Once the download is complete, install the application. After the installation process is complete, execute the program. You should see the following display:
Select the first option, "Create a New Virtual Machine". The "New Virtual Machine Wizard" will open. It is recommended that you choose "Typical" configuration. Select "Typical" and click the "Next" arrow.
Next, we will install the guest operating system by selecting "Installer disc image file (iso):". Click the "Browse..." button and navigate to the ISO disk image file that you downloaded. For this example, we will use the Kali Linux ISO file: kali-linux-2021.1-installer-amd64. To proceed click the "Next" button.
Now that the ISO disk image file has been loaded, we must choose the matching "Guest operating system". For Kali Linux, we will select, "Linux" and the version we want to select is, "Debian 10.x 64-bit" from the drop-down arrow. To continue to the next step, click the "Next" button.
At the next display, we are prompted to enter a name for the virtual machine. You can call the virtual machine anything that you want. I chose to call it, "Kali Linux". We are also given the option of where on our host computer we would like to save the virtual machine. I recommend leaving the location that has already been configured for you. To proceed, click the "Next" button.
Now we want to specify the size of the virtual machine's hard disk that will be stored on the host computer's physical disk. VMWare will often recommend a hard disk size. I always increase the size to 100 GB. We are also given the option to store the virtual disk as a single file of split the virtual disk into multiple files. I recommend choosing, "Store virtual disk as a single file". When finished, click the "Next" button.
The next display prompts that the application is ready to create the virtual machine and also lists the virtual machine's settings. For Kali Linux, I recommend not changing any of the settings as for this particular operating system it is not necessary. However, if you decide that you want the virtual machine to have more memory, processor cores, a second network interface card, or want to use a bridged network connection or a host only private network rather than the default, NAT setting, you may configure the hardware to your liking by selecting, "Customize Hardware...". When finished, click the "Next" button.
If you chose to customize the virtual machine's hardware, you will be directed to the following display.
Please select, "Close" and then, "Finish" to proceed with the creation of the virtual machine. At this point, nothing will install just yet and a black box appears in the center of the application. The black box acts as the display for the virtual machine to assist with the installation. To begin the installation of the guest operating system, the virtual machine must be powered up by selecting on the green play button in the upper-left hand corner titled, "Power on this virtual machine". Go ahead and click the green play button to begin the installation of the guest operating system.
At this moment, the "VMWare" logo will briefly appear in the black display window followed by the blue opening screen of the Kali Linux installer menu. I recommend selecting, "Graphical install". Click anywhere inside the virtual machine and your mouse will be disabled then you must use the arrows and enter button on your keyboard to complete the installation process. Press enter to choose, "Graphical install".
The installer will run several lines of codes then prompt you to choose the language to be used for the installation process. Now your mouse will be enabled and you may select a language and click the, "Continue" button.
The next screen will prompt for your location to assist with setting time zones and to help select the system locale. Choose your location and click the, "Continue" button.
The succeeding screen will ask what language to configure the keyboard as by offering dozens of keymaps. Choose your keyboard language and then click the, "Continue" button.
At this point the pre-installation process takes place by detecting and mounting the ISO disk image file. This only takes a couple of minutes.
After the pre-installation process, you will be prompted to enter a hostname for the system that will identify the system to the network. You may create a hostname of your liking, or simply leave it as the default name, "kali". Once you have created a hostname click the, "Continue" button.
The next step is adding a Domain Name. The domain name is the part of your Internet address to the right of your hostname. You are allowed to enter any domain name that you wish making sure it ends in .com / .net / .edu / or .org If setting up multiple virtual machines or adding additional host computers to your private home network, be sure to use the same domain name on each device. For example: myhomenetwork.com Click the, "Continue" button to proceed.
The next screen will ask you to set up users. This will be your username to log into Kali Linux. The user account will be created to prevent you from accessing the system as "Root" for non-administrative activities. You may choose any username that you wish. Once you log into the system, you can use the linux command: sudo su to elevate your access to "Root" for application installations and other administrative duties. Once you have created a new user click the, "Continue" button.
