In this chapter, we will focus on the Kali Linux installation process. First, we will discuss the minimum installation requirements (Section 4.1, "Minimal Installation Requirements") to ensure that your real or virtual system is well-configured to handle the type of installation that you will pursue. Then we will go through each step of the installation process (Section 4.2, "Step by Step Installation on a Hard Drive") for a plain installation, as well as for a more secure installation involving a fully encrypted file system. We will also discuss preseeding, which allows unattended installations (Section 4.3, "Unattended Installations") by providing predetermined answers to installation questions. We will also show you how to install Kali Linux on various ARM devices (Section 4.4, "ARM Installations"), which expands Kali's capabilities far beyond the desktop. Finally, we will show you what to do in the rare case of an installation failure (Section 4.5, "Troubleshooting Installations"), so you can work through the issue and successfully finish a tough install.
The installation requirements for Kali Linux vary depending on what you would like to install. On the low end, you can set up Kali as a basic Secure Shell (SSH) server with no desktop, using as little as 128 MB of RAM (512 MB recommended) and 2 GB of disk space. On the higher end, if you opt to install the default GNOME desktop and the kali-linux-full meta-package, you should really aim for at least 2048 MB of RAM and 20 GB of disk space.
Besides the RAM and hard disk requirements, your computer needs to have a CPU supported by at least one of the amd64, i386, armel, armhf, or arm64 architectures.