Step by Step Guide – How to Install Kali Linux 2019.4 and VMware Tools in VMware Workstation 15 Pro



Kali Linux 2019 was released in 2019 and the current release is Kali 2020. In this blog post I will show you how to install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15 which is the latest version of VMware Workstation. If you are using earlier versions of VMware Workstation, I recommend, you switch to the latest version of VMware Workstation which is Version 15.5.

  1. You can also install Kali Linux 2020.1a in VMware Player 15, which is free for non commercial use. Please follow my blog to install Kali Linux 2020.1a in VMware Player 15.
  2. You can also install Kali Linux 2020.1a in VMware Workstation 15 pro, please follow my blog to Step by Step Guide – How to Install Kali Linux 2020.1a and VMware Tools in VMware Workstation 15 Pro
  3. To Install Kali Linux using Kali Linux official Image, please follow my post How to use Kali Linux Official Image to install Kali Linux in VMware 15 and VirtualBox 6
  4. To Install Kali Linux 2020 in Hyper-V, Please follow my post How to Install and Setup Kali Linux 2020.1 in Hyper-V on Windows Operating System
  5. To Install Kali Linux 2020 in VirtualBox 6, Please follow my post How to use Kali Linux Official Image to install Kali Linux in VMware 15 and VirtualBox 6

Step 1 – Download Kali Linux ISO image

To install the Kali Linux, we will have to first get the installer ISO image file. Since Kali Version 2020 has been released, you will have to visit the archive web page to download the previous version. You can get it by visiting the official download page. Please download the 64 bit or 32 bit image depending on the system you have.

Kali Linux Official Download Page for older versions

Kali Linux Official Download Page for older versions

Don’t worry about various version of download available, Please chose the default one which is kali-linux-2019.4-amd64.iso. Other versions such as light, kde, lxde are various other desktop environments. kali-linux-2019.4-amd64.iso will give you the default desktop enviroement which is Gnome.

Kali Linux Official Download Page for older versions

Kali Linux Official Download Page for older versions

Step 2 – Locate the downloaded file

You can find the downloaded image file in the downloads folder, if you have not changed the default settings. The filename would be something like kali-linux-2019.4-amd64.iso. If you have downloaded through torrent, the ISO file will be downloaded in a folder, folder name would be something like kali-linux-2019.4-amd64.iso.

Step 3- Open VMWare Workstation

Open VMware Workstation from Windows Start menu or from you desktop if you have VMware Workstation icon there.

VMware Workstation 15.5 Pro Home Screen

VMware Workstation 15.5 Pro Home Screen

Step 4 – Launch VMware Workstation New Virtual Machine installation wizard.

To launch the wizard to create a new virtual machine, Click on Create a New Virtual Machine or File -> New Virtual Machine. Welcome to the new Virtual Machine Wizard dialog box will open. Select typical and click on next.

VMware workstation – create a new virtual machine screenshot

Step 5- Welcome to the new Virtual Machine Wizard dialog box appears

This is where you get a chance to select the way virtual machine will be created. Typical is predefined or mostly the defaults. Custom is where you get to set advanced options such as compatibility with older Virtual Machines, SCSI controller type, etc. We will go with the default options. Select Typical and click Next.

VMware workstation home – create a new virtual machine wizard – welcome screen screenshot

VMware workstation – create a new virtual machine screenshot

Step 6- Select installation media or source

In this dialog box you will have to browse to the downloaded ISO file and click next. Generally, VMware Workstation detects the OS automatically and initiates what they call as the Easy Install. But in the case of Kali Linux this is not the case and you will see a warning(yellow triangle). Please ignore that and click next to continue.

Kali Linux Installation - New Virtual machine Wizard - Browse Guest Operating System

Kali Linux Installation – New Virtual machine Wizard – Browse Guest Operating System

Step 7- Select Guest Operating System

In this dialog box, you will be asked to select the Guest Operating System. Select Guest operating system as Linux and Version as Debian 9.x 64-bit or 32 bit depending on your system.

VMware Workstation – New Virtual machine Wizard – Select Guest Operating System

VMware Workstation – New Virtual machine Wizard – Select Guest Operating System

Step 8- Provide Virtual machine name

In this dialog box, you will be asked to provide the name of the virtual machine. You can provide any name you like. You can also change the location of the virtual machine. By default it is place in the Documents/Virtual Machine folder. Leaving it as the default is also fine.

VMware Workstation - Install New Virtual Machine - Virtual machine name

VMware Workstation – Install New Virtual Machine – Virtual machine name

Step 9- Specify disk capacity

This dialog box asks you to specify the disk capacity. This is the maximum amount of disk space it will utilize once the Virtual Machine is created. You can leave it to the default but if you are running low on disk space, you can reduce it to 20 GB. This is generally sufficient if you are not planning to install heavy disk using software’s such as Photoshop. Such software’s reduce the performance of your Virtual Machine if your Computer is not powerful enough.

