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Contributor I

Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

I've inherited a slim PC and upgraded to a 1TB SSD.  It's my study / work / play PC.  I want to add Kali to it, but can't decide whether to run it virtually inside Windows, or dualboot.

 

Only 6gb of RAM, and it's a Core i5 7g.  Leaning toward dualboot.  Talk me down if you've got a good story!

---
Eric Geater, CISSP
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
15 Replies
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Community Champion

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

VMs are handy if you want to also want to have a target/victim machine online at the same time.   

Contributor I

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

I keep Kali in a VM, the reason being that Found even in the VM after a while the size swells. I am guessing from junk left over from updates or other things. With the VM from time to time I just deleted it and download a new image. Up to date and smaller in size. I might be missing something that causes the swell but nothing I have found. In a dual boot it would just be a bit harder to refresh.

 

John-

Community Champion

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

 

@ericgeater, if you're using it on a system that you also use for work, a VM would be the safest approach. A small cost-benefit analysis of using a VM...

 

 

Costs

  1. Less resources available for the VM, since the host OS will also require a good portion of these.
  2. Requirement to have a virtualization solution (VMware, VirtualBox, etc.) on the host, which will also use a small portion of resources.
  3. Possibility of not being able to use some of the hosting system's hardware features, as they may not be supported by the Virtualization platform.

 

Benefits

  1. Better isolation between your host and VM, so that the former isn't impacted by the latter.
  2. More security for host data host, as the VM can't access it unless you share it or vulnerabilities are exploited.
  3. Easy management of the VM for testing --- including cloning, taking snapshots and backup.
  4. Control of the system resources that the VM uses.
  5. All of the above when you're using a virtual network and nodes.

In your case, I don't know if the system resources will suffice, so I'd suggest you start with a VM & see how it performs, & try tweaking it as needed.

 

If the VM's performance isn't adequate & can't be improved, you may want to resort to dual-boot --- but keep in mind that this is a risk to your system & the data on it.

 

 

 

Shannon D'Cruz,
CISM, CISSP

www.linkedin.com/in/shannondcruz
Community Champion

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?


@ericgeater wrote:

I've inherited a slim PC and upgraded to a 1TB SSD.  It's my study / work / play PC.  I want to add Kali to it, but can't decide whether to run it virtually inside Windows, or dualboot.


Dude, the easiest way to learn and practice pen testing with Kali is to simply enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL2) on Windows 10 then install the Kali distro (instructions here). Yes, Linux distros running on Windows - chew on that awhile... No need to mess around with VM's or dual boot scenarios. Another option, if you like the separate hardware (isolation), is running  Kali on a Raspberry Pi 4.

Tags (2)
Newcomer III

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

Note: if you have Windows 10 configured with credential guard, then VirtualBox (or VMWare) won't work anyway.

 

The big advantage of running in VM, though, is you can setup multiple hosts to use as victims or other stuff, and you can snap your image. If all your things to test are other physical machines then the victim part doesn't matter so much obviously.

Community Champion

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

I'm with @AppDefects on the Raspberry Pi route.  It's portable. It's cheap.  

Newcomer II

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

I wouldn't dual boot. Too much of a hassle, especially when it overwrites the Windows booter with Grub and then you have to jump through hoops to fix the Windows MBR.

 

I've been working with Kali lately and I run it on a VM and I also have a live USB with a persistent partition. I'm currently working on making a full bootable and fully persistent Kali installation on a USB but it's proving to be a royal pain to create... (almost there)

Contributor I

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

I found with the Pi 4 you have to be careful because not everything it out for it yet and some of the drivers are not there yet. But, consider stickyfingers kali with a LCD touch screen hat! Nice menu for the small touch screen and just add a power pack... The LCD touch screen that I tried did not have a driver that worked with stickyfingers and you once you loaded the touch screen driver you could not longer use the HDMI port without changing the driver back.

 

Just some thoughts.

 

John-

Contributor I

Re: Kali: Virtual Box or Dual-boot?

With the Pi 4 it does not currently support booting from a USB drive so you have to boot from SD and then point to the USB as the data drive. With what I am using it for oddly things seem to run better with everything just on the SD card. Maybe the USB added heat, speaking of heat make sure you have the latest firmware as it reduces heat and power issues.

 

John-