Back Vandana Angadi

Making a Kali Bootable USB Drive (Windows)

Have you ever wanted to become a hacker and do some cool stuff at some point in your life? I guess everyone has. Well, Windows is not an ideal environment for that cool stuff called “Hacking”. There is a separate Linux Distro made available for people like you. And that is “KALI LINUX”.

Kali Linux is a Debian based linux distribution that comes with built in/ preloaded packages that are essential for ethical hacking, pentesting , network security auditing, Reverse Engineering or any cyber related activities. Do you wanna use it too on your window’s machine? Well, Making a Live Bootable USB is so far a great and the easiest way to run Kali Linux on your system.

You will need the following things before getting started:

  1. A copy of Kali ISO image (available for free) appropriate for the system you’ll be running it on. Visit for the details of system requirements and downloading.
  2. An imaging tool. Either Rufus or Balena Etcher (also available for free) is recommended for Windows.
  3. A USB drive, with atleast 4GB space.

Procedure to Install:

Before you start with the procedure, make sure you have backed up all the information from your USB to another drive as the process of making a USB bootable with an OS will wipe out all the saved data from that drive.

Creating a bootable Kali USB on Windows With Etcher:

  1. Plug your USB drive into your WindowsPC.
  2. Note the drive designator (e.g. “D”).
  3. Launch Etcher (or Rufus) and allow the asked permissons.
  4. Under the “Select Image” menu, select the Kali Linux ISO file from your device.
  5. Make sure you have selected the correct USB drive to be overwritten.
  6. Click on the “Flash” button.
  7. Etcher starts the flashing process and once it finishes flashing, it alerts you with a message that the image has been flashed.
  8. Now, you can safely remove your USB drive and proceed to boot into kali with it on any device of your choice.
  9. Congratulations. You just booted Kali Linux on your Machine.

There are many other ways to run kali linux on your machine but this method has the following advantages:

  • It’s non-destructive – it makes no changes to the host system’s hard drive or the built-in OS. To go back to the normal operations or to switch back to Windows, you just have to remove the USB and restart the system.
  • It’s safe – even if u mess up something either while installing or while operating, you can always go back and format your USB to use it again for flashing and rebooting.
  • It’s Portable – you can carry Kali Linux in your pocket and take it wherever you go and have it running in few seconds on any available machine.
  • It’s potentially persistent – with a bit of extra effort, you can configure your kali linux “live” usb into a persistent one. If you don’t want your data to be wiped out once you reboot using your USB, you can add persistence to this live USB by following some extra steps which are already available on internet. This way, the data you collect will be saved across future reboots.

In this era where the interest in cyber-sec is developing among Indians exponentially, having a hands-on-experience on any Linux distro is very essential and Kali Linux is definitely one of the best way to start with. I hope this article was helpful. If any queries, contact via mail.