Introduction: DIY Kali Linux Bootable USB Drive

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Kali Linux is the new generation of the industry-leading BackTrack Linux penetration testing and security auditing Linux distribution. Kali Linux is a complete re-build of BackTrack from the ground up, adhering completely to Debian development standards.

In this Instructable, I'll show you how to make a Kali Linux Bootable USB, with the help of which you can use Kali Linux in any computer or laptop without installing the OS, or even use it to install Kali Linux.

Kali Linux is the best available platform for security and penetration testing. Once you're done with the Instructable, and start using the OS, any beginner will definitely feel like Mr.Robot.

Step 1: A Little About Kali Linux

Kali Linux was released on the 13th March, 2013 as a complete, top-to-bottom rebuild of BackTrack Linux, adhering completely to Debian development standards.

Few of the features of this OS are:

  • More than 600 penetration testing tools are included
  • FHS compliant
  • Wide-ranging wireless device support
  • Custom kernel, patched for injection
  • Multi-language support
  • Completely customizable
  • ARMEL and ARMHF support

This version of Linux is used mainly by professionals, but thanks to an online book launched by the team, even beginners can refer that and do awesome things.

Step 2: The Checklist

There are three things you need to have before getting started:

  • A verified copy of the appropriate ISO image of the latest Kali build image for the system you’ll be running it on.
  • If you’re running under Windows, you’ll also need to download the Win32 Disk Imager utility. On Linux and OS X, you can use the dd command, which is pre-installed on those platforms.
  • A USB thumb drive, 4GB or larger. (Systems with a direct SD card slot can use an SD card with similar capacity. The procedure is identical.)

Step 3: Downloading the Required Software

Linux is an open source OS, which means it's totally free. So make sure to download the iso file (disc image file) from the official Kali website. You can go to that page by clicking here.

Note: Choose which version of Kali you'd like to be using and download that specific version.

As mentioned in the previous step, if you're using Windows, then you'll need the Win32 disc imager to mount the iso file on the USB drive. You can get it by clicking here.

Step 4: Mounting the Iso File

Make sure the USB device is formatted properly before mounting the image file.

  1. Plug your USB drive into an available USB port on your Windows PC, note which drive designator (e.g. “F:\”) it uses once it mounts, and launch the Win32 Disk Imager software you downloaded.
  2. Choose the Kali Linux ISO file to be imaged and verify that the USB drive to be overwritten is the correct one. Click the “Write” button.Once the imaging is complete, safely eject the USB drive from the Windows machine.
  3. You can now use the USB device to boot into Kali Linux.

Step 5: Testing

Once you have ejected the USB drive, you can quickly test if it is working by plugging it in and restarting your computer. While the system is starting up, open the boot menu and select 'boot from USB Device' option. Now if you've done everything right, your computer will boot up into Kali Linux.

You can also use this USB device to freshly install Kali LInux on your system.

That's All Folks !! Stay Tuned for More !!

Step 6: P.S : a Few Tips

Kali Linux is a very powerful operating system. You may be a beginner or an experienced veteran, you'll need to keep improving your knowledge about it.

Also the Kali team has launched their Online book called Kali Linux Revealed. This is a very resourceful book and I strongly suggest you to read it and complete the course. After all, it's free.

Once you've read the book and become familiar with it, you can bend Kali Linux according to your will.

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