Forum Thread: Use Kali Linux in VirtualBox or in Live USB Mode?


What form to use Kali Linux who recommend? In terms of security, performance, etc?

I was thinking using a multiboot USB pen drive with kali, tails, windows etc..What you say?

Many thanks guys

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18 Responses

It doesn't really matter, it's more down to personal preference. I personally like to use USB, but that's me.


Ok thanks for your opinion ghost.

I'm also thinking to use USB.

USB is far better in terms of flexibility.


From my own experience using Kali, or any other OS on a live usb makes the experience sluggish compared to if it were on the hard drive itself.

If you install it on a hard drive you can encrypt it so you are prompted for password at startup and of course encrypt any file with a tool like gpg (Gnu privacy guard).

For live system (usb) nothing will be saved as it runs in ram, you can however create a live usb with persistence which means you can save files. At the grub menu you will be prompted to either run the usb without persistence or with it but you must configure it to be able to use persistence.

I've mostly ran things without the liveusb method, but other than the non persistence part of were it does not save files it is not much more secure than an installation on your hard drive, though an installation on your hard drive will likely be up-to-date unlike a live usb without persistence making it more vulnerable unless you want to update every startup.

I was thinking using the live USB with persistence. I always thought it was safer than installing in the hard drive but I'm not a big expert on this operating system.

I believe that saving data in a USB device and not on the hard drive will be more difficult (not impossible) to affect the hard disk data. Am I right?

Your hard drive wont be running while running a live usb with persistence or not.

Yes i known!

Another thing, with persistence i need "reserve" space of USB device for it? In addition to the iso of kali right?

Of you have a spare pc.. then a dual boot or live usb is no harm!!

But if youre just laxy and dont wanna nove to a pc in the next room haha.. setup a vm!! ;);)

Not quite understand your live usb the hard drive at the most risk, is it? ;)

What I was saying is that.. if youre lazy and wanna do everything like me on one pc/laptop... install it in vm...
Else if you want to take a usb to places and save your work.. use usb!!

EDIT - usb is slow... if you use a class 10 memory card using card reader.. its much faster... like a normal pc!!

With Live USB, you use the whole of the system resources, excepting for the HDD read/write speed, which doesn't get used. With a VM, you can't use all the resources, because part of them are being used to run the parent system.

If you feel like trying out Live USB with Persistence, check out my guide :)

To broaden the bottleneck created by the speed of running from a USB drive, you can get a USB 3.0 one (if your PC has an USB 3.0 port as well).

Excellent Kitten, thank you!

I will surely follow your guide :)

Live USB with persistence is better(I have followed KITTEN article )

For security and portability I use live persistence on a 32gb micro SD card with a USB adapter. Your entire OS can be hidden pretty much anywhere.

Curiosity, there aren't many differences of using microSD and usb pen drive right?

A lot man!!
Use a usb and use a class 10 memcard.. like heaven and earth!!

I would use USB, but I am running a macbook air. And quite frankly setup for usb persistence is a lot harder on mac. And a LOT can go wrong if you don't know what you are doing. I'm trying to break out of my virtual box world but I have to educate myself better first.

Live booting is very efficient. I have been using it for almost one year. I have made persistant partition over the OS partition. And also enabled the login screen , so that during boot username and password is mendatory. Though it ia not straightforward but you can change the hashcode of the password yof your account and also root account(note here as if you don't change root password , others can open it using toor) in shadow files.

so everything is working fine.

But the only problem is that the whole system is in USB so the OS will frequently hang temporarily as the communication between USB and Computer is not so faster than hard disk. It is really a disadvantage. Simultaneously more than two windows will not open instantly.

But moreover I believe it is atleast better than any others as
portability comes into consideration.
ease hardware access than VM.

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