Check Split Virtual Disk into multiple files. This is the default option. Say if you specify 60 GB, all of 60 GB will not be utilized or say 60 GB will not be blocked at once. These Virtual Disks expand according to the usage with a Maximum size you specified as the disk capacity. On a fresh install normally it takes 10 GB of space which will grow according to the software’s you install in the VM.

VMware Workstation - Create new virtual machine - specify disk capacity

VMware Workstation – Create new virtual machine – specify disk capacity

Step 10- Ready to create Virtual Machine Dialog Box

This is the final dialog box and what you see is all the options you have selected in previous dialog boxes.

VMware Workstation - Create new virtual machine - ready to create virtual machine

VMware Workstation – Create new virtual machine – ready to create virtual machine

Normally I increase the RAM and memory before clicking finish. This helps to finish the installation process faster. If you have sufficient RAM and CPU on your host Windows machine, I suggest even you should increase RAM and CPU. To increase the RAM, before clicking Finish, click on customize hardware. Increase the memory using the slider.

VMware Workstation - Virtual machine hardware settings - memory

VMware Workstation – Virtual machine hardware settings – memory

To increase the CPU, Enter the values number of processors and number of cores. Click on Finish to start the installation process.

VMware Workstation - Virtual machine hardware settings - processors

VMware Workstation – Virtual machine hardware settings – processors

Click on Close and Finish to start the installation process

Step 11 – Power on Virtual Machine

Now you will have to power on the virtual machine to start the process. You can see the option to power on the VM on top left hand side.

VMware Workstation- Power on Virtual machine

VMware Workstation- Power on Virtual machine

Step 12 – Select Graphical Install from Boot Menu

Here you will see many options. Select Graphical Install using the down arrow key and click continue.

Kali linux installation boot menu screenshot

Kali linux installation boot menu screenshot

Step 13 – Select a Language

In this dialog box you will be asked to select a language. Please select a language and continue. This option sets your language in the Kali Linux Operating system. Default is English.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select a Language Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select a Language Screenshot

Step 14 – Select Location

In this dialog box you will be asked to select a Location. Please select a location and continue. This option sets your Location in the Kali Linux Operating system. later on, you will be able to set the time zone based on the location you choose here.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select Location Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15 – Select Location Screenshot

Step 15 – Configure the Keyboard

In this dialog box you will be asked to select the keyboard layout. Please select a Keyboard layout using the arrow keys and click continue. This option sets your Keyboard in the Kali Linux Operating system. By default it is set to American English.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure keyboard Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure keyboard Screenshot

After you click continue, you will see the installation progresses for some them you see the Network Configuration dialog box, which is the next step.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Installation progress Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Installation progress Screenshot

Step 16 – Configure the Network – Enter Hostname

In this dialog box you will be asked to enter the hostname for your system. This being a home network, we can set anything. Enter any anything and click continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Network Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Network Screenshot

Step 17 – Configure the Network – Enter domain name

In this dialog box you will be asked to enter the domain name for your system. This being a home network, we can set anything like example.com

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Network- Enter Domain Name Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Network- Enter Domain Name Screenshot

Step 18 – Set User and password

In this dialog box you will be asked to enter the password for the root user account. Please enter a password of your choice and click continue. This is the password for user root with which you will login when the installation completes.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Set up Users and Password Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Set up Users and Password Screenshot

You will be asked to setup a user only if you leave the root password as blank in the above screen. if you setup an password, you will not see the below screens. In that case you will have to login as root and the password you setup above.

In this screen you have to enter username of the account, in all small letters. This account should be used for general non administrative activities. Click on continue.
In this screen you have to enter Full name of the user other than root. This account should be used for general non administrative activities. Click on continue.

Kali Linux Installation - setup user

Kali Linux Installation – setup user

In this screen you have to enter username of the account, in all small letters. This will be used to login as a user other than root.This account should be used for general non administrative activities. Click on continue.

Kali Linux installation - setup user account

Kali Linux installation – setup user account

Here you will have to enter the password for the newly created user. Remember, this is not the root password. Enter password and Click continue.

