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How to Install Kali Linux in VirtualBox on Windows

how to install kali linux in virtualbox virtual machine on windows

In this post, you’re going to learn how to install Kali Linux in a VirtualBox virtual machine on a Windows 10 host.

🎥 Want to watch a video to supplement your reading? Check this out:

Prerequisites 🛠️


If you don’t have VirtualBox installed, head over to and download the latest version.

download virtualbox windows

You can skip this step if you already have it installed. ✅

Download Kali Linux

Head over to and download the desired ISO image.

download kali linux iso image

Download the 64-bit only if you’re running a 64-bit CPU. Otherwise, download the 32-bit version.

If you want to install all the tools that Kali comes with, select the Everything version.

For this tutorial, we’re going to install the recommended version.

Enable Virtualization

One final check you must do before initiating the installation is to enable virtualization in your BIOS/UEFI system.

To check if virtualization is enabled, press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open Task Manager -> Performance then see the Virtualization label.

check virtualization is enabled via task manager

If your virtualization is disabled you must go to your UEFI/BIOS and enable it.

Here is how it looks on my system.

Yours may be different.enable bios uefi virtualization

Intel users may find the setting labeled as VT-d or VT-x.

AMD users as AMD-V.

Make sure to consult your motherboard’s manual if you cannot find the virtualization setting.

Let’s finally configure the virtual machine and then install Kali Linux!

Virtual Machine configuration

Start up VirtualBox and click the New button.

virtualbox new virtual machine

Choose a name for your operating system.

It will be used in any filenames such as configuration, hard disk, and snapshot.

Then select the Kali Linux ISO file you just downloaded and then click Next.

The Type and Version fields will be automatically completed when you select the ISO Image.

virtualbox virtual machine name operating system

Hardware is the next section where we can define how much RAM to use.

virtualbox create virtual machine hardware section

The higher amount of RAM, the better the performance.

Various tools inside Kali can use a lot of resources.

In this example, I’m going with 6GB of RAM (6144MB in binary).

I’d say you should go with something between 25-50% of your maximum RAM. The same goes for CPUs.

Kali tends to be more efficient than Windows, and allocating more resources will cause Windows to get sluggish.

Click Next once you’re ready to move to the next step.

Virtual Hard disk is the next screen.

virtualbox create virtual hard disk

As the name suggests, we can create a Virtual Hard Disk.

My SSD has a total of 2TB and I’m ok with allocating it 100GB.

You can also opt not to add a Virtual Hard Disk.

In this example, let’s go with 100GB.

The final screen is the Summary.

virtualbox create virtual machine summary

If you made a mistake and you’d like to change something, you can go back and do it.

If you’re ok with the setup, then press Finish.

The wizard is complete! Awesome 😎

Advanced Virtual Machine configurations

We still have some small tweaks to ensure we have a healthy virtual machine.

Select the Kali virtual machine and click on Settings to customize it further.

virtualbox virtual machine advanced settings

Go to General -> Advanced and make sure to set Shared Clipboard and Drag n’ Drop to bidirectional.

virtualbox shared clipboard drag n drop bidirectional


In System ->  Motherboard change the Boot Order so that Hard disk is on top and Optical is the second.

Everything else should be disabled.

virtualbox virtual machine boot order

In System -> Processor enable the extended feature named Enable PAE/NX  ONLY if you’re using a 32-bit system.

Leave it disabled if you’re using a 64-bit system.

virtualbox pae/nx setting

In Display -> Screen, make sure to have Video Memory set to 128MB.

Also, make sure to have 3D Acceleration disabled as people have reported it causes issues.

virtualbox display settings

Press OK and your settings should look like this:

virtualbox settings overview

The configuration is complete and you are now ready to install Kali Linux on your virtual machine! 🎉

Install Kali Linux 🐉

Power up the virtual machine by double-clicking it.

Alternatively, you can power it up by right-clicking it, then Start -> Normal Start.

You should be greeted with the Kali Linux Boot screen.

Kali Linux Boot screen

Select your preferred language.

This will be used for both the setup process and once you are using Kali Linux.

Kali Linux installation process select preferred language

Select your location.

Kali Linux installation process Select your location step

Select the localization.

Kali Linux installation process Select localization step

Select the keyboard layout.

Kali Linux installation process Select Keyboard layout step

Click Continue and then Kali Linux will start installing media files.

Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, relax, and wait for the next step. 🍹

Kali Linux installation process installing media files

Configure the network

I’d go with the default kali hostname.

Kali Installation process Configure the Network

I choose neutron as the domain name.

Kali Linux installation process choose a domain name

Next up you’ll have to create the user account for the operating system.

Choose a name for the new user.

Kali Linux installation process Choose name step

Choose a username.

Kali Linux installation process Choose username step

Choose a good password.

Kali will ask for the password every time you boot it up.

Kali Linux installation process create a good password step

Partition disks

Select the Guided – use entire disk option.

Kali Linux installation Guided partition disks step

Select the disk we created earlier.

Kali Linux installation process Select Disk step

Choose disk partitioning

Depending on your needs, you can choose to keep all your files in a single partition or to have separate partitions.

If you’re not sure which you want, go with All files in one partition.

Kali Linux installation process select disk partitioning

Next, you have one last chance to review your disk configuration before the installer makes irreversible changes.

Kali Linux installation disk review

Write the changes to disks?

Select Yes and click Continue.

Kali Linux installation Format Disk step

After that, the installation will take several minutes.

Once the core of the system is installed, a new window will pop up asking you to select a collection of tools.

I’d go with the ones selected by default but feel free to install everything you need.

The more thing you select to install at this point will make the installation last a bit more.

Kali Linux installation process select tools to install

Configuring gub-pc

It is important to install the GRUB boot loader.

Select Yes and then press Continue.

Kali Linux installation process Select GRUB boot loader

Then select the primary drive to install the GRUB boot loader.

Finally, finish the installation

At this point, the installation is complete and you have to reboot your virtual machine.

Just press Continue and wait for the system to reboot.

Kali Linux installation complete

Kali Linux booting screen

Enter your username and password and you’re in!

Kali Linux login screen

Welcome to your new Kali Linux desktop!

Kali Linux desktop screen

Let’s now resize the window resolution to look much better.

Press (right) CTRL + C twice.

Your window should look like this.

Kali Linux better resolution

You’re all set!

Enjoy your new Kali Linux! 🐉

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