How To:

Create Bootable (Persistent) Kali Linux USB With Ease

Recently I was trying to install Kali Live on a USB drive with persistence and struggled to find a tutorial online that was simple and actually worked. After some trial and error I figured out how to do it correctly and decided to make an article for anyone who is experiencing the same difficulty I did. You will need an USB with at least 8GB. Mine is 132GB, nice and large.

Sorry guys for not being able to upload my photos. I don't know why but it's not even presented as an option. Once I figure it out I will update with pics.

Step 1: Universal USB Installer

Visit the following link and download the Universal USB Installer:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/

Step 2: Download Latest Edition of Kali Linux

Visit the following link and download the appropriate Kali ISO.

https://www.kali.org/downloads/

Step 3: Create Bootable USB

After Kali is finished downloading, run Universal USB Installer and chose 'Kali Linux' from the list of Linux Distributions to install on your USB flash drive. You can alternatively chose one of the other distributions listed.

Click browse to browse your files and select the Kali iso you just downloaded

Indicate the drive of your USB and hit 'create'

Note: The following image shows an option to set up the USB for persistence, however this option was not available to me for whatever reason.

After the process completes, you will have a live bootable Kali USB drive.

Step 4: Prepare Your Partitions

Use your new USB to boot into the system. You'll most likely have to restart your computer and hit F12 to get into the boot menu where you will select the brand name of the USB drive you're using. After it loads select 'Live USB Persistence'Go to your applications and select GParted.

This is where it can get confusing because existing references contradict each other and the results depend on what your partitions looked like to begin with. For me, there were 2 existing partitions that filled up the entire partition space: /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2. I right clicked on /dev/sda2, selected resize, and made the partition smaller. This left me with unallocated partition space.

I right clicked the newly created 'unallocated' partition space, selected 'new', selected ext4, and named the partition 'persistence'. I then applied all changes and closed GParted.

Step 5: Mount

Open your terminal and type the following:

mkdir /mnt/usb

mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/usb <------ replace 'sda2' with the name of your partition. Notice it is NOT the partition I just created and named 'persistence', it's the one that was already there to begin with and had to resize.

echo "/ union" >> /mnt/usb/persistence.conf

umount /mnt/usb

Step 6: Test

To see if it worked correctly, type 'gedit Kali' then save. Restart your computer and prompt into Kali Live Persistence. Once you're loaded, click on the folder icon in your dash to dock panel. You should see a file named 'Kali' if everything was set up properly.

8 Comments

Good tutorial for beginners.
+1

thanks. I don't know why I can't upload the photos that go with it. Sorta disappointing.

everytime i type in echo "/ union" >> /mnt/usb/persistence.conf it ttells me there is no such file or directory. What now?

same for me. I tried three time with reboot btw each time and can't access my second partition (sdc3 is my usb partition) and if I test "type 'gedit Kali' then save" when I reboot, the file kali is not there. Somebody can help?

friends, you got to determine where is your flashdisk location.
go to Terminal then type this :
fdisk -l
and press Enter. it shows you the location.
cheers! i am indonesian.

I like the post !!!

But in any place over the web, they do not tell how to save changes in the Kali Live USB Persistence, normaly if you have a big USB 32/16 GB going to have place enough to do this !!!

There is the question: How Can I, save session changes or other changes in the Kali Live USB Persistence ???

Tryed your way and about 5 others it wont let me mount dev/sdc2 which is my pendrive ex4 partition named persistence says cant mount ive tryed making usb on windows and linux no luck yet nobodys way works well pissed off never mind keep trying

what's missing here is that AFTER you setup the partition, and echo the file to the partition. you need to reboot BEFORE the test. although created the persistence has not been activated. reboot, select with persistence, THEN do the file testing step. works file if you do that. but funny that no one seems interested in ENCRYPTED persistence (which is what I use)

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