Install kali Linux on an USB SSD or drive
For who is this guide?
- People who can’t install Kali or any other Linux distro because their external USB drive (mostly USB 3.0) is not found by the installer
- People who want to install kali on an external thumb drive
- People who want to install Kali with full disk encryption… on a partition. Yes, you heard that right.
- People who to port their Virtual machine to a real machine.
Note: This is not a Live Kali but an installed version with the USB stick acting as any hard disk would do.
We use Virtualbox for this tutorial. Parallels didn’t worked for me because I was not able to convert my image to a .ISO or .DMG file. To use VMWare you need a way to convert your .vmdk file to an .ISO or .DMG file which is not covered by this tutorial. However, you can use “poweriso” to convert* that.
The trail is limited to 300MB ISO’s + it tries to install crapware during the installation.
Now you can create a virtual machine and install kali on it like you would normally do. Create a new virtual machine, either Ubuntu 32-bit or Ubuntu 64-bit depending on which Kali version you intend to install. Make the VM hard disk smaller than the capacity of the target USB stick/drive as they practically never have the claimed capacity and VDI images do expand when converting to image files.
Make sure that you use the option to pre-allocate the storage instead of dynamically allocate.
If the installation is finished you can shutdown your virtual machine.
Now we use a tool which is bundled with Virtualbox to convert the .vdi file to a raw image file.
VBoxManage internalcommands converttoraw kali.vdi kali.img
Write kali.img to an USB stick using your favourite method (e.g. dd in Linux/BSD or Win32DiskImager in Windows).
dd bs=1m if=/Users/vincentcox/Desktop/kali.img of=/dev/diskn
Remember to replace “n” with the disknumber of your external hard drive/USB!
On mac you can see this in disk utility.
Done! Boot from the USB stick and be happy!
A usual, but not the deadliest ‘dd’ mistake:
This: if=/dev/diskn of=/Users/vincentcox/Desktop/kali.img
will write the content of Disk ‘n’ to the .img file, not the .img file to the disk.
Damn, I really looked over that one! 😮 Thanks for reporting!