Kali Linux Installation - setup user password

Kali Linux Installation – setup user password

Step 19 – Configure Clock

In this dialog box you will be asked to time zone based on the location you selected earlier. Please enter a time zone of your choice and click continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure Clock Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure Clock Screenshot

Step 20 – Partition Disk

In this dialog box you are asked how you would like to partition your disk. Select Guided – Use entire disk and click continue. This is the default option.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Partition Disk Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Partition Disk Screenshot

In this dialog box you are asked to select a disk to partition. Select sda, VMware Virtual disk. There should be only one option. Click Continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select Disk to Partition Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select Disk to Partition Screenshot

Step 21 – Select partition scheme

In this dialog box you are asked to select a scheme for disk partition. Select the default, All files in one partition and click Continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Disk Partitioning Scheme Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Disk Partitioning Scheme Screenshot

Step 22 Disk partition Overview

In this dialog box you are see the summary of your disk partition. Select the Finish Partitioning and Write changes to disk which should be selected by default. All you have to do is to click continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Disk Partition Overview Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Disk Partition Overview Screenshot

Step 23 – Disk partition Confirmation

In this dialog you are asked to confirm Write changes to disk. Select yes and click continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Disk Partition Confirmation Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Disk Partition Confirmation Screenshot

Step 24 – Installation starts

Now the actual installation starts. Wait for Configure the Package Manager Dialog box to appear.

Kali Linux - Installation begins

Kali Linux – Installation begins

Step 25 – Configure the package manager

In this dialog box you will ask if you wish to configure network mirror for Package manager. Choose yes and continue. You can skip this by selecting NO. But the default option Yes is better. I will go with Yes.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Package Manager Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Package Manager Screenshot

Step 26 – Configure the package manager – HTTP Proxy

In this dialog box you will ask if you wish to HTTP proxy. Leave it blank and click continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Package Manager - HTTP proxy Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Configure the Package Manager – HTTP proxy Screenshot

Installation process will continue. Wait for sometime and let the process continue.

Kali Linux Installation

Kali Linux Installation

Step 27 – Install GRUB boot loader

In this dialog box you will be asked if you would like to install the GRUB boot loader. Select Yes and click Continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Install GRUB Boot Loader Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Install GRUB Boot Loader Screenshot

Step 28 – Select device for GRUB boot loader Installation

In this dialog box you will be asked to select boot loader device for GRUB installation. Select /dev/sda and click Continue.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select GRUB Boot Loader Device Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Select GRUB Boot Loader Device Screenshot

Installation will continue. Wait for the process to complete.

Kali Linux Installation

Kali Linux Installation

Step 29 – Installation Complete

Installation will continue and now you will see Installation complete dialog box. Click continue to finalize the installation and wait for the VM to reboot. After reboot you will see the login screen. Login with your username or root user and provide your password. You will then see the Kali Linux desktop.

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Installation Complete Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2019 in VMware Workstation 15- Installation Complete Screenshot

Process will begin again. Its just finishing up the installation process and then the VM will reboot.

Kali Linux Installation

Kali Linux Installation

Once the VM reboots, you will see the Kali Linux login screen.

Login with username: root, Password: what you entered during the installation process earlier.

Kali Linux login screen dialog box screenshot

Kali Linux login screen dialog box screenshot

Step 30 – Switching to Full screen mode

After login, if you want to switch to full screen mode, you wont be able to. What you will see is the resolution of 800×600 which is the default resolution. This is because, VMware tools are not installed. Please follow the below steps to install VMware tools. After the installation and reboot, you will be able to see the desktop with resolution same as your computer.

Kali Linux desktop VMware no full screen - Resolution 800x600

Kali Linux desktop VMware no full screen – Resolution 800×600

Install VMware Tools (Optional for VMware 15)

In VMware Workstation pro 15, you should automatically be able to switch to the full screen mode. If not, follow the below steps.

If you don’t have internet connection, you can install VMware tools directly from the VM. If you have internet connection, follow the next instruction which is easier.

  1. Goto VM-> Install VMware Tools
  2. You will see VMware tools Icon on the desktop. If you don’t, then click on Places in the menu, Places->VMwre Tools. Double click to open.
  3. Copy the file with the file name something like this VMware-tools….tar.gz to the desktop.
  4. Right click on this file on the desktop and click Extract here. You will see that the file is extracted to the folder vmware-tools-distrib.
  5. Open terminal by going to System Tools -> terminal
  6. Goto the folder vmware-tools-distrib on desktop by entering the command cd /Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib
  7. Now run this command:
    sudo ./vmware-install.pl -d
  8. Enter your password and press Enter. You will be asked if you want to proceed with the legacy installer. Enter Y and press Enter.
  9. Now you will be asked series of questions, just accept the default by pressing Enter for all and wait for the installation to complete.
  10. Wait for the installation to complete. You will see more prompts, except the defaults by clicking enter. Once completed, restart your VM by going to VM->Power->Restart Guest
  11. Once the system restarts, you will be prompted to login. Once you login, you can see the desktop in full screen mode which stretches up to the complete screen.

