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Home / Tips and Tricks / Getting started with Kali Linux in 2020 «Null Byte :: WonderHowTo

Getting started with Kali Linux in 2020 «Null Byte :: WonderHowTo



Kali Linux has come a long way since its BackTrack days and is still widely regarded as the ultimate Linux distribution for penetration testing. The system has undergone quite a transformation since its old days and includes a new look, improved performance and some significant changes in its use.

Offensive Security is the team behind Kali Linux, a Debian-based system. Kali is the preferred weapon of choice on Null Byte and you can install it as your primary system (not recommended), use it with dual-boot, use it in a virtual workstation or create a portable live version on a USB flash drive.

We'll walk you through a very simple setup today, just enough to get you started along with Null Byte guides. There are actually a lot of things that can be done to tweak the installation, but we just want the quick and dirty process.

What's New in Kali Linux?

In Kali Linux version 2019.4, released at the End of 2019, Offensive Security made significant changes to how Kali looks and feels. And the 2020.1 update, released in January 2020, built on the new foundation.

Perhaps the most important update is the default desktop environment, which is now Xfce, a change made mainly for performance issues. For most users, GNOME is overkill, and a lightweight desktop environment like Xfce offers lower overhead, leading to smoother and faster performance. For all the die-hard GNOME fans out there, the previous desktop environment is still supported and even comes with an updated GTK3 theme.

Other new features include the introduction of undercover mode, new public packaging and documentation processes, an update for Kali NetHunter, the addition of PowerShell, non-root users are now the default and other bug fixes and updates.

Choosing the Right Kali Linux

To get started, navigate to kali.org and go to the download page, where you can choose from several images.

The available images include Kali Linux for both 64- and 32-bit architectures (via Installer), Lite editions (via NetInstaller) and Live versions, and there are links to downloads for the ARM architecture and VMware and VirtualBox virtual machines. How you want to use Kali is entirely up to you.

  • The links " Installer " are for Intel based computers and contain a copy of the standard packages. You can install Kali later without an internet connection. These are good if Kali will be your primary operating system or part of a dual boot system. For best performance without sacrificing your preferred primary system, dual-booting is best.
  • The links " NetInstaller " are much smaller than those of the installer, since they do not contain copies of the packages to be installed. These are only recommended if you don't have enough bandwidth to download a full version as you will likely want to install the missing packages later.
  • The links " VM " are for Kali to be installed as a virtual machine on your primary system. The two compatible virtual environments are VirtualBox (free) and VMware Workstation (not free). These are good options for Null Byte readers because you can practice hacking between systems on one computer, which can prevent you from breaking cybersecurity laws. However, keep in mind that a fair amount of RAM is required for everything to run smoothly and to run wireless hacks you will need an external wireless adapter, an adapter that you can preferably put in monitor mode.
  • Not listed are Kali NetHunter images for mobile devices, but you can find them on the Offensive Security site. They work on various Android devices such as OnePlus, Sony Xperia and Nexus models.

If you want to use an older version of Kali, you can visit the index of older image versions. While Kali 2020.1 replaced standard root users with non-root users, you may want to install a version of 2019, which still gives you most of the latest features. In this guide, I install the 2019.4 version as my primary system because I want to keep the default user.

Once you have decided how you want to use Kali, click on the name of the image to download it. You can also click the "Torrent" link if that will get the job done better.

Installing Kali Linux

The process for installing Kali Linux will differ depending on which version you have chosen. For help installing Kali in VirtualBox, see our previous article about using Kali in VirtualBox on a Mac: the article is a bit old, but the process is generally the same and works the same on Windows . For help installing Live images, Kitten's guide, a Null Byte reader, might help.

I downloaded the Kali 2019.4 64-bit image and burned the ISO to a disc, and that's what I'm showing today. After opening the installer, the boot menu offers several options. We keep it simple and do the graphical installation. A minimum of 20 GB of disk space is recommended.

Then select the language and keyboard layout options.

Th and enter a host name for the system.

Then set a password for the root user. Remember that if you install 2020.1 or higher, there is no root user by default, only a non-root user, but you can also set a custom password for the user.

Now set the desired time zone to configure the clock:

Then we can start partitioning the disk . We keep it simple again and use the "Guided" method. In my case the "user complete disk" method.

Once everything is configured, the changes are written to disk.

And the installation will begin. This can take some time.

