Create a Bootable Kali Linux USB Drive (2019)

Create a Bootable Kali Linux USB Drive (2019)

I thought I’d write a quick update guide on installing Kali Linux from USB as I’m hoping to encourage more friends to install an instance and start playing.

This guide assumes you’re using a Windows computer to prepare the bootable USB drive and you already have a 4GB drive (or greater) ready to format and use.

Note: I highly recommend [easyazon_link keywords=”Kali Linux Revealed” locale=”US” tag=”bobmckay-20″]Kali Linux Revealed[/easyazon_link] as a great reference text, whatever your level.


Download the ISO image from Kali:

Download the Rufus utility for creating a bootable USB drive from an ISO (or download from my site here)

Prepare the Drive

Firstly, plugin a USB drive and confirm the drive letter for it.

If you have difficulty because its partitioned and so has multiple letters (or not letter), go to Disk Management (by pressing the Windows key and typing Computer Management), delete all the partitions on it, create a new partition and assign a letter to it.

Deploy the ISO

Now launch the Rufus utility:

  • Select the USB drive from the device list
  • Press Select and browse to the ISO you downloaded from the Kali website
  • You may be prompted with a warning message:

  • You can click Yes to download the files
  • You might get a warning about installing in hybrid mode:

    I would recommend leaving using DD Image mode as this can prevent the dreaded “Failed to Detect and Mount CD-ROM” message when using the USB drive to install Kali to another PC
  • Leave the other options as default and press start

You should see something like this:

This will take a while so get yourself a cup of tea  😀

Once completed, boot a PC or laptop with it in, select it as the boot device and hey presto.

Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob is a Founder of Seguro Ltd, a full time father and husband, part-time tinkerer-with-wires, coder, Muay Thai practitioner, builder and cook. Big fan of equality, tolerance and co-existence.

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5 comments on «Create a Bootable Kali Linux USB Drive (2019)»

  1. Richard says:

    Thanks for the tip.

  2. albin says:

    i have been trying the virtual box thing but its not working and i tried to do in a bootable usb drive it worked thanks.

  3. abdulatif says:

    thank you for the DD tip it helped

  4. anonymus says:

    Hi I used BalentaEtcher to flash the hard drive first and got the Can’t mount the CD Rom error. I had no CD ROM and USB disabled from Bios. Somehow Kali installer (from the disk drive) managed to find the USB drive in which Kali (LIVE BOOT) was flashed with BalentaEtcher. So flash your disk drive with Kali “Installer Image”, flash your USB with Kali “Live Boot”, then pray it works like it works with me.

  5. anonymus says:

    oh yeah, the LIVE BOOT on the USB worked on USB 2 port but not USB 3 port!

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