If you have internet connection, try this

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Execute the command
    sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools-desktop fuse
  3. Enter your password
  4. Enter your password, if asked
  5. Enter Y to accept whenever asked
  6. Wait for the process to complete and restart. You are done. Login and now you will see the desktop in full screen mode

You can check the version of installed VMware Tools. In terminal, execute the command

vmware-toolbox-cmd -v

. This will show you the version number.

Process Complete

You are done, You can start working on Kali Linux 2019. Thanks for Visiting my blog.

Kali Linux desktop screenshot

Kali Linux desktop screenshot

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Underneath a boring IT professional lies a passionate student of computer science. I love computers and this blog is about everyday computer issues that a common man faces. Through this blog I try to reconnect with my long forgotten self.

Show 26 Comments
  • sadan khan January 15, 2017, 10:14 pm Link Reply

    Thankss man 🙂

  • Manu January 16, 2017, 1:53 am Link Reply

    Great job! thank you!

  • dinesh January 27, 2017, 7:57 pm Link Reply

    i have kali-linux-2016.2-i386 image and vmware 12 pro

    i done every step the installation also successful but after reboot its only display black screen.
    whats wrong.

    • Shailesh Jha January 27, 2017, 10:41 pm Link Reply

      It is difficult to diagnose these issues. Could be a problem with the ISO image. Try these two solutions,

      1. Enable “Intel Virtualization Technology” in bios from Disable to Enabled and try to restart your VM. If this doesnot work try below solution

      2. Download the VM image directly from the kali website. Download the image and start VM. Login with username root and password toor.

      https://www.offensive-security.com/kali-linux-vmware-virtualbox-image-download/

      You can directly open the VM and dont have to install. Just extract the files using 7zip. Download the VM image depending on which virtualization software you are using. Download image for VMware if you are using VMware or Virtualbox image if you are using virtualbox.

  • Hal February 1, 2017, 7:33 am Link Reply

    Very good tutorial.

  • Jackson March 2, 2017, 5:42 pm Link Reply

    Good tutorial! Very explanatory! But, I’m still having problems!! How to I enable the Intel Virtualization Technology in the BIOS? Thanks!

  • Jackson March 2, 2017, 6:14 pm Link Reply

    Very great tutorial!! It works perfectly and the details are crystal clear!! Keep it up, guy! Although, it didn’t really work at first, then my eye caught another tutorial of yours, which is related to the problem I had, I followed your instructions, and it worked!
    Thanks!!

  • Jackson March 2, 2017, 6:48 pm Link Reply

    Please, help me!! Which country should I select to find a mirror of the Debian archive that is close to me on the network?

  • Jackson March 2, 2017, 8:59 pm Link Reply

    After I extracted the file onto the Kali Linux Desktop, I opened the terminal and when I typed cd/Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib, it keeps saying no such file or directory! Please, help me! What am I doing wrong?

  • Korean March 13, 2017, 4:53 pm Link Reply

    Thank you!

  • Zehra March 26, 2017, 9:28 am Link Reply

    Thank you so much! This was a great help!

  • islam April 14, 2017, 12:43 am Link Reply

    when i am putting username and password am getting an error ” sorry that didnt work pls try again”
    what i put in username even i already tried as root toor its also not working same error getting with this also

    • Nafty October 17, 2018, 12:13 am Link Reply

      As you are logging first time so you need to login with root that is username will be “root” and the password will be the one you have created previously

  • Jesús Panateos April 18, 2017, 1:55 am Link Reply

    Great post!!

    Here a guide to install on vmware workstation in spanish:

    http://www.sysadmit.com/2017/04/vmware-kali-linux-instalar.html

  • M.r.t April 28, 2017, 7:34 pm Link Reply

    Fucking great job bro !!!!!!!👍👍👍👍

  • Kavianand G July 20, 2017, 9:07 am Link Reply

    Thanks for the info

  • Bullmove August 8, 2017, 11:02 pm Link Reply

    Thank you. It worked for me.

  • mustafa December 15, 2017, 5:03 pm Link Reply

    kali 2016.2 vmdk please?

    • Shailesh Jha December 15, 2017, 5:15 pm Link Reply

      You can find the kali .vmdk file in the folder in which you have installed Kali Linux through VMware workstation. If you have not changed the default folder, it should be in Documents->Virtual Machine folder.

  • prashun yadav March 30, 2018, 7:34 am Link Reply

    nice sir , very very thanks 🙂

  • Prathamesh More July 10, 2018, 12:36 am Link Reply

    Still, windows can not stretched after installing VMTool

  • Jainam October 10, 2018, 11:41 pm Link Reply

    I can’t Get full screen after VMware tools Installation Help me please !!

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