- Just What Exactly is WSL?
- Limitations of using Kali with WSL
- How to Install Kali Linux on Windows 10 – Steps
- Whitelist Kali in Windows Defender
- How to Install Penetration Testing Tools
- Wrap Up
Want to try Kali Linux before shifting over to it permanently? Then, this guide on how to install Kali Linux on Windows 10 is just for you!
Kali Linux is a popular Linux distribution. It provides extremely powerful tools and a perfect environment for hackers and penetration testers. However, if you are more inclined towards Windows or want to avoid carrying around a second laptop just for Kali Linux, then there are a few options that you can employ.
Just What Exactly is WSL?
WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) is an amazing feature introduced in a recent update of Windows 10. And just as its name suggests, it lets the users to run a Linux distribution on Windows 10 without requiring a virtual machine software or going through the trouble of setting up a dual-boot.
But Why Shouldn’t I go with Dual-Boot or Virtual Environment?
Even though, Dual-Boot is one of the best options for any user who wants to use a Linux distribution, while keeping their copy of Windows for their day to day tasks. However, if you’re not an advanced level user, then setting it up can be quite a difficult and confusing task.
Moreover, it needs a lot of time, since you have to download the iso file, burn it to flash drive, and then install it while keeping your Windows intact.
A Virtual Machine, on one hand, saves you from the trouble of partitioning. But, on other hand, if you don’t have a good machine, like with 4+ GB of RAM, then it can slow your system down. This depends on how much resources have your reserved for the virtual environment. The main drawback of a Kali running virtual machine is the inability to use Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi adapters.
Want to increase the browsing and downloading speed in Windows 10? Here’s how to do it by changing DNS.
If you still want to go with a virtual set up, then you can check out this guide on how to install Kali Linux on VMware.
And…. Why WSL?
Well! You might have figured that out by now; but now that we’re the one doing the talking, let us answer it!
The Windows Subsystem for Linux provides you a mid-ground to step, as you don’t have to restart your system again and again, to boot into other OS. In fact, all you have got to do, to start Kali Linux, is a few clicks; and you’ll be good to go.
It is important to note that this how to install Kali Linux on windows 10 is only for the users with the updated Windows. Otherwise, you might not be able to download and install Kali.
Limitations of using Kali with WSL
Even though, installing Kali as a WSL gives you the ease of use and flexibility. However, it is far from prefect, since it’s still in its childhood.
Particularly, the support of AF_SOCKET hasn’t been approved yet. This is due to the security restrictions of Windows. Therefore, you won’t be able to use the tools which require the raw sockets support, such as Nmap, won’t work; and the same goes for putting Wi-Fi adapter in monitor mode.
However, many users have already reported the issue on GitHub. If you also want this feature to be included in the next releases, then let them know.
How to Install Kali Linux on Windows 10 – Steps
Now that you know the pros and cons of a Kali Linux installation in a Windows 10 environment, let’s head over the main purpose of this article – the step-by-step guide on how to install Kali Linux on Windows 10.
Oh! And one more thing, to keep things simple and you on the right track, we have divided the steps under their respective category. So, let’s begin:
STEP 1: Install WSL
If you have already enabled the Windows Subsystem for Linux in your Windows, then you can skip to the step 2. Otherwise, follow these steps:
- Press the “WINDOWS + X” buttons and click the “Windows PowerShell (Admin) option in the menu that appears.
- Enter this command to activate the WSL feature: Enable -WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux
- Press the “Enter” button to start the loading process.
- Wait for the loading to complete.
- When prompted to restart the computer, press “Y” and then “Enter” to reboot.
STEP 2: Install the official Kali Linux Application
- Search for “Store” in the start menu and open it. Chances are that, you might have already pinned in the task bar. If so, then click the icon to start the app store.
- Look for “Kali Linux” in the Microsoft Store.
- Click the “Get” or “Install” button to begin the installation procedure.
- Pin the Kali Linux to task bar by clicking the “…” button.
Note: Several other Linux distributions are also available, so you might want to take a look around before exiting the Store.
STEP 3: Launch Kali Linux
If this is your first time launching the Kali Linux application (which we assume it is), then you might be presented with an ongoing installation process once you launch it. Once the system is done with that, you might be prompted to input a username and password for UNIX.
Whitelist Kali in Windows Defender
Windows Defender is quite sensitive in nature and might pick a fight with tools in Kali repository. In fact, it might detect those tools as malware or viruses and might block them from running.
Therefore, it is always better to white list Kali Linux by adding it to the Exclusion list of Windows Defender. This will help in preventing the errors and wrong flags. To set things up, follow this procedure:
- First of all, find the installation folder. For the purpose, open the File Explorer and enter this location in address bar.
Replace the “theusername” with your username.
- Look for the Kali Linux folder and copy its location. The name of the folder will be like “KaliLinux.blablabla…_,”.
- Search for and open the “Windows Defender Security Center” in the Start Menu.
- Enter the “Virus and Threat Protection” section.
- Click on the “+” icon under the exclusions section.
- In the address bar of the popup, paste the copied address.
- Select the folder and click on the “Exclude the Folder” button.
NOTE: To remove an exclusion, simply click the excluded folder or file and press the “Remove” button.
How to Install Penetration Testing Tools
Now that we’re done with most of the how to install Kali Linux on Windows 10 guide, you might want to get started with penetration testing. Nothing much comes pre-installed in this installation; but you can download and use the tools that you want to use.
For the purpose, you can use the normal apt-get command, just like the standalone installation of Kali system. For example, for Metasploit framework, use these commands:
sudo apt-get install metasploit-framework
It is important to regularly update the system with the help of following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
If your hard drive space is running out, then you can empty the apt directory with:
sudo apt-get clean
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