How to dual boot Windows 10 and Kali Linux
In this post we will cover the process how to dual boot Windows 10 and Kali Linux. For this example we will dual boot Windows 10 and Kali Linux 2018.3. Windows 10 will be pre-installed, make a new partition for Kali installation, setup the dual boot and we will use only single drive. That means we will install and dual boot Kali on one HDD or one partition. Because of this scenario we have, please before proceeding with this process, make sure to backup everything. Also, check you PC how it boots(UEFI or Legacy) and make sure both OS are installed in the same mode.
Requirements for this process:
- Kali Linux bootable USB
- Empty space on HDD
Bellow you can find video tutorial as well:
Creating a partition for Kali Linux installation
First we need to start with creating a new partition. Windows has a disk management tool with which we can use to create a new partition. You can use another tool and there are a lot of them which are good and free. For this example we’ll stick with tool from Windows.
We need to start the Disk management tool. Right click on the start menu and click disk management.
Disk management will list all your hard drives and partitions. On the bottom of the disk management window, we need to find our partition, in this example, this is Disk 0 and C: partition. That’s our primary partition with Windows 10 installed. We will use that partition and split it in order to create a new partition. That’s why it’s important that you have enough of free space on it(minimum 20GB or more). Also, it is extremely important that you backup everything before you proceed. Now then, on the C: partition, right click on it and select option shrink volume.
We will get a prompt where we need to enter how much our new partition will have disk space. In the field - enter the amount of space to shrink in MB: we need to enter the space amount of our new partition in megabytes. If you have 20 GB or more enter 20 000 or 30 000 for 30 gb as an example. After that, click on the Shrink button. Once the process is finished, you can close the disk management tool, load the Kali Linux bootable ISO, restart the PC and load the ISO.
Starting the Kali Linux installation
We need to get this screen. This is the bootloader menu for the Kali Linux. There are several options to choose for installation but in this example we will go with the Graphical install option.
The installation will run right away and the first screen we’ll have is the Language selection. Select the language of your choice and click continue.
Next is to choose our location. Select the location and click continue.
Next step is to select keyboard layout.
On this screen we need to add hostname for our Kali PC. You can leave the name by default or enter the name you want.
We can leave the domain name empty and continue.
Root password setup
Now we need to setup password for our root account(important step, memorise or write down the password).
Here we need to choose our timezone.
Formatting Kali Linux partition
On this screen we need to choose how we are going to format disks and partitions. As you can see, there are several options to choose. We will go with the last option - manual. So, select the manual option and continue.
This screen will have listed out all your partitions. The last partition will have the label free space. That’s the new partition we created and we are going to use that. Select the partition wilth the label free space and continue.
Select the first option - create a new partition and continue.
First we need to create a swap partition, so we will not use up all the disk space of the new partition. In the field partition size, enter 1 GB. This will create a partition of 1 gigabyte which is enough for our swap partition.
On the next screen, select the option Logical for the new partition type and continue.
This screen will prompt for which position will the installation format our new partition. We need to select option Beginning and continue.
Now we have edit partition screen. Here we need to change couple of things first before we continue. On the first selection, it says Use as. Double click on that selection in order to go to another screen.
Now we are on the screen where we need to select partition extension and how we are going to use it. In the middle of the screen - there’s an option swap area. Select that and continue.
Once you select the partition extension we will return to the partition edit screen. On this screen, we need to select the last option - Done setting up the partition and continue.
On the next screen we will be again at beginning of the partition disk screen. We need to have a setup like this. As you can see, the last listed partition is again a partition with label Free space. We’re going again to use that one to install our Kali Linux system. We can do the same process like we did for the swap partition but there’s another and much simpler option. We will again choose the free space partition and continue.
On the screen where we need to select how we are going to format the partition, we will choose second option this time - automatically partition free space. This option, as it name says, will automatically do the entire format process for us for our system partition.
After we went with automatic partition, now we have a screen where it prompts how it will format the partition. Will it format everything as one partition and all use directories save there, or to separate each user directory as a separate partition. This time, for the sake for the tutorial, we will go with the first option - All file in one partition, just to keep things single.
Once that’s done, we will again be at the beginning of the partition disk screen. We need to have this partition table. After we made sure that the partition table is like in the picture, select the option finish partitioning and write changes to disk.
The installation will prompt us are we sure that we want to make this changes. Select yes and continue.
GRUB installation and dual boot setup
On the next we have another important step. The setup for the dual boot or GRUB bootloader installation. Here installation prompted us that it has detected another operating system and is asking us do we want to install the GRUB bootloader. We will click yes and continue.
Now we need to select on which HDD we want to install the GRUB bootloader. Since in this example, we have only one HDD our one HDD is displayed and we need to select that one and continue. So, to go through again, we need to select our primary HDD as installation location for the GRUB bootloader.
After the GRUB installation is done, the Kali Linux installation will be completed as well. After that, remove the bootable USB and restart the PC. When the PC starts booting, GRUB bootloader needs to boot first and offer you the option to boot Kali Linux and Windows 10 as well(picture above). If you see this screen and you have all the boot options, that meas that you’ve successfully installed Kali Linux and setup the dual boot as well.
When you boot Kali Linux, on the login screen you’ll need to login with the root account(username root by default) and with password you’ve setup at the beginning of the installation process and after you’ll access Kali.
Kali is an excellent penetration testing distro for professional usage. It has a long learning curve, it’s preloaded with all the necessary tools but it takes time to learn all the tools. It is a Debian based distro. If you ever used Debian, you could tell. Because of the tools it has, it became popular but it’s NOT a distro for a beginner. If you need to use it, it is advisable not only to use it’s tools but to learn security and networking as well in order to use it properly.
I hope you found the post useful and easy to follow. Thank your for your time.