How to install Kali Linux on Vmware on Windows or Linux

Kali Linux is the one of popular Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It mainly used to explore penetration testing. If you want to learn ethical hacking it is one of the great tools.

The Windows 10 users can install Kali Linux natively using Windows Subsystem for Linux feature. It doesn’t need any kind of Virtualization software like VMware or VirtualBox.

However, due to some limitations people usually prefer VirtualBox or Vmware Workstation player to install Kali Linux on Windows / Linux. That’s why, here, we will show, how to install Kali Linux on Vmware workstation 12 /13/14/15 or latest version player available for Windows as well as for Ubuntu-based operating systems.

Step by step guide to install Kali Linux on Vmware Workstation player for Windows & Linux

  1. First of all, go to
  2. Download Kali Linux ISO image out of different flavours such as Mate, KDE, XFCE (32bit or 64bit version).
  3. Install VMWare Workstation player on your Windows or Linux OS.
  4. Run the VMware and click on Create a new Virtual Machine option.
  5. Choose the downloaded Kali ISO file image as installation media.
  6.  Select the type of Guest operating system as Linux and click on the Next button.
  7. Give some name to your Kali Linux Virtual Machine and move to next step.
  8. Assign the amount of Virtual hard disk you want to assign to your machine. 20 Gb recommended.
  9. Click on Customize hardware.
  10. The default amount of RAM given to Kali Linux in VMware player will be 2GB. You can increase it, for better performance. Otherwise just click on Close button.
  11. Now by clicking the Finish button, your Kali Linux will be ready to install.
  12. Now just select it from the left side VMware Pan and click on Play virtual machine option.

Useful Article: Install Kali Linux on VirtualBox on Windows, Linux, Mac, or other platforms

Above tutorial with a screenshot to know how to run Kali Linux in VMware player

Step 1: Download Kali Linux ISO image for VMware workstation player

Open the Kali Linux official website here is the link: Download any of 32-bit or 64-bit version along with the Linux desktop environment you like. It is available in Mate, KDE, XFCE, E17, and Lxde. Furthermore, the Kali Linux is also available in the pre-installed VM (virtual machine) image for VMware and VirtualBox.

download kali linux ISO image for Vmware

Step 2: Now Download and install the VMware Player for Windows and Linux.

It is free to use for personal purposes. Although the Windows installation of VMware is pretty much straight forward like any other software, the Linux users can see this tutorial:  How to install Vmware workstation Player on Ubuntu Linux

To download the Vmware Workstation Player for Windows here is the link.

Step 3: Create a New Virtual Machine for Kali Linux

Run the VMware player and click on the Create a New Virtual Machine option given on the right side of the software.

Create a new virtual machine

Step 4:  Select Kali Linux ISO file image

Now its time push the above downloaded Kali Linux ISO image. Select the Installed disc image file (ISO) option and click on the Browse button. The file explorer will open, now find and select the ISO image of Kali.

Browse the Kali ISO image

Step 5: Select the Guest Operating System

Now the Vmware will need to know what kind of guest operating system you are about to install on it. As the Kali is Linux based, we will select the Linux option and from version select the ubuntu 64 or 32 bit (depends upon the downloaded iso image).

Select Guest operating system

Step 6: Name the Virtual Machine

To identify the installed operating system on Vmware in future; we should give some name to it. We are giving it a Kali Linux but you can give whatever you want.

Name the Virtual Machine

Step 7: Virtual Hard disk for Kali virtual Machine

To install the operating system on Vmware we need to assign virtual disk space. The 20Gb is recommended, however, you can give more, solely depends on your requirement.

Specify the storage capacity

Step 8: Customize Hardware

If you want to increase the RAM, CPU and other hardware settings of the Vmware for KALI; select the Customize hardware option.

customize hardware

Step 9: Hardware assignment

On the left side, all the hardware options can be found for Virtual machine. By default, the RAM would be 2GB but if your host system has a good amount of RAM then you can increase the numbers in Vmware for smooth operations. In the same way, the CPU cores for the Kali virtual machine can be increased from here.

Setup RAM for Kali Linux

Step 10: After customizing the hardware just click on the close button.

Finsih click

Step 11: Play the Virtual Machine

After performing all the above steps you will find a Kali Linux VM on the left side of your VMware. Select that and then click on the “Play Virtual Machine” option.

play virtual machine

Step 12: Setup Kali Linux on Vmware using Graphical install

Once you power on the Kali VM, the boot menu will appear. Use the arrows keys and select the Graphical install option. Then press enter button for the guided installation of the Kali Linux OS on VMWare.

Graphical Install

Step 13: Select the Language

By default, the language of the Kali distro is English but one can change that while the installation. Select the one language you comfortable with and click on continue.

Seelct Language

Step 14: Select your location

To configure further settings such as time zone, select the country where you are living and click on the continue button.

Select the country

Step 15: Configure Keyboard

If you are using some different language keyboard other than English then select that. Otherwise, American English and continue with that.

Configure the Keyboard

Step 16: Configure the Network

To identify the Vmware Kali Linux on the network, we need to give it some name i.e hostname. If you are using the system in your home network then you can give anything. Like we have given it H2smedia.


Step 17: Configure network

We are setting up the Kali Linux for personal usage, so no need to add anything for Domain name. Leave it blank and continue.

configure the network-install Kali linux on Vmware

Step 18: Root password for Kali

This is an important step. Here the Graphical installer will ask you to enter a password for the root user of the system. Enter the password which you want to set, two times and continue.

set root password

Step 19: Time Zone

To configure the clock of the Kali Linux select the time zone of your country. However, the installer will automatically select it on your previous location selection. So, just leave this as it is and move forward.

configure the clock

Step 20: Disk Partition

Performing partition on VMware for Kali Distro will not be much difficult. When it asks for it select the Guided – Use entire disk.

Guided partiton

Step 21: Select the Disk

Select the disk partition and move to the next step.


Step 22: All files in one partition

After the above step, it will ask you for selecting the partition scheme, use the All files in one partition option.

Partition Kali Linux

Step 23: Apply the partition

Opt for YES option and the installer will format and start installing the Kali on Vmware.

Disk partitions kali linux

Step 24: Configure the package manager

To get the update for newer versions of Kali Linux installed software, select the network mirror option to YES.

netwrok mirror kali linux

For the HTTP package leave it blank and click on continue button.

configure the proxy 2

Step 25: Install the Grub boot loader on a hard disk

It is a very important step because if you accidentally select the No then the operating system will become unbootable. So, mark the YES option and move to the next step.

Install the grub boot loader on Disk

Step 26: Device for boot loader installation

Select the disk where you want to install the grub boot loader. As we have only a single drive, so it will show there select that and move on.

install the grub bootloader

Step 27: Login to Kali Linux

Now use the root password you created above to log in your freshly installed Kali OS on Vmware.

Login Kali Linux root

installation done of Kali linux on Vmware

 Step 28: How to install Vmware tools on Kali

Click on the Player option given in the VMware menu and then Manage; after that select the Install VMware Tools.

Install Vmware tools

Step 29: Download and Install

Click on the Download button to download and install the Vmware Tools for Linux.

Download and isntall VMware Linux tools

In this way, we can install and set up the Kali Linux operating system on Vmware Workstation Player.

Other Useful Resources: