Do you know what is Kali Linux, and how you can dual boot Kali Linux on macOS Catalina 10,15 or Mojave?
Being here, you may know what a Kali operating system is, how it works and what it is used for.
For better convenient and better user experience, let me briefly introduce you the Kali Linux, and what functionalities you get so far.
Then I am going to give you step by step instruction to dual boot Kali Linux on macOS Catalina on any mac (MacBook pro, MacBook air, iMac, Mac mini).
Kali Linux is a famous Debian-based Linux distribution operating system with more than 600 preloaded tools used for security testing, intrusion and security managers.
These analytic and penetration tools are collected in such a way that it has become a complete toolbox for security personal to detect and fix vulnerabilities in the system.
The popularity only does not limit to the prepackaged cyber security tools, but it also includes huge software library and nice and clean user interface.
Key Tools in Kali Linux
- Burp suite
- John the Rippepr
- OWASP ZAP
- Reverse Engineering tools
Step #1. Download Kali Linux ISO Image
First thing is first. The first you going to need to dual boot Kali Linux on macOS Catalina or earlier versions, is to download Kali Linux ISO Image. Since Kali Linux is an open operating system, it free and does not cast you at all.
It is important to download the correct ISO image. I mean if your system is based on 64-bit, you need to download 64-bit Kali Linux ISO, otherwise go for 32-bit.
However, the ISO image is huge enough and require better internet connection. it is also recommended to use an internet download manager to boost the download time.
Essential for you to read: Dual Boot Ubuntu on macOS Catalina [Fast]
Step #2. Create a Partition for Kali Linux
Since you going to install Kali Linux as a separate and independent operating system beside macOS Catalina, you need to create a separate partition for Kali Linux on your existing hard drive.
You have to note that, the minimum system consideration to install Kali Linux is the 20GB free space, and more than 1GB Memory. However, it is highly recommended to dedicated at least 40-50 GBs of free space and around 2GBs of RAM.
Now, to create a new partition for Kali Linux, open the Spotlight and search for Disk Utility, then press Enter Key.
On Disk Utility Window, head straight forward for the internal hard drive, and click on Partition Tab. Now use the [+] sign to make a new partition as following.
- Name: Kali Linux
- Format: MS- DOS (FAT)
- Size: 40 GB
Now, click Apply > Partition
Step #3. Create a Bootable USB for Kali Linux in macOS
Basically, there are two different method you can use to create Kali Linux bootable USB installer. The first way is, to use the build-in-mac terminal with few easy codes. And the second method you can use is, the third-party apps.
Therefore, both methods are included below. Based on your interest you can use either methods.
Don’t miss to read: Create macOS Catalina Bootable USB Installer on Windows PC [+Video]
Steps to Make Kali Linux Bootable USB via Third Party App
If you not used to terminal, this is a great alternative for you. This method is pretty convenient and quick, it only takes 3-5 minutes to create a bootable USB installer.
However, some time bootable Drive Maker for Mac may not work for some of you, therefore, it is recommended to use the Balena Echer App.
And for better convenient, in this article I am going to show you how to create Kali Linux bootable USB drive using Balena Echer App.
Create Kali Linux Bootable USB Installer on Balena Echer:
- Plug the USB thumb drive
- Download and run Balena Echer App.
- Click on “Select Image“ to browse for Kali Linux ISO Image
- Verify you USB thumb drive
- Click “Flash” to start making bootable USB
- It takes few minutes to complete, then remove the USB
Steps to Make Kali Linux Bootable USB on Terminal
- Open Spotlight and Search for Terminal
- Unplug the USB drive from your mac if it is already.
- Type on the terminal the command
diskutil list, this will bring up all the paths of drives mounted on your mac.
- Now, plug the USB drive to your mac, and apply the same command on the terminal again. It will show you a new path drive, which is your USB drive.
- Here, you need to unmount your USB drive again. Type on the terminal the command
diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2, and this will unmount the USB drive.
/dev/disk2 is my USB path drive, and yours can be a different one. Therefore, make sure to choose it correctly.
- Now, proceed to image the Kali Linux ISO file on the USB device, and also make sure you are in the same directory as your ISO file if you want to add a path to it.
sudo dd if=[YOUR VERSION OF KALI].iso of=/dev/[YOUR DISK NAME] bs=1m
The following command assumes that your USB drive is on the path /dev/disk2, and you’re in the same directory with your Kali Linux ISO, which is named “kali-linux-2020.1b-live-amd64.iso”:
sudo dd if= kali-linux-2020.1b-live-amd64.iso of=/dev/disk2 bs=1m
It may take some times to complete, thus, keep calm and take a drink for your self.
Step 4. Install Kali Linux on Mac Hardware
Once everything is prepared, you are good to install Kali Linux on macOS. Thus, plug the bootable USB installer and reboot your system. Make sure to hold down the “Option Key” during powering on the device. This will bring up the boot menu.
After the boot menu appears, select the EFI Boot option, and press the enter key. This will take you to Kali Linux boot menu, then choose the options as following.
- Select the option “Install” on boot menu
- Go with English Language for installation
- Select the territory, country or area and press enter key to proceed
- Wait a couple of second till it detects the hardware and other components
- Choose a user name for your system
- Set a password
- Select proper time zone
- Now, it will ask you to partition your mac. To do so, choose the option “Manual”, and press continue. It will bring up all the drive lists.
- Choose the partition you created before in 2nd step, and Continue
- Now delete the partition to make up free space, and Continue
- Select the partition for Installation, it is named as “Free Space”, and press Continue
- Next, select “Automatically Partition the Free Space” and Continue
- Choose “All Files in One Partition”, and press Continue
- Select “Finish Partition and Write Changes to Disk” again Continue.
- Choose ‘YES” to install Linux on the free space, and Continue
- Go with “NO” for network mirroring
- Select “YES”for GRUB boot loader, and press Continue
- Next, choose the Linux drive to install the boot loader, and Continue
- Now, wait the installation be completed, then choose “Continue”, and your system will reboot.
- Finally, Enter you user name and password for login
How to Switch Between macOS and Kali Linux?
If you are new on mac, switching between macOS and Kali Linux can be confusing for you.
Well, it is not hard at all.
What you need to do is, hold the “Option Key” when your system reboots. It will allow you to choose between macOS and Ubuntu.
It is that simple!
Don’t miss to read: Create Bootable MacOS Catalina USB Installer on a Mac [Quick]
How to Uninstall Kali Linux from Mac after Dual Boot?
We shared everything on how to dual boot Kali Linux and macOS, and now it is time to take the opposite path- Uninstalling Kali Linux from Mac after Dual Boot.
Actually, it is not as simple as removing Windows from Boot-Camp assistance. However, there is still some solutions to remove Kali Linux from dual boot.
However, the process I am going to talk, may erase your data. So, it very essential to backup your entire from both macOS and Kali Linux.
You can use the either Time Machine or Clouds to back up your mac. But if you have an external NTFS drive and want to back up your data from mac, it can be difficult but not impossible. Read here for solution
Steps to Uninstall Kali Linux from Mac after Dual Boot:
- Reboot your system and hold CMD+R. This will take you to Recovery Mode
- On macOS Utilities, click on Disk Utility, and Continue
- Select Mackintosh SSD (yours may be different), than click erase. This will wipe your internal hard drive.
- Quit Disk Utility
- Now, on macOS Utilities, select the option “Reinstall”, and continue
- After the disk image is downloaded, you will be prompted to select the disk. Select the disk and Continue
You are done!
Caution: This procedure will erase your entire data. Therefore, make sure to back up your data.
Related: Install MacOS Catalina on VirtualBox on Windows PC [Fast]
In order to dual boot Kali Linux on macOS Catalina or any earlier version, all you need is to download Kali Linux ISO Image, create a bootable USB installer, make a partition for Kali Linux on your existing internal hard drive, and then install it.
Therefore, make sure to read all the procedures discussed in this article.
I hope it helped you.
Leave your question in the comment box below.
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- How to install Kali Linux on mac dual boot
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