The next screen will prompt the user to establish a password for login. Do not forget this password! Once you have entered and confirmed your password choice click the, "Continue" button.
Next you will be asked to configure the clock by selecting your desired time zone. Once you have specified the time zone click the, "Continue" button.
Next the installer will quickly detect disks for partitioning. You do not need to do anything at this step.
On the next screen, the installer wants to configure the disk partitions and mount points. It is recommended that you leave the default setting of, "Guided partitioning". Click the, "Continue" button to proceed to the next step.
To begin the guided partitioning, on the next screen choose the default setting, "Guided - use entire disk". Please click the, "Continue" button to proceed.
On the next screen, the installer will automatically select the VMWare Virtual Disk to partition and erase all data. This is completely normal. Leave the disk highlighted and click the, "Continue" button.
Next, the installer will display the disk to partition from the previous screen and ask you to select a Partitioning scheme. It is recommended that you do not change the default setting of, "All files in one partition (recommended for new users). Please click the, "Continue" button to proceed.
The installer will quickly check the partitioning scheme in a matter of seconds and display an overview of the currently configured partitions and mount points. Leave the, "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk" option highlighted and click the, "Continue" button.
The next screen will ask you to "Write the changes to disks?" Click inside the "Yes" option and click the, "Continue" button to proceed.
Kali Linux will first install the base system which only takes several minutes. Software selection for your system will be the next step.
At the Software selection screen, leave the default boxes checked as is. You can always install the remaining software packages once Kali Linux has completed the installation of the operating system and rebooted.
The software applications for the operating system will begin to install. This may take 10 to 15 minutes to complete depending on the processing power of your host computer.
After the software package has installed, the entire VMWare screen may go completely black. In certain cases, this is normal. To continue the installation of Kali Linux, select the "I have finished installing" option located on the far right-hand side of the yellow bar along the bottom of the screen. This will bring up the "GRUB boot loader" installation.
At this time, select the "Yes" option to install the GRUB boot loader to your primary drive, then click on the, "Continue" button to continue the installation.
Do not select to "Enter device manually" option when installing the GRUB boot loader. Select the primary drive, "/dev/sda" to proceed. Once this is highlighted, click on the, "Continue" button.
The GRUB boot loader will install in seconds, often unnoticed by you and will continue with the "Finishing the installation" screen. The process of finishing the installation should only take several minutes. You do not need to do anything at this time.
Congratulations, the installation of your Kali Linux Virtual Machine was successful. Now that the installation is complete click the, "Continue" button to reboot the system.
After the virtual machine reboots, a blue Kali Linux screen is displayed for a couple of seconds followed by the running of several scripts to display a white Kali Linux logo on a black background. Once booted up, you will be prompted to enter the username and password that you created to login.
Login with your credentials to access the virtual machine and open up a "Terminal" (the little black box icon in the upper left hand corner of your screen). Several commands must be run the first time that you install Kali Linux to update and upgrade the system. It is recommended that you do this quite often. The commands must be run as "Root" and not your individual user account. The commands to run are: 1. sudo apt-get update 2. sudo apt-get upgrade It is a very lengthy process to update and upgrade Kali Linux the first time so be patient. Elevating your priveleges to "Root" will require you to enter your user password. You will not see any characters nor will the cursor move when entering your password, almost as if you are not typing anything! This is normal.
Your Kali Linux virtual machine installed on the VMWare Workstation platform is now updated and upgraded to the most recent release. When practicing Offensive Security and Ethical Hacking, please only attack your own home network or a network where you have been given explicit permission...preferably in writing! I would also recommend purchasing a USB WiFi adapter capable of "Monitor Mode" as most WiFi hacking applications rely on this...your laptop's internal WiFi network card is only capable of "Managed Mode" and thus will not work for WiFi Ethical Hacking.