How To Download Kali Linux As A Dual System Alongside Windows

 Dual System Setup For Kali Linux

Kali Linux Download

Introduction : 

Embarking on the thrilling journey of ethical hacking and cybersecurity begins with a solid foundation, and what better way to build it than by installing Kali Linux alongside your Windows operating system? In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the seamless process of setting up a dual-boot system, unlocking the power of Kali Linux without bidding farewell to the familiarity of your Windows environment!

Why would I need a Linux based distribution?

Well, if you are a casual computer user whose device usage is all about gaming, browsing the web, and doing casual office tasks, then you most likely won't need to use any Linux distributions.
Though, if you are getting into the world of CS, Software Engineering, or Cybersecurity, then you absolutely will need to get your hands dirty with Linux for a lot of reasons, which for the Cyber-sec side are discussed in the Kali Linux Definitive Guide post, and many alike others on our site.

As for the software development's side, Linux provide a way better environment for development and hosting tools, packages, and software needed for the development process, which can cause many troubles if used on OSs like Windows, thus you basically buying yourself time, effort and nerves!!

Downloading process: 

1- Install the image from the Kali Linux official website : 

There are many images to choose from, so pick the one you like, or that suits your needs better and download it locally on your device. For this case, I went with the 64-bit Kali installer :

Download Kali Linux image

2- Writing the ISO image to a USB drive :

In the next step, you will need a USB drive with at least 5GB of available space, and a software to write Kali's ISO image to the USB. 

The USB is needed for installing Kali on the device only, meaning you ain't need to devote one only for Kali as after the installation, you can simply wipe the image off the drive.
For the software, there are many to choose from, and I personally tried a couple, and the best were Balena Etcher, and Rufus which is used in this guide!

- Downloading Rufus :

To download Rufus, head to the official website, and download the rufus-4.4.exe version for Windows x64 : 

Download Rufus

- Mounting the image :

After the installation is complete, open Rufus and plug in the USB drive. The select the USB in the device section, and for Boot selection, select the ISO image for Kali, then hit start :

Mount Kali Linux image on a usb

If prompted with the following window, choose Write in ISO image mode, then press ok to the warning prompt after it, and the mounting should start : 

Mount Kali Linux image on a usb

3- Partitioning : 

Third step is partitioning, which is simply creating a partition of one of the drives you got, and devote it to host Kali Linux, so if any corruption happened later on, nothing will be affected except Kali's partition which you can format to reinstall Kali on again, or simply to merge it back with any other drive. 

- Open Disk Management : 

Do a right click on the windows icon, or press Windows + X on the keyboard, then select Disk Management :

partition windows disk

- Partition the drive : 

Select the drive you want to partition, do a write click, select Shrink volume, and then specify the space to devote for the partition depending on your needs "The more, the better generally" :

partition windows disk

partition windows disk, choosing the space

4- Boot into the UEFI :

To boot into your device's UEFI or the "BIOS", either turn off the device while holding Shift, or reboot the device and press the key required to boot into the BIOS, which varies from device to another, as it could be F2, F12, or another key "It's easy to know about with a quick Google search".

Now, choose Troubleshooting > Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings.

- Disable the Secure Boot option :

Inside of the UEFI, look for the Secure Boot or Secure Boot Control option, and make sure that it is disabled "You could find it in the Security section, yet that differs from device to another" :

Disable secure boot option from the BIOS

- Make the device boot to the USB drive first :

Now, to make the device boot into the USB first, and not into windows, we will need to edit the Boot Option Priority, which is usually found in the Boot section "The location can differ slightly, just look for it in the sections", then set the USB drive as the boot option, then "Save & Exit" :

Change the booting preference in the BIOS/UEFI

5- Installing Kali : 

First, when booted into the partition on the USB drive, you will have to choose between a graphical and a casual installation "Went for the casual" : 

Install Kali Linux

- Set up the casuals : 

Then you will have to provide some casual data about the language, the country, etc... "Nothing crazy about it".

- Connect your device to some internet :

Either through an ethernet cable or a wlan, pick what suits you better and go for it.

- Input the necessary data : 

Now you will need to input the necessary data, like the host name, the domain, the password, and the full name of the user, so choose the data that suits you, the domain if you got one, then click next!

- Pick the partitioning disk : 

Here you will need to pick the disk, on which Kali will be installed "The new partitioning disk we have just created above". You can either select the disk manually, or use the guided way! "If the partitioning disk holds the largest continuous free space, then go for the <Guided- use the largest continuous free space>"! 

- Select the partitioning scheme :

You can keep it simple and go with the first option "All files in one partition", or do your own specifications, then pick "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk".

- Possible bug : 

If you face an issue installing the system, and get prompted with the following window : 

Install Kali Linux, possible bug/issue

Press continue, then choose "Select and install software", then uncheck both "Top 10" and "Default" in the blue box, then hit continue.

- Complete installation : 

After the installation is complete, unplug the USB drive, then reboot, and it should automatically boot into Kali Linux!! Yet you will be able to choose to boot into windows using the boot panel you will be prompted with.

Updates and upgrades :

After booting into Kali, it's recommended to run the commands :

1- Updating the system : 

sudo apt update -y

2- Upgrading Kali :

sudo apt full-upgrade -y 

3- Get all default packages : 

sudo apt install -y kali-linux-default

To know more about updating and upgrading your Kali, check out the official site of, and to learn the basic & essential Kali Linux commands that you will need daily to work with the system, check out Kali Linux Essential Commands!

Conclusion :

Setting up a dual-boot system with Kali Linux alongside your Windows operating system is a strategic move, especially if you are venturing into the realms of cybersecurity, software engineering, or computer science. This guide has provided a step-by-step walkthrough, from downloading the Kali Linux image to partitioning your drive and ensuring a smooth installation. By following these instructions, you unlock the potential of Kali Linux without sacrificing the convenience of your Windows environment.

Thanks For Your Time!

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