A network mirror can be used to update the software during installation. If you're connected to a network, it usually makes sense to do this.

The GRUB boot loader must also be installed for the operating system to boot.

The installation has finally been completed. Now we can restart the machine and boot into the new system.

As soon as Kali boots up, we see a new login prompt, which looks much different than on Kali version 2019.3 and older. If you installed 2019.4, the credentials are the host name you chose and the root password you created, or the non-root user and password you created. For 2020.1 and later, "kali" and "kali" are the default default user credentials for certain installations such as in VirtualBox. (The root user's default references were "root" and "toor.")

Now we can see the newly designed desktop, which uses the Xfce environment. [19659045] Getting started with Kali Linux in 2020 ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

The icons, file system and terminal all have new themes. You may want to take some time to find your way around the new environment. There are also tools that we recommend installing on your Kali build right away, including Git, a terminal multiplexer, Tor, a code editor, and so on.

The applications menu in the top left corner, depicted by the Kali icon, is where all your tools and settings are housed. Hacking tools are divided into topics ranging from social engineering to post-exploitation and password attacks. While the graphical user interface menu for applications is nice, you can also launch all these tools from the command line interface in a terminal window.

How the New Undercover Mode Works

Kali now comes with an undercover mode designed to resemble Windows for the regular viewer. This is useful if you need to look less suspicious, both in public and during a professional pen test. Simply enter kali-undercover in the terminal to run the script and transform the environment.

Even the menu and file manager are designed to look like Windows

Enter the command in the terminal again to return to the normal desktop environment.

How PowerShell works in the new Kali

Kali now includes PowerShell, making it easy to work with PowerShell scripts and run them directly on the system. It can be installed with the package manager. If you are not a root user, add sudo at the beginning of the command below.

  ~ # apt install powershell

Read package lists ... Done
Build dependency tree
Read status information ... Done

... 

To run it, simply enter pwsh in the terminal and we will be displayed in a PowerShell prompt.

  ~ # pwsh

PowerShell 6.2.3
Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

https://aka.ms/pscore6-docs
Type & # 39; help & # 39; to get help.

PS / root> 

Docs & Public Packaging

Kali now empowers the community by empowering the public. All documentation is now available in markdown in a public Git repository – anyone can contribute through merge requests. There are also plans to include all documentation in every Kali image so that offline access is possible.

Another change concerns the way in which new tools are packaged. There is now documentation on how to create new packages to be included with Kali. Once a new tool is packaged, it can be submitted for approval.

The default non-root user in 2020.1 and higher

If you installed 2020.1 or higher, you had to create an admin user versus a root user. To use Kali at root level, you can use sudo -s or sudo -i or sudo su to get it into your current shell. You can also create a password for root once you have the root prompt; use passwd root and create the password. After that you can just use su to open root access in your shell.

Alternatively, you can set passwordless permissions when using sudo with the following command. [19659058] ~ $ sudo apt install -y kali-grant-root && sudo dpkg-reconfigure kali-grant-root

Other features

Kali also has some other new features. The kernel was updated to version 5.3.9 in 2019.4, but currently stands at 5.5.17 on May 13, 2020. Another addition is the use of BTRFS (b-tree file system), which reverses the possibility of changes to a bare metal installation, much like the snapshot function used in a VM.

The 2019.4 version of Kali is also the last release that supports 8 GB SD cards for ARM, so if it is 2020.1 or higher you will need a 16 GB card. Kali NetHunter also gets an update. With the new NetHunter Kex, an HDMI output can be connected to an Android device, plus Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. – it essentially creates a full Kali desktop experience right from your phone.

The build 2020.1 introduced three regular Nethunter versions, one for rooted custom recovery devices and a patched kernel, one for rooted custom recovery devices and no custom kernel, and one for non-rooted devices.

Completion

In this article, we discussed the latest Kali Linux releases, their new features, and the basic installation that every newbie could work with. For more advanced installations, for example, if you want to verify the checksum start Kali dual-boot with Windows, Mac or Linux, encrypt the disk, and so on, check out Kali's official documents.

It's the same old Kali you know and love, but with a new look and better performance. With these exciting new changes, one thing is certain: Kali Linux remains the king of pentesting distributions.

Don't Miss: Top 10 Things to Do After Installing Kali Linux

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Cover Image and Screenshots by drd_ / Null Byte

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