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How To Install Kali Linux Using Bootable Pendrive 2021.2 (Step By Step)

In this guide we will create a Kali Linux 2021.2 Live USB from Windows and configure a persistent partition (with optional encryption) so we can retain files and settings between reboots. With Rufus and Kali Linux 2021.2, this process is now so much simpler than before.

How To Install Kali Linux Using Bootable Pendrive  2021.2 (Step By Step)

1. How To Download Kali Linux 2021 (Live)

In this guide we are using the Kali Linux Intel/AMD 64-Bit (Live) image, which most modern PCs support.

If you have a torrent client, use the Kali torrent download link to speed up the download (10 minutes) as kali.org sometimes throttle web downloads heavily.


2. Write Kali Linux 2021 Live ISO to USB

Write the ISO to your USB drive using a tool like Rufus, Universal USB Installer or UNetbootin. In this guide we are using Rufus.

1. Download Rufus and run it.
2. Select your USB device.
3. Click SELECT and browse to the Kali Linux 2021 Live ISO you downloaded.
4. Set a Persistent partition size, in this example, 4GB, though this can be as large as you want depending on your USB size.
5. Click START.

How To Install Kali Linux Using Bootable Pendrive  2021.2 (Step By Step)


If you see a warning about Syslinux, click Yes.

How To Install Kali Linux Using Bootable Pendrive  2021.2 (Step By Step)

Click OK if you see this warning.

How To Install Kali Linux Using Bootable Pendrive  2021.2 (Step By Step)


It may take 10-30 minutes to write the Kali Linux 2021 Live ISO to USB depending on your hardware and size of USB.

3. Boot Into Kali Linux 2021 Live USB

On some PCs, you can simply restart the machine, and if the USB is plugged in, it should boot to Kali Linux 2021 Live automatically.

If this doesn’t work and the PC boots straight back into Windows, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking Restart in the Windows start menu and select Boot from USB.

If this doesn’t work either, you may need to do some searching on how to boot from USB on your particular machine. Repeatedly pressing one of the function keys (F12, F2, etc) or the ESC or Delete keys on bootup will invoke the boot or BIOS menus on some machines, where you can select USB as the boot device.

When the PC reboots, you should be presented with the Kali Linux 2021 Live boot menu.

In the Kali boot menu, select Live USB Persistence and press ENTER. The menu may look slightly different depending on your version of Kali.

How To Install Kali Linux Using Bootable Pendrive  2021.2 (Step By Step)

Kali should boot straight to Desktop. However, if you do get a password prompt, the default username and password in Kali Linux 2021 and 2020 is “kali”. For Kali Linux 2019 and below, the default user is “root” and the password is “toor”.

To test if persistence is working correctly on Kali Linux 2021, try creating an empty test folder on the Desktop and restarting. Select Live USB Persistence and if the test folder is still there, persistence is working correctly.

Note: From now on, every time you boot from USB, you must select Live USB Persistence in order for persistence to work correctly.

Let me know if this helped. Follow me on Instagram.

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