Guide | Install Kali on Chromebook


Firstly, I haven’t testing this Kali installation in the slightest. Some stuff might not work, I know most of the network based tools probably don’t as ChromeOS manages the network, not Kali. If something doesn’t work, don’t blame me basically. It may also not be possible to install this on your Chromebook

Also, this installation of Kali sits on top of ChromeOS, so you’ll never lose access to ChromeOS with Kali installed, just in case ChromeOS is something you actually want to use, for some reason.

Finally, as is the usual, if anything breaks or your brick your whole laptop, don’t blame me, I’m just echoing what worked for me specifically on the model of Chromebook I have which is a Lenovo Ideapad 3 Chrome. I also know very little about the inner workings of ChromeOS, so I might not be able to help with complex stuff to do with that.

By continuing, you are doing so AT YOUR OWN RISK and I am not liable for any damages.

Setup Steps

1) Enable Developer Mode

First things first, you need to enable developer mode on your Chromebook. This isn’t just enabling the Linux VM that Google have built in, but setting the whole device into developer mode. To do this, shut down the Chromebook.
Then, hold the ⠀ESC⠀ and REFRESH⠀ keys (where F1 and F3 would be), and turn the Chromebook back on.

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Guide | Install Kali on Chromebook 2

This puts you into recovery mode, as if the Chromebook has broken, but once you see this screen, press CTRL + D. You’ll then get asked if you want to enable the developer mode and you should answer in the affirmative to any similar question. Read the question properly, as some of them are double negative questions, trying to get you to back out of developer mode if you say yes.

Every time you turn the Chromebook on from now onwards, you’ll be greeted with a developer screen.
Just hit ⠀BOOT FROM INTERNAL DISK (or whatever it says) to launch the ChromeOS as normal.

NOTE: This step will wipe the Chromebook, but you can restore from a backup if you’ve got one! Be warned…

2) Downloading Crouton

Crouton is a Virtual Machine platform made by a Google developer for the Chromebook. Unlike normal VMs, it has a much smaller overhead, so is not as bad as just running Kali in a normal virtual machine.

With the normal version of Crouton, Kali was broken for me, but luckily the smart people on GitHub found a solution, so we’ve got a few more steps from the usual Crouton installation to do to get this to work.

To save you any hassle, manually type this link into Chrome and download this file:

Note that all the letters after the / besides the “q” are uppercase, and that’s the number 0, not the letter O.

Once that’s downloaded, we’re ready to install it.

3) Installing Crouton

This bit should be easy, it’s one command that you need to enter.

Hit ⠀CTRL + ALT + T⠀ to open the ChromeOS shell. I know it’s in the browser, but that’s just where it is, okay? Don’t ask me why they put it there. Type the word ⠀shell⠀ into the shell to make it into a real shell. This will only work if you are in developer mode, so if it doesn’t work, you did something wrong.

Once your in the shell and with our modified Crouton downloaded, enter this command:

sudo install -Dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton

This will move Crouton to a better place to live, and let you execute it like the program it truly is!

You won’t get any confirmation this worked, except maybe a one time warning for using sudo for the first time.

Now run ⠀sudo crouton⠀ and it will download a few things it needs. This command does nothing on its own, so this will just give you a big printout of the documentation of the crouton command, but as long as you run that once, it’ll set itself up.

4) Installing Barebones Kali

Crouton is now installed, so now it’s time to give it something to run. This is quite easy, but takes a few minutes as it downloads Kali from the web. To install Kali, run this command:

sudo crouton -n kali -r kali-rolling -t kalifix,core,xiwi,xfce,extension

Notice the use of ⠀kalifix⠀ in there, which is the fix added in by the custom version of crouton.

To briefly explain the command:

-n gives it the name “kali”
-r tells us which OS we want
-t tells us what additional features we want on top

