: Kali Linux known as BackTrack before 2013.

But I’m using windows on my current machine. I paid a load of shit for that and also the software inside…

Don’t worry comrade, there is a way, always a way.

If you’re using windows you don’t have to sacrifice it. You can install Kali Linux on USB and boot it from there. It’s easy. Anyone can do it. So you dont have to hold back your urge to hack, I mean to learn about security.

In this tutorial, we will guide you step by step how to install Kali Linux on USB. The easiest way guaranteed. In addition to that, you will also learn how to boot the kali linux from usb on windows 10, windows 7 or whatever windows you’re using now.

The tutorial from kali.org (Making a Kali Bootable USB Drive) is a little bit intimidating. But you can also read that as alternative.

Another alternative to have Kali Linux on your machine is by setting up a virtual machine. You can read more about that in here: Getting started with Kali Linux.

Anyway, Lets get started.

Install Kali Linux on USB: Summary & Requirement

What you will get after this tutorial:

  • Portable Kali Linux Operating system in your USB stick that can be used on any PC

What you need for this tutorial:

  • A machine: PC or desktop
  • An internet connection
  • 4GB or larger USB Drive: Pendrive, thumb drive, USB stick, portable hard disk with USB connection.

Lastly, I’am assuming that you’re using Windows.

Install Kali Linux with Universal USB Installer (UUI)

Step 1: Get your USB Drive ready

format usb stick before installing kali linux

  • You can use your old 4GB thumb drive. No problem. Of course larger and faster thumb drive are much better – in term of installation speed.
  • Plug it in your computer
  • Format your USB drive. It can be formatted as FAT32 or NTFS

Note: There’s also option to format inside the UUI. But formatting it beforehand will give you chance to back-up any data inside the USB drive.

Step 2: Download the Universal USB Installer (UUI)

  • Go to UUI official site: Universal USB Installer as easy as 123universal usb installer official site
  • Download the UUI. The download button located near bottom of the UUI page.UUI download button
  • Shortcut: Jump to the download button using below link.

UUI Download button

Step 3: Download the Kali Linux

Kali linux download site official

Note: You may have the option to download the Kali Linux inside the UUI but believe me it is much more convenient to download it in advance.

  • Go to Kali Linux official download site: Kali linux Download.
  • There are 2 image name: Kali 64 bit and Kali 32 bit.kali 64 and 32
  • Choose one that is supported by your windows. Not sure which one? read this.
  • Ensure you select the latest version. Click the HTTP link inside the Download column. If you prefer to use torrent, click on the torrent link.
  • It is going to take some time for the download to complete.
  • Keep the downloaded file somewhere you can easily access in your computer.

Step 4: Click open the UUI

  • There are no installation needed to run the UUI
  • Click to run the UUI. You will be asked to accept the license agreementUUI License Agreement
  • Click on I Agree to continue.
  • A new window for setting up the installation will appear as below: UUI setup area

Step 5: Select distribution

UUI select distribution

  • This step is indicated as step 1 in UUI. No issue. Don’t be confused.
  • Klik the dropdown menu in UUI step 1 and select Kali Linux. It is located down below, under the “security and Penetration Testing” section. UUI select kali linux
  • There is a box next to the UUI step 1 – The “Download Link“. Let it be, let it unchecked unless you haven’t download the Kali Linux Image yet.UUI download link box

Step 6: Select your Kali Linux Image file

UUI browse file

  • This step is indicated as step 2 in UUI. Don’t be confused.
  • Click on the browse button and select your Kali Linux Image downloaded earlier.

Step 7: Select USB drive

  • This step is indicated as step 3 in UUI. Don’t be confused.
  • Select your USB drive. If your USB drive doesn’t show up check the box “show all Drives“.
  • Be careful not to select your internal drive. Confirm by checking the USB drive letter in your windows.

Step 8: Create

UUI create

  • Proceed with clicking the “Create” button.
  • A warning message will pop up. Click “Yes” to continue.
  • The installation process will start. It will take about 20 to 30 minutes for the process to complete.Kali installation complete
  • Now you have the Kali Linux on your USB drive that can be used on any computer.

Additional: How to boot from USB drive on windows

Now that you have your Kali inside your USB drive. You want to start right away. But, how to use it?

To start using your Kali Linux, you have to tell your PC or any PC to boot from your USB drive (containing the Kali Linux).

Booting from USB on windows actually quite simple. You push on some button to bring up the boot menu or boot option during window start up and then select USB drive.

But every PC are different. You need to know the exact key to do that. Here’s what you can do.

Step 1: Turn off your PC

Or restart. If you choose to restart, plug in your USB containing the Kali Linux before restarting.

Step 2: Plug in your Kali Linux USB

On any USB port directly connected to PC/motherboard. Don’t use USB hub (USB extension – one to many port)

Step 3: Switch on, examine and press the window boot menu/option key

Wait for the first screen to appear. They key should be right there, usually at the bottom or top. Something like “Press F12 to Choose Device“. Press that key before the screen disappear.

Give it some time to load and a boot menu or option should appear. Move around using the Up and Down keyboard button, highlight the USB Drive option and press Enter.

Step 4: Choose Kali Live System

It should be located at the very top of the Kali boot menu selection.

Step 5: You’re now using Kali Linux.

Congratulation! Now you’ll be able to use Kali Linux for your “Security Auditing” job.

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