Using Official Repositories

The Kali Linux distribution has three repositories, which are mirrored world-wide:

When using the 3 default hosts listed above, you’ll automatically be redirected to a mirror close to you, which is guaranteed to be up-to-date. If you prefer to manually select a mirror, click on the mirrorlist link near each hostname above and select a mirror that suits you. You will then need to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file accordingly with the chosen values.

Do not add additional repositories to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.
Doing so will most likely break your Kali installation.

Setting Up a Kali Linux Mirror


To be an official Kali Linux mirror, you need a server with lots of disk space, good bandwidth, rsync, and an SSH server. As of 2013-03-14, the main package repository is about 160 GB and the ISO images repository is about 10 GB but you can expect those numbers to grow regularly. You are expected to make the files available over HTTP and RSYNC so you will need the corresponding services too. FTP access is optional.

Push Mirroring of Package Archives

The mirroring infrastructure uses SSH-based triggers to ping the mirrors when they need to be refreshed. This currently takes place 4 times a day.

If you don’t have yet an account dedicated for the mirrors, create such an account (here we call it “archvsync”):

$ sudo adduser --disabled-password archvsync
Adding user 'archvsync' ...
Is the information correct? [Y/n]

Create the directories that will contain the mirrors and change their owner to the dedicated user that you just created:

$ sudo mkdir /srv/mirrors/kali{,-security,-images}
$ sudo chown archvsync:archvsync /srv/mirrors/kali{,-security,-images}

Next, configure the rsync daemon (enable it if needed) to export those directories:

$ sudo sed -i -e "s/RSYNC_ENABLE=false/RSYNC_ENABLE=true/" /etc/default/rsync
$ sudo vim /etc/rsyncd.conf
$ cat /etc/rsyncd.conf
uid = nobody
gid = nogroup
max connections = 25
socket options = SO_KEEPALIVE

path = /srv/mirrors/kali
comment = The Kali Archive
read only = true

path = /srv/mirrors/kali-security
comment = The Kali security archive
read only = true

path = /srv/mirrors/kali-images
comment = The Kali ISO images
read only = true
$ sudo service rsync start
Starting rsync daemon: rsync.

This tutorial doesn’t cover the configuration of the web server and the FTP server. Ideally, you should export the mirrors at, and (same for FTP). Now comes interesting part: the configuration of the dedicated user that will handle the SSH trigger and the actual mirroring. You should first unpack ftpsync.tar.gz in the user’s account:

$ sudo su - archvsync
$ wget
$ tar zxf ftpsync.tar.gz

Now we need to create two configurations files. We start from a template and we edit at least the MIRRORNAME, TO, RSYNC_PATH, and RSYNC_HOST parameters:

$ cp etc/ftpsync.conf.sample etc/ftpsync-kali.conf
$ cp etc/ftpsync.conf.sample etc/ftpsync-kali-security.conf
$ vim etc/ftpsync-kali.conf
$ grep -E '^[^#]' etc/ftpsync-kali.conf
MIRRORNAME=`hostname -f`
$ vim etc/ftpsync-kali-security.conf
$ grep -E '^[^#]' etc/ftpsync-kali-security.conf
MIRRORNAME=`hostname -f`

The last step is to setup the .ssh/authorized_keys file so that can trigger your mirror:

$ mkdir -p .ssh
$ wget -O - -q >>.ssh/authorized_keys

If you have not unpacked the ftpsync.tar.gz in the home directory, then you must adjust accordingly the “~/bin/ftpsync” path, which is hard-coded in .ssh/authorized_keys. Now you must send an email to with all the URLs of your mirrors so that you can be added in the main mirror list and to open up your rsync access on Please indicate clearly who should be contacted in case of problems (or if changes must be made/coordinated to the mirror setup). Instead of waiting for the first push from, you should run an initial rsync with a mirror close to you, using the mirror list linked above to select one. Assuming that you picked, here’s what you can run as your dedicated mirror user:

$ rsync -qaH /srv/mirrors/kali/ &
$ rsync -qaH /srv/mirrors/kali-security/ &
$ rsync -qaH /srv/mirrors/kali-images/ &

Manual Mirror of ISO Images

The ISO images repository does not use push mirroring so you must schedule a daily rsync run. We provide a bin/mirror-kali-images script, which is ready to use that you can add in the crontab of your dedicated user. You just have to configure etc/mirror-kali-images.conf.

$ sudo su - archvsync
$ cp etc/mirror-kali-images.conf.sample etc/mirror-kali-images.conf
$ vim etc/mirror-kali-images.conf
$ grep -E '^[^#]' etc/mirror-kali-images.conf
$ crontab -e
$ crontab -l
# m h dom mon dow command
39 3 * * * ~/bin/mirror-kali-images

Please adjust the precise time so that doesn’t get overloaded by too many mirrors at the same time.