How to install Kali Linux on Windows 10 using WSL

To be able to use Kali Linux or any Linux operating system on Windows 10, the first thing that comes to your mind is definitely a Virtual Machine, but I will show you how to install WSL on Windows 10 to run Kali Linux or any other. any other Linux operating system. Let’s find out with us!

What is WSL?

WSL or Window Subsystem for Linux is a subsystem for Window 10 to run EFI-based linux. WSL can be used on Windows 10, Window 11 and Windows server 2019 for x64-based use and it allows to run Linux operating systems (GNU/Linux). Some things you can do with WSL:

  • Find the operating system from the Microsoft Store. All those operating systems are 100% Free
  • Run commands like normal linux like cd, grep, bash, apt,…. or any Linux 64-bit (ELF-64) binaries
  • Run tools, programming languages, and services.
  • Run Linux Applications on Windows
  • Access Windows Files from Linux

Prepare

  • For x64: Windows needs to be version 1903 with Build 18362
  • For ARM64: Windows needs to be 2004 version with Build 19041

Instructions for installing Kali linux on WSL

Installing Kali Linux on WSL will save you resources on Windows because there is no need to install additional VMWare.

To avoid future errors, After completing the steps below, download the WSL2 Linux kernel update package for x64 machines to avoid future errors. Please install this first Reboot for WSL to work.

After the installation is complete, run the following command in PowerShell to set WSL 2 as default!

wsl --set-default-version 2

Then you check the WSL Version again. After checking, please Restart the computer

wsl --list --verbose

Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux and Virtual Machine

Method 1: Use Control Panel (with admin)

Step 1: Go to Control Panel

Step 2: Go to Program

Step 3: Select Turn Window Features on or off

Step 4: Tick Windows Subsystem for Linux and Virtual Machine Platform. Then press OK

Enable Window Subsystem for Linux and Virtual Machine PlatForm

Step 5: Guys Restart your computer

Method 2: Use PowerShell

Step 1: Enter PowerShell with Administrator rights

Step 2: Enter the following command to enable Window Subsystem for Linux

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart

Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux

Step 3: Enter the following command to enable Virtual Machine Platform

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

Enable Virtual Machine Platform

Step 4: Restart the computer

Install Kali Linux on Windows

Step 1: Go to Store on Windows or click this link

Step 2: Click Get to download Kali Linux

tai kali linux wsl

So you have completed the installation of Kali Linux on Windows 10. Now I will guide Set Up Kali Linux on WSL

Set Up Kali Linux WSL

Step 1: Click the Launch button on the Store or you can go to the Start Bar to enable Kali Linux for WSL

Start WSL

Step 2: Sit and wait for Kali Linux to automatically Set Up for you at first

Wait for it to set up WSL by itself

Step 3: Then the screen will ask to enter the UNIX name and password. This is an account on WSL only, not an external account for Windows. After creating User, every time you turn on Linux, it will ask you to enter Username and Password for Kali Linux. You should avoid setting it indiscriminately or you will have to reinstall WSL to change the password.

Set username and Password WSL

Step 4: After entering the Linux command line interface, run the following command to update linux!. You run this command using the sudo command and enter the WSL password when prompted.

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

So you have already set up Kali Linux on WSL. For some of you who are familiar with Linux’s Graphical User Interface (GUI), you can follow the instructions below to install it!

Install GUI for Kali Linux on WSL

Win-KeX is an application that provides a user interface or GUI for Kali Desktop on WSL with the following features:

  • Windows mode
  • Seamless mode
  • Audio support
  • Unprivileged and Root session support
  • Share Clipboard to Copy and Paste for Windows and Linux
  • Multi-session support

Win-KeX supports from Window 10, Window 11, Window Server 2019 with Version 2004 and requires WSL2 (see instructions above).

Step 1: Run the command below to update

sudo apt update

Step 2 Install Win-KeX using the following command

sudo apt install -y kali-win-kex

Step 3: Start Win-KeX with the command

kex

After entering the command, they will ask for the password of Kali Linux. Enter your password and it will turn on automatically!

Win-KeX interface

How to Remote Desktop Kali Linux

Install GUI for Kali Linux

Step 1: Update Kali linux with the following command

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

Step 2: Install the GUI with the following command. Note that here I use Xfce for the lightest!

sudo apt install kali-desktop-xfce -y

Step 3: Install XRDP to be able to use with Remote Desktop Connection

sudo apt install xrdp -y

Step 4: Start XRDP

sudo service xrdp start

Using Remote Desktop Connection with WSL

Step 1: In Contana, Find Remote Desktop Connection

remote desktop kali linux

Step 2: In the WSL command line, enter the following command to find the ip of Kali Linux

Ip a or ifconfig

Step 3: Enter the IP you just found in the Computer box.

enter ip to Remote

Step 4: After entering Done, Warning Dialog will appear, you just need to press ok okay

Step 5: After logging in, Enter the Username and Password of Kali Linux and you’re done!

Enter Unix Account

So I just finished showing you how to Use Kali Linux on Windows 10 with WSL. It’s convenient to use like that, isn’t it? If you have any comments, please leave a comment below to let me know! See also: Instructions to reset password for WSL Kali Linux here.

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