If you're really, really new to this and don't know where to start... Part 3 VMs



  • If you made it this far into this series...pat yourself on the back. We are covering a lot of ground fairly quickly. If you need to, ask questions on the forum. There are no stupid questions! Unless you are asking how to baste a turkey. That doesn't belong here. But someone here likely could tell you, haha.

    If you don't want to do a full install, or don't have a spare computer for it, or if you already have a modern mac daddy computer with plenty of resources-- see Part 1-- and you have decided to do a Virtual Machine for your Kali setup... we have you covered there too. Some of this will refer back to items already covered for sake of time. But once again, if you have questions, simply ask.

    First off, you will need a program for your virtual machines to be managed with. Personally, I prefer to use VirtualBox, not the least of which is because Kali has an .ova file for use with VirtualBox that makes the installation easier. We will focus on that, but you can use other programs like VMWare if you choose. But be aware that you will need to do a full installation within the VM program of your choosing, Tailor your install as needed.

    For VirtualBox, go to www.virtualbox.org and download the version appropriate to your host computer. The installation is same as for any program and is pretty straightforward. Instructions, if you need them, are on the VBox page, so I'm not going to repeat them here.

    Next, you need to download the .ova file for Kali. Go to www.kali.org, go to the download page, and at the bottom you will see entries for "VMWare" and "Vbox", and a link to the Offensive Security page. Select appropriate version -- in this case for our example "Kali Linux 64 bit Vbox" and click the link, Scroll down the page, and click the "Kali Linux VirtualBox Images" tab (or your version you need) and click the Image name "Kali Linux Vbox 64 bit ova". This will download the .ova file to your computer. Keep the page open as you will need the hash to verify the file.

    Move the .ova file to a directory that you will leave it in. You do not want to move the file after you create the VM, as it can confuse Vbox when it goes looking for it later. Refer back to part one on verifying the hash on the .ova file.

    After you have verified the hash, open VirtualBox. On the "File" menu, click "Import Appliance". Navigate to your .ova file and follow the prompts. You want to allocate at least 1.5Gb of RAM and two processors. Give it as much video memory as it will allow (green sections of the scale). This will help it run smoother. You can start with 10Gb of virtual drive space, and set it to 'dynamically allocate' space, i.e. it will adjust the size of the virtual drive as needed if you start filling a bunch of space in the virtual machine. This is space off your host hard drive, but it is kept separate from your host machine.

    When you finish with the prompts, your Kali VM should be listed in the left pane on the VirtualBox menu. Click to highlight it and the settings will be listed on the right panel. Check for any warnings, which will be a yellow triangle with an exclamation point. Typically these are just settings tweaks. Scroll through and you can find the highlighted issues and change the settings. As an example, a typical one is that the USB 2.0 may not be supported. Simply go to the USB section, check USB 1.0 instead of 2.0, and the warning should go away.

    Click the "Start" button on the menu bar. Your screen will go through several phases as it opens the VM. It will likely be black for a little bit; don't panic! It is basically booting an entire operating system, and it will take a minute same as it does when you power up a computer. You will likely see warnings about mouse capture; read them and close them out. Simple rule of thumb is that you can toggle whether the mouse is working in the VM or on your host machine by pressing the right CTRL key. There is an icon in the bottom menu bar that will change state depending on where the mouse is working.

    The Kali GRUB loader menu will appear, and load Kali. The default login for the appliance is username "root" and password "toor". As with a full install, you will want to change these, and we will do a walk through in another post to cover just that issue, although it will address user management in the Linux Journey material.

    To shut down the VM, simply use the Power button in the VM and turn it off. It will shut down and exit out on it's own. DO NOT JUST SHUT OFF Vbox! This is the same as just cutting the power on a computer without shutting it down. Don't do it.

    That's it! You should be running now, and as with the full install, now you will want to proceed to the range page, resources, learning resources, and start with Linux Journey to begin learning to use your new Linux Virtual Machine.





  • @dhudson LOL, I asked for it, didn't I?



  • @JMBradley Yes... yes you did xD



  • On the shutdown part. Does it matter with virtual box or VMware of you just shut it down the way you mentioned and it being a graceful shutdown? Or does it really matter? I usually just do "sudo shutdown now". 🙂



  • @Tails same thing for all intents. Power button on the console sends the same command to systemd



  • Maybe should pin these to the top of the NewUsers section?



  • My bad...somewhere in the Ranges support section makes more sense.



  • @jdez nah, it's pretty much only applicable to new people. The beginners section is likely best, as that's the first place someone should be going. But I appreciate the sentiment 😃



  • @JMBradley Sounds good...was just worried they might get buried if not pinned.