How to install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox



In this blog post I will show you how to install Kali Linux 2017 in Virtual Box.

[thesis_block type=”note” header=”” content=’There are issues in getting the Kali Linux to display in full screen mode, most notably in getting the 1920×1080 resolution. Will fix that also.’]

Lets get started

Step 1 – Download Kali Linux ISO image

To install the Kali Linux, we will have to first get the installer ISO image file. 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. Dont get confused by the many options available such as Kali Linux 64 bit Mate or Kali Linux 64 bit Xfce. They are all the same except for the desktop environment. LXDE, Mate, Xfce are various open source desktop environments. I use the first image Kali Linux 64 bit, but the choice is yours. It does not really matter.

Just remember that Kali Linux 64 bit Light is the minimal distribution which will not contain all the features. You will have to install the tools you want later on. There is also an option to download the VMware image directly. But I prefer to create my own Virtual Machine which has all the tools installed, which this blog is all about. Since the file size is large, around 3 GB, I prefer to download via torrent because it is fast and flexible.

Kali Linux official download webpage screenshot.

Kali Linux official download webpage screenshot.

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-2016.2-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-2017.1-amd64.

Step 3 – Open VirtualBox

Lets start the installation process. Open VirtualBox. If you don’t have it installed already, please visit my page.

Step 4 – Launch VirtualBox Create Virtual Machine installation wizard.

You can launch this by clicking New gear symbol in blue in the left side of the menu bar. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + N on Windows.

In the Create Virtual machine dialog box, enter a Name for the Virtual machine. This can be anything you want. VirtaulBox will also create a folder by this name in your computer to store the virtual machine files, path to which is your users folders which typically is something like “C:\Users\User name\VirtualBox VMs” by default. User name is the name of the user you are logged in as in windows which will vary for all of us.

Click next to continue.

VirtualBox create virtual machine dialog box screenshot

VirtualBox create virtual machine dialog box screenshot

Step 5- Create Virtual Machine Wizard – Specify memory size

In this dialog box you will have to specify the RAM that you want the virtual machine to have. You can enter a value in the multiples of 1024 MB which stands for 1GB of Ram. So for 2 GB it would be 2048 MB. You could also use the slider to specify the RAM. Click on next to continue.

VirtualBox New Virtual Machine setup - specify memory size dialog box screenshot

VirtualBox New Virtual Machine setup – specify memory size dialog box screenshot

Step 6- Create Virtual Machine Wizard – Create Hard Disk

In this dialog box you will asked if you wish to create Virtual hard drive. “Create a virtual hard disk now” is the default option. Leave it as it is and click on Create.

VirtualBox- Create Virtual machine - Create hard Disk Dialog Box

VirtualBox- Create Virtual machine – Create hard Disk Dialog Box

Step 7- Create Virtual Machine Wizard – Hard Disk file type

In this dialog box, you will be asked to select the file type of the virtual hard disk. The hard disk that will be created is actually is file that will contain the virtual machine. Select the default value VDI – Virtual Disk Image and click next.

VirtualBox - Create Virtual machine - Hard Disk file type

VirtualBox – Create Virtual machine – Hard Disk file type

Step 8- Create Virtual Machine Wizard – Storage on physical hard disk

In this dialog box, you will be asked to how the virtual hard disk be created. Options are Dynamically allocated or Fixed size. Choose the default option which is Dynamically Allocated and click on next.

VirtualBox - Create Virtual machine- Storage on Physical hard disk dialog box screenshot

VirtualBox – Create Virtual machine- Storage on Physical hard disk dialog box screenshot

Step 9- Create Virtual Machine Wizard – File location and size

Please specify the name of the folder that will be created and also the folder location. I choose the default location and provide a name such as kali 2017.

This dialog box also asks you to specify the disk capacity. This is the maximum amount of disk space it will utilize once the Virtual Machine is created. Maximum disk size is 2 TB. I was having problems creating Kali Virtual machine if the disk size was less than 30 GB. I created the Virtual machine by choosing 60 GB. Since you have selected dynamically allocate disk space in previous steps, 60 GB will not be blocked in your hard drive. Once you have tour VM ready, total hard disk space consumed would be around 13 GB which can expand dynamically till what ever size you specify here.

use the slider to select 60 GB disk space and click Create.

