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Thread: How do I run a Virtual Machine from USB of Kali?

  1. #1

    How do I run a Virtual Machine from USB of Kali?

    Hello everyone, I am new to Linux but am very eager to learn. I do not want to dual-boot. I want to run Kali in a Virtual Machine like another program running in Windows. I know I can run Virtual Machine off of my HDD which is fine but I want to be able to take my Kali with saved files etc with me to other computers.
    I have my Desktop, and an Ultra Portable Laptop, and Tablet that I would like to be able to just pop in a USB drive and pull up Kali without having to decide to boot Windows or Kali.

    Is there a way I can just pop in my USB drive and pull up Kali without the dual booting and run it alongside windows?
    Maybe I have to have VMWare installed on all the machines I plan on using, if so can I also include that on the USB drive to make for fast install on the machines I use?

    Thanks for the help everyone.

  2. #2
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    first off all I haven't tried this and this probably wont work, so anyways install kali on a usb like you would normally and set it up on persistence mode not live, after you are in you have to type a couple of commands just search on how to run kali persistence on usb boot, anyways after that and it is running you can try to choose instead of a virtual hard drive THAT flash drive of kali linux, without choosing an extra iso file, because it is already installed.

    again havent tried it, but it may work

  3. #3
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    Like the poster suggested above, your best bet is to boot in persistence and umount that USB to use the existing storage to play around with. This is much better than running it on a VM in my personal opinion. It just feels quicker, you can use it wherever you go (which down the road you'll find is very useful). There are a ton of guides around to make a bootable USB, but again.. Like the poster above said, you'll have to boot it live and type a few commands to mount that space in AFTER you have shrunk the USB and allocated the space.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    I'm still needing some help here.

    So what I have done and still no luck is:
    1)Install Kali 64 bit to 32GB 3.0 USB flash Drive
    2) Partition that flash drive for 10gb for Kali and rest for Persistence
    3) Install VMWare
    4)Restart booting from USB and Boot from Live USB Encrypted with Persistence
    5) RUn commands (from this guide
    6) Boot back into Windows 10
    7)Follow this guide here

    well I get problem saying USB drive not bootable when trying to load it from VMware

    All I want to be able to do is to Run Kali as its another Windows APP such as in VIrtual Machine, but I want to bring the USB with me to be able to pop it into any computer that has VMware installed and I can just choose to boot from USB in the Virtual Machine, and still have Windows running at same time. I do not want to Dual Boot.

  5. #5
    Yes you can get it to Work but it might be a sluggish depending on weather you have USB 2 or 3

    you could download Kali Linux VMware and VirtualBox images from

    You could create your own in VMware:
    There are lots of tutorials on the web that show you how to create a new virtual machine

  6. #6
    Ok so I figured it out. Pretty simple actually...
    Just copy the kali linux file I used the preconfigured VMware from the download section andthen just put that onto your usb(extract the folder there onto USB). Then open VMware select Open a Virtual Machine and just load the one from the USB drive, and done.

    However, it is slow. I have a 32GB USB 3.0 and it lags.
    My setup:
    intel i5 6600k, 16GB ram, 250gb SSD, nvidia 980 GTX, I have USB 3.0 ports.
    Maybe it is the USB drive itself? It's a Silicon Power 32GB Jewel J50 USB 3.0 Zinc-Alloy Compact Flash Drive, Titanium Edition

    Running in VMware straight from the PC is much faster but obviously not portable.

    Any recommended USB drives for this? I know I could use external SSD or something like that but I want small, portable, and easy to plug in an go in a VM if possible.

  7. #7
    I would try Kali lite or you could create your own VM that uses the XFCE Gui it's less of a resources hog and should run a bit faster.

    How much ram did you give the VM, Maybe if you throw more ram at it - it might speed up
    Last edited by sml156; 2016-10-31 at 14:27.

  8. #8
    I gave it 8gb of ram
    I could try Kali lite.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Snickers2016 View Post
    I gave it 8gb of ram
    I could try Kali lite.
    Try 6, 4, then 2 see if one of them runs faster. You have to remember that your robbing peter to pay paul.

    And ya try Kali lite, just don't expect that throwing more ram to the VM will help the guest OS (Kali) if you slow down the host that will slow down the guest.
    Last edited by sml156; 2016-11-04 at 02:54.

  10. #10
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