Booting and installing Kali from a USB stick is our favorite and fastest method of getting up and running. In order to do this, we first need to image the Kali ISO on a USB drive.
Preparing for the USB copy
- Download Kali linux.
- If running Windows, download Win32 Disk Imager.
- No special software is needed for a *nix OS.
- A USB Key (at least 2GB capacity for mini, 4GB for regular).
Kali Linux Live USB Install Procedure
Imaging Kali on a Windows Machine
- Plug your USB stick into your Windows USB port and launch the Win32 Disk Imager software
- Choose the Kali Linux ISO file to be imaged and verify that the USB drive to be overwritten is the correct one.
- Once the imaging is complete, safely eject the USB drive from the Windows machine. You can now use the USB device to boot into Kali Linux.
Imaging Kali on a Linux Machine
Creating a bootable Kali Linux USB key in a Linux environment is easy. Once you’ve downloaded your Kali ISO file, you can use dd to copy it over to your USB stick as follows (make sure you’re root first):
WARNING. Although the process of imaging Kali on a USB stick is very easy, you can just as easily destroy arbitrary partitions with dd if you do not understand what you are doing. Consider yourself warned.
- Plug in your USB device to your Linux computer’s USB port.
- Verify the device path of your USB storage with dmesg.
- Proceed to (carefully!) image the Kali ISO file on the USB device:
That’s it, really! You can now boot into a Kali Live / Installer environment using the USB device.