VirtaulBox - Create Virtual machine - file location and size dialog box

VirtaulBox – Create Virtual machine – file location and size dialog box

Step 10- VirtualBox Manger – Virtual machine created

You should now see VirtualBox Manger and and a new Virtual machine Kali in poweroff state. We will have to power on the virtual machine to begin the installation process of Kali Linux in the newly created virtual hard drive. But before we power on the virtual machine, there are more settings that needs to be done.

Open the settings dialog box by right clicking on the Virtual machine name or in the menu go to Machine -> Settings. You also see Settings button in the menu bar. For this to work select the virtual machine and click on settings.

VirtualBox manager screenshot

VirtualBox manager screenshot

VirtualBox - Settings option - VirtualBox Manager

VirtualBox – Settings option – VirtualBox Manager

VirtualBox - Virtual machine Settigs dialog box screenshot

VirtualBox – Virtual machine Settigs dialog box screenshot

Step 11 – Change Virtual machine settings

In the settings dialog box make the following changes:

  1. Go to General -> Advanced tab – Change Shared clipboard and Drag’n’Drop to bidirectional.
    VirtualBox - Settings - General - Advanced tab dialog box screenshot

    VirtualBox – Settings – General – Advanced tab dialog box screenshot

  2. Go to System -> Motherboard tab – Uncheck floppy.
    VirtualBox settings system motherboard tab screenshot

    VirtualBox settings system motherboard tab screenshot

  3. Go to System -> Processor tab – Increase number of processors to 2 have better performance. You can leave it as it is if you want. leave rest of the settings as it is.
    VirtualBox settings system processor tab screenshot

    VirtualBox settings system processor tab screenshot

  4. Go to System -> Acceleration tab – Default settings are Enable VT-x/AMD-V checked and Enable nested paging checked.
    leave them as it is. If you dont want to use VT-x/AMD-V, you can uncheck it, but there is no harm in using it if your CPU supports Intel VT-x or AMD-V.
    VirtualBox - Settings - System Acceleration dialog box screenshot

    VirtualBox – Settings – System Acceleration dialog box screenshot

  5. Go to Storage-> Optical Drive attribute – Click on the disk Icon and select Choose Virtual optical Disk file and navigate to the ISO image that you have downloaded.
    VirtualBox - Settings - Storage tab screenshot

    VirtualBox – Settings – Storage tab screenshot

  6. Click OK to exit settings and return to VirtualBox Manager screen.

Step 12 – Click on the Start Icon to start the virtual machine

This will power on the virtual machine and the installation process will start.

Step 13 – 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 14 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Select a Language Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Select a Language Screenshot Screenshot

Step 15 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Select Location Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox Workstation 12- Select Location Screenshot

Step 16 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure keyboard Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Installation progress Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Installation progress Screenshot

Step 17 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Network Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Network Screenshot

Step 18 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Network- Enter Domain Name Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Network- Enter Domain Name Screenshot

Step 19 – Set password for User root

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.

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Set up Users and Password Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Set up Users and Password Screenshot

Step 20 – Enter Username for your account

In this dialog box you will be asked to enter the username for the account. Please enter a username of your choice and click continue.
You will have to enter User name in two different dialog box, similar to shown in the below screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Set up Users Name Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Set up Users Name Screenshot

Step 21 – Enter Password for your the user account

In this dialog box you will be asked to enter the password for the user account you created in the last step. Please enter a password of your choice and click continue.

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Set up Users and Password Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Set up Users and Password Screenshot

Step 22 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure Clock Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure Clock Screenshot

Step 23 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Partition Disk Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Select Disk to Partition Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Select Disk to Partition Screenshot

Step 24 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Disk Partitioning Scheme Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Disk Partitioning Scheme Screenshot

Step 25 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Disk Partition Overview Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Disk Partition Overview Screenshot

Step 26 – Disk partition Confirmation

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

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Disk Partition Confirmation Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Disk Partition Confirmation Screenshot

Step 27 – Installation starts

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

Step 28 – 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 canskip this by selecting NO. But the default option Yes is better.

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Package Manager Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Package Manager Screenshot

Step 29 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Package Manager - HTTP proxy Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Configure the Package Manager – HTTP proxy Screenshot

Step 30 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Install GRUB Boot Loader Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Install GRUB Boot Loader Screenshot

Step 31 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Select GRUB Boot Loader Device Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Select GRUB Boot Loader Device Screenshot

Step 32 – 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 2017 in VirtualBox- Installation Complete Screenshot

Install Kali Linux 2017 in VirtualBox- Installation Complete Screenshot


Kali Linux login screen dialog box screenshot

Kali Linux login screen dialog box screenshot

Step 33 – 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, VirtualBox Linux Editions is not installed. If you follow the instructions from the official VirtualBox page, the process does not work for Kali 2017. Please follow the below steps to install VirtualBox Linux successfully so that you have
full integration with your host OS and also be able to switch to full screen mode with full resolution.

