In today’s guide we will walk you through the steps required to install Kali Linux 2021.1. Kali Linux 2021.1 is ready for download with lots of DE updates, NetHunter updates and support for VMs on Apple Silicon. Kali Linux is a widely used operating system created for Security professionals and Linux enthusiasts. This Linux distribution is a rolling release with updates for its releases available on the fly.

The Kali Linux 2021.1 release made things even better. By default, Kali uses Xfce, but during the setup process, allows for GNOME, KDE, or no GUI to be selected. There are pre-configurations for Enlightenment, i3, LXDE, and MATE as well.

What is new in Kali Linux 2021.1

Some of the major changes are:

  • Xfce 4.16 – Our preferred and current default desktop environment has been updated and tweaked
  • KDE 5.20 – Plasma also received a version bump
  • Terminals – mate-terminalterminator and tilix all had various work carried out on them
  • Command Not Found – A helping hand to say if a program needs to be installed
  • Partnership with more tool authors – BC Security & Joohoi have been producing great tools and we want to support them
  • New tools & updates – Multiple new tools have been added to Kali and are ready for you
  • Kali NetHunter – New BusyBox & Rucky version, and boot-animation
  • Kali ARM – Preliminary support for Parallels on Apple Silicon (Apple M1) & Raspberry Pi 400 (WiFi Support)

Install Kali Linux 2021.1 – Step by Step with Screenshots

In the next sections we show you how to download Kali Linux ISO image, make it bootable and initiate the installation of Kali Linux 2021.1 on your Laptop or Desktop machine.

Below is a set of new tools shipped in Kali Linux 2021.1 release:

  • Airgeddon – Audit wireless networks
  • AltDNS – Generates permutations, alterations and mutations of subdomains and then resolves them
  • Arjun – HTTP parameter discovery suite
  • Chisel – A fast TCP/UDP tunnel over HTTP
  • DNSGen – Generates combination of domain names from the provided input
  • DumpsterDiver – Search secrets in various filetypes
  • GetAllUrls – Fetch known URLs from AlienVault’s Open Threat Exchange, the Wayback Machine, and Common Crawl
  • GitLeaks – Searches Git repo’s history for secrets and keys
  • HTTProbe – Take a list of domains and probe for working HTTP and HTTPS servers
  • MassDNS – A high-performance DNS stub resolver for bulk lookups and reconnaissance
  • PSKracker – WPA/WPS toolkit for generating default keys/pins
  • WordlistRaider – Preparing existing wordlists

Step 1: Download Kali Linux 2021.1 installer ISO

Visit the downloads page and pull the latest release of Kali Linux.

--- With wget ---
$ wget

If you have torrent application, you can use the Torrent link instead. There are ready to boot images for VirtualBox and VMware. If you want the Live image, pull it under the Kali Linux (Live) section.

Step 2: Create bootable USB drive

If installing on a Laptop, Desktop or server, you’ll need to create a bootable medium for installation.

On Linux, use dd command:

sudo dd if=kali-linux-2021.1-installer-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=512k


  • /dev/sdX is your USB device

If on Windows or macOS, user Etcher.

kali usb install windows etcher

Select image, USB device and hit the Flash button to get started.

Step 3: Boot Kali Linux installer image

Insert bootable USB Drive to your computer and boot from it to start installation process. Once booted:

Select graphical installation method – Recommended for new users.

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Choose the language to use during installation process – English for me.

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Select a country for the correct timezone to be set for your machine during installation.

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Configure Keyboard keymap.

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Wait for the installation components to be loaded.

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Set your machine hostname.

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Set domain name, this will be part of FQDN – <hostname>.<domain_name>

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Create a user for non-administrative activities – set full name and username.

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Set password for the user.

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Set desired timezone

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Choose disk partitioning method – If you’re not sure, go with “Guided – use entire disk“.

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Select disk for installation.

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Select how partitioning should be done. For new users, All files in one partition should work fine. If you have enough installation disk size, you can go with separate /home, /var, /tmp partitions. This may require doing custom partitioning in the previous steps for accurate disk allocation.

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Write changes to disk.

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If you chose LVM, set size of volume group to be created.

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Commit changes to disk

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Wait for the installation to start – it should take few minutes.

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If you have a network proxy for external access then configure it in the next screen.

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Package manager apt configuration will start.

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Choose software applications and Kali desktop environment to install.

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You can choose tools based on your Kali Linux use case – Purpose for installation.

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Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record so you can boot your Kali Linux image.

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Select target disk for GRUB installation – Mostly the first disk.

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Your installation completed successful if you don’t see any error messages.

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Validate installed OS release:

$  grep VERSION /etc/os-release

# Kernel release
$ uname -r

You can perform a system upgrade after the instalallation:

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y full-upgrade

If packages repository is not working add with the commands below:

echo "deb kali-rolling main non-free contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list

Check if reboot is required:

[ -f /var/run/reboot-required ] && sudo reboot -f

For more information on this release visit Kali Linux Documentation and Kali Linux Tools pages.

More articles on Kali Linux:

Install VLC media Player on Kali Linux

How To Install PHPMyAdmin on Kali Linux

How To Install AnyDesk on Kali Linux

Install Visual Studio Code on Kali Linux

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