Table of Contents
Dual boot Windows 10 and Linux - Introduction
If you are looking forward to running both Kali and Windows on your system, you have two options:
Virtualization is the concept of running an operating system (virtual machine) inside your host/ main operating system using virtualization software like VMware and VirtualBox. On the other hand, dual-booting refers to installing two operating systems on your computer and selecting the one you want to use on boot.
In this post, we are going to look at how to dual boot Windows 10 and Kali Linux. Kali Linux is a Debian-based Linux distribution with a focus on security auditing and penetration testing. Windows OS, on the other hand, is one of the most popular Operating Systems used worldwide. Imagine having access to these two systems on your single PC. Windows enables you to perform your day-to-day activities like development, editing, etc. On the other hand, you can practice your penetration skills and hunt for vulnerabilities on digital systems with Kali Linux.
- Microsoft Windows 10 (Already installed, preferably Windows 10)
- Free Disk Space - Minimum 25 GB free space recommended.
- Kali Linux ISO image.
- USB Drive (At least 4GB size)
- Rufus / Balena Etcher
Step-2: Disk Partitioning
Follow the steps below:
On your keyboard, press Windows
key + R hotkey and type
diskmgmt.msc on the small window that appears. Click
OK or hit the
Enter key to open the disk management window.
Right-click on the partition you want to resize, select shrink volume, and set the size of the disk where you want to install the virtual machine. This post will resize partition C and create a new partition with a 40 GB storage size, as shown in the image below. This is the partition where we will install Kali Linux.
Step-3: Download Kali Linux
As of writing this post, Kali Linux comes packaged for different platforms. Some of them include:
- Bare metal: Meant for installing directly on your PC hardware
- Virtual machines: These are packaged ISO files meant to run on VirtualBox or VMware.
- ARM: This ISO format is meant for systems running on the ARM architecture, such as the Raspberry Pi.
Since we want to perform a dual-boot, we will download the Kali Bare Metal ISO file.
Step-4: Create a Bootable Disk of Kali Linux
Previously, we wrote a post on creating Kali Linux bootable USB [3 Different Methods]. Please check it out. In this post, we will use Rufus. It's an open-source tool available for Windows systems. If you are on a Linux pc, you can use Balena Etcher or the DD command. Follow the steps below.
Download Rufus and execute the setup file. On running Rufus, a screen similar to this will appear.
First, ensure that your USB drive is selected on the Device dropdown menu.
In the boot selection, locate the Kali Linux ISO file you downloaded and select it.
Click the Start button for the process to start, wait for the process to complete.
Once the process is complete, click 'CLOSE' to close Rufus Window.
Step-5: Boot PC from the Bootable Kali USB Drive
Since we have dealt with all initial stages, we can now begin with the essential part of the dual boot setup - Booting your PC from the bootable USB drive and installing Kali Linux. Before getting started, ensure you disable secure boot on your BIOS (if it's enabled) since it doesn't work well with most Linux systems.
When done, shut down the PC completely, then start it again. You need to change the normal boot order to boot it from the bootable Kali Linux USB drive. To do so, you will need to press specific Function keys depending on the PC brand. On HP, it's F9, Dell laptops use F12, and so on. When the boot devices window appears, select the bootable Kali Linux USB drive and hit Enter. In our case, the USB drive is listed as 'Removable devices.'
After a few seconds of booting the kernel, you will see the Kali Linux installer menu.
Step-6: Install Kali Linux Alongside Windows
There are different options for installing Kali Linux; in our case, we will use “Graphical Install.”
After a few minutes of starting up the Linux kernel, you will see the Select Language Screen. Choose the language that you wish to use during the installation and hit Enter.
Next, select your Location and proceed to set the desired Keyboard layout. Press Enter when done. You will be required to set the Hostname that identifies your system on the Network. It can be any name. Click Continue.
On the next screen, you will be prompted to set the Domain name. That should be something that ends with a '.com,' '.edu,' '.org,' and so on. Alternatively, you can leave this field empty and hit Continue.
Next, we are going to set up the Full name of our user. Enter the desired username and hit Continue.
On the next screen, we will set the desired Username. Click Continue when done.
On the next screen, we will set up the password for our new user. Click Continue when done.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is most critical part. Perform partition as guided to avoid loosing your Windows 10 OS data
On the next screen, select your time zone and hit Continue. You will now get to the Partition disks window, the most crucial part of our installation process. You will see four options:
- Guided - Use the entire disk
- Guided - Use the entire disk and set up LVM
- Guided - Use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM
Select 'Manual' and hit Enter.
On the new screen that appears, you will see all the partitions available on your internal hard drive, as shown in the image below. Yours might be a little different since we are demonstrating this dual-boot setup on VirtualBox.
Select the partition that you want to install Kali Linux and hit Enter. In our case, it's the 40 GB that we created in the 'Disk Partioning' section. If yours is not labeled as 'FREE SPACE,' hit the 'Delete the partition' option as shown below.
Select the newly created 'FREE SPACE' and hit Enter. On the window that appears, set the parameters below:
- Use as: Ext4 journaling system
- Mount point: /
When done, click 'Done setting up the partition.'
You will be taken back to the 'Partition disks' screen. Scroll down and select 'Finish partitioning and write changes to disk.'
You will see the prompt 'Do you want to return to partioning menu?,' select 'No' and click Continue. When you see the prompt 'Write the changes to disks?,' select 'Yes' and hit Continue to start the installation process.
The installation process might take quite some time - please be patient. After a while, you will see the 'Select Software' screen. Select the Software that you want to install during the installation and hit 'Enter.'
Some of these packages will be downloaded from the Kali repositories, and your internet speed might impact the total installation time.
After some time, you will see a prompt to install GRUB, select 'Yes' and hit Continue. Next, you will be required to select where to install the GRUB boot loader. Select your internal hard drive (
/dev/sda) and hit Enter.
Step-7: Dual boot Windows 10 and Kali Linux
After a successful installation of Kali Linux, you will be prompted to reboot your PC. Hit Enter. After restarting your PC, you will be greeted by the GRUB menu, which will list the two operating systems installed on your PC, as shown below.
Select the operating system that you want to use and hit Enter.
This post has given you a step-by-step guide to install dual boot Windows 10 and Kali Linux on your PC in a dual-boot setup. You can use the same concept of creating a new partition to install another Linux operating system which will now become a "multi-boot" setup.
If you encounter any issues carrying out any step above, please feel free to hit the comments below. We are here to help you.