Kali Linux desktop VirtualBox no full screen - Resolution 800x600

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

Step 34 – To Install VirtualBox Linux tools please follow the below steps:

You should have internet connection for this to work

  1. Open terminal in Kali Linux
  2. Update the Kali Installation. Type the following command in the terminal and press enter. Wait for the process to complete.
    apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade
  3. Type the following command in the terminal and press enter.
    apt-get install linux-headers-amd64
    The process will take sometime to complete. Press Y for yes if asked for confirmation and wait for the process to complete.
    VirtualBox Kali Linux termina - Install linux headers command screenshot

    VirtualBox Kali Linux termina – Install linux headers command screenshot

  4. After the above process completes, Type the following command in the terminal and press enter.
    apt-get install linux-image-4.9.0-kali64-amd64
    The process will take sometime to complete. Press Y for yes if asked for confirmation and wait for the process to complete.
    VirtualBox Kali Linux termina - Install linux image command screenshot

    VirtualBox Kali Linux termina – Install linux image command screenshot

  5. After the above process completes, reboot the system by typing reboot in the terminal and press enter.
    Kali Linux terminal - Reboot command  screenshot

    Kali Linux terminal – Reboot command screenshot

  6. After the system reboots, open terminal again and type the following command.
    apt-get install virtualbox-guest-x11 -y
    This will take some time. Wait for the process to complete.
    Kali Linux  terminal - Install Virtualbox Guest  command screenshot

    Kali Linux terminal – Install Virtualbox Guest command screenshot

  7. After the above process completes, reboot the system by typing reboot in the terminal and press enter.
    Kali Linux terminal - Reboot command  screenshot

    Kali Linux terminal – Reboot command screenshot

  8. After the system reboots, to check if the every thing has installed correctly, please click on View in the menu bar and you should see Adjust Window size and Auto resize guest not grayed out and active.
    VirtualBox - Kali Linux  Auto resize guest display

    VirtualBox – Kali Linux Auto resize guest display

Process Complete

You are done, You can start working on Kali Linux 2017. 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 9 Comments
  • Mohsin Manzoor Bhat August 16, 2017, 9:21 pm

    Plz mail me i need ur help in installing Kali and learning it.

  • Talita October 31, 2017, 2:58 pm

    Hi there! Thanks for your tutorial, however, I’m stuck in step 13. When I clicked “graphic install”, those following windows to choose language, location, etc., haven’t appeared. I now have a black window saying Kali Linux is running. But it’s been like that for almost 24 hours! Any ideas of why this is happening and how to solve it? Thanks in advance.

  • Alex November 23, 2017, 12:58 pm

    What if it doesn’t give me the option to use more then one processor or allow me to access Acceleration?

    • Shailesh Jha November 24, 2017, 2:48 pm

      In that case the performance will slow down. But still you will be able to work. But these days all the systems have multi core CPU, I don’t see a reason why you should not be able to do it.

  • Frances November 24, 2017, 8:35 pm

    Hi – thanks for very helpful tutorial. Everything worked except for step 3 for me – so I still can’t get Kali running in full screen mode. I tried twice typing the apt-get command, but I get a message saying “unable to locate package”. Has the name changed since you wrote this? Sorry, I’m new to this and don’t know how to check for myself.

    • Shailesh Jha November 24, 2017, 8:59 pm

      Hi Frances,

      Can you try to run the below command, your virtualbox should be connected to the internet.

      apt-get update && apt-get upgrade && apt-get dist-upgrade

      Restart Kali in Virtualbox

      and then rerun the steps.

  • VIKAS January 23, 2018, 12:00 am

    Hello
    I just wanted to ask Which Image I have to Download on official Page of Kali /Downloads I have to install in Virtual Box And I have 32 bit Os
    So I have to install the Vbox 32bit or only 32bit one??

    • Shailesh Jha January 23, 2018, 9:11 am

      There is no separate version of 32 or 64 bit VirtualBox. Download the version for Vbox available for download. If you have 64 bit OS, it will allow you to install 64 bit OS, else you will see only 32 bit OS option.

      For 32 bit, you have to download 32 bit Kali Image.

      For 64 bit, you need Intel VT enabled in Bios. If you don’t have 64 bit system, don’t bother about it. 32 Bit will work just fine.

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