Kali Linux – The most advanced penetration distribution. Ever. On Windows 11, via Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
WSL enables you to run Linux on your Windows computer in a container. Kali provide this configuration via the Microsoft Store and its an easy way to get started if you already have Windows 11 and permission to install WSL and Kali Linux in your environment.
TL:DR – On Windows 11 with WSL 2.0 it "just works".
Install from the Microsoft Store
Assuming you have Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) installed on Windows 11 you can just go ahead and download the Kali for Windows application and get started. Look for Kali Linux.
- Check you have Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) installed List –
C:\> wsl --list --verbose. Best to update if you have the older technology in version 1. version 2 is what you are looking for
- Find and Install from the Microsoft Store. Once its installed click "Open"
- Thats it!If that didn't work for you, head over to the Kali Linux web site where theres comprehensive documentation on Kali Linux on WSL which has information about all the possible issues you might encounter and how to resolve them. The easy path which is Windows 11 with WSL 2.0 just works!
- Now you have Kali Linux installed and can do whatever you like, at the command line.
- But wait, there's a gui too! Lets get that going too.
Kali Desktop Experience for Windows (Win-Kex)
Win-Kex is a graphical desktop for Kali Linux for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). It is more complex to type that than it is to get it working!
- Install At the linux command line type sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y. Let it finish. It takes a long time!
- Install At the linux command line type sudo apt install -y kali-win-kex that's it.
- Run Win-Key At the linux command line type kex --win that's it.
The result is a shared desktop environment between Windows and Kali Linux with a shared clipboard for cut and paste support between Kali Linux and Windows. This is just brilliant and makes this toolkit so much more easy to integrate with your reporting systems.
Use kali-tweaks to customise your Kali Linux colours and the Kali Linux shell prompt
I don't like the two line default shell prompt. This can easily be adjusted using a utility from kali
kali-tweaks sudo apt install kali-tweaks which lets you choose a one line command prompt and reconfigures your terminal settings.
- Run Kali Tweaks from Settings in Win-Kex
- Choose 'Shell & Prompt
- Choose 'Configure Prompt'
- Select 'One Line' from Prompt Style
- Tab to 'Apply'
- Quit running terminals and your new prompt will be active for new ones