With cybersecurity demands drastically on the rise in 2021 owed primarily to the outbreak of the global pandemic, it’s no surprise that there is a surge of people online searching how to begin hacking.
This guide has been written with those exact users in mind. By the end of this guide, users should have a more firm understanding of cybersecurity and how to begin in the industry. Users should begin by downloading the latest distro of Kali Linux. Kali is one of the very few readily available Linux distributions that focuses on hacking. We’re sure you’re probably familiar with Mr Robot.
Due to Mr Robot, the surge in Kali Linux usage has skyrocketed exponentially, as mentioned and shown in a graph provided by It’s Foss’s review of Kali Linux. Now you’ll find anyone whose curiosity has peaked through mainstream media dabbling their hands at something so in-depth and technical they may be overwhelmed.
Kali Linux wasn’t designed for general purposes, so general users just trying to use it for everyday things isn’t ideal. It was designed specially for technical minded people to make use of the readily available tools for penetration testing.
If you are serious about learning to be a pen tester, though. You will want to familiarise yourself with these tools and how to use them to succeed in your venture.
What you need to begin:
- Kali Linux Distribution Image File
- USB Memory Stick (4GB+)
- Win32 Disk Imager utility.
First, begin by downloading your copy of Kali Linux, you can do that from the link here and once that’s completed you’ll want to install the Win32 Disk Imager Utility tool from Sourceforge.
Once Win32 Disk Imager is installed, open it up and plug in your blank USB memory stick into the USB port on the system you wish to create the bootable medium on and make a note of which drive letter has been assigned to the mounted drive.
Go ahead and click on the little folder icon next to the device selection to be prompted with a screen where you select your image file (ISO) from your files and folders. If for some reason you cannot see your ISO file, make sure to change the drop-down option next to the file name dropdown to “*.*” and you should see your file.
As per the following screenshot, ensure that your image file location URL is correct and the device is set properly. This step is important, ensure it’s correct or the writer will not work properly.
When you’re happy with the configuration you have set, click on write.
You will immediately be followed up with another popup, it’s simply just to confirm your selection. Confirm the details and the progress bar will start going up in increments, just be patient as this could take some time depending on your system’s write speed.
Upon completion, another popup will appear simply stating ‘write successful’ – congratulations! – you now own your own bootable medium that has Kali Linux ready to go on it.
Safely eject your drive from the Windows machine and prepare the system you want to install Kali Linux on for an installation.
Depending on your system, you may need to alter the boot settings within your systems BIOS. Check with your specific device manufacturer for how to boot up into the BIOS.
Once your boot settings have been changed, save and exit the BIOS before running your USB with Kali Linux flashed onto it, from this point you can follow a basic setup which will install Kali for you easily.
We are choosing to install Kali using the graphical install option, but you can go ahead and choose your preferred method
Go ahead and select your preferred language
The next stages are fairly straightforward, go ahead and choose your location settings and preferred keyboard settings for your location and then head on to configure the network settings.
Now you can set up a hostname for the system you’re setting up. You can choose a default domain name for now if you wish.
Now you want to set up a root user for the system, go ahead and choose a username and password.
Now you want to set up your respective time-zone and move onto the disk part of the installation, where the installer will probe your disk and offer you choices. In this tutorial, we are going to be using a fresh disk, so there are four selections on offer to choose amongst. We are opting for the Guided – the entire disk option, as this is the single boot installation for Kali Linux, there is no dual-booting for us today.
In the next section you can enter any appropriate proxy information
After the appropriate proxy information is entered, you can customize which metapackages are pre-installed onto Kali. The default options will install a standard Kali Linux system which seems appropriate for beginners looking for a basic setup.
Install the GRUB boot loader and then in the following option after this, set the drive to install it to. This is NOT saved by default.
Finally, you can now reboot the system. Your installation should now be complete.
To conclude this basic Kali Linux installation you should now be able to go ahead and begin your pen testing and ethical hacking adventure, be sure to check out other guides and tutorials to learn what you are doing.
Connie has been working within the cyber security industry for almost 10 years now, specialising in penetration testing or more specifically web application pen testing. She believes that everyone online should have access to this information and strives to provide people with the knowledge they need to begin within the industry and for others to stay safe online.