In this chapter, we focused on the Kali Linux installation process. We discussed Kali Linux's minimum installation requirements, the installation process for standard and fully encrypted file systems, preseeding, which allows unattended installations, how to install Kali Linux on various ARM devices, and what to do in the rare case of an installation failure.
- The installation requirements for Kali Linux vary from a basic SSH server with no desktop, as little as 128 MB RAM (512 MB recommended) and 2 GB disk space, to the higher-end kali-linux-default metapackage, with at least 2048 MB of RAM and 20 GB of disk space. In addition, your machine must have a CPU supported by at least one of the amd64, i386, or arm64 architectures.
- Kali can easily be installed as the primary operating system, alongside other operating systems through partitioning and boot loader modification, or as a virtual machine.
- To guarantee the confidentiality of your data, you can set up encrypted partitions. This will protect your data if your laptop or hard drive is lost or stolen.
- The installer can also be automated through debconf preseeding, a function that allows you to provide unattended answers to installation questions.
- A preseed file is a plain text file in which each line contains the answer to one Debconf question. A line is split across four fields separated by white space (spaces or tabs). You can preseed answers to the installer with boot parameters, with a preseed file in initrd, with a preseed file on the boot media, or with a preseed file from the network.
- Kali Linux runs on a wide variety of ARM-based devices such as laptops, embedded computers, and developer boards. ARM installation is fairly straightforward. Download the proper image, copy it to an SD card, USB drive, or embedded multi-media controller (eMMC) module, plug it in, boot the ARM device, find your device on the network, log in, and change the SSH password and SSH host keys.
- You can debug failed installations with virtual consoles (accessible with the CTRL+ALT and function keys), debconf-get and debconf-set commands, reading the /var/log/syslog log file, or by submitting a bug report with log files retrieved with the installer's “Save debug logs” function.
Now that we have discussed Linux fundamentals and Kali Linux installation, let's discuss configuration so you can begin to tailor Kali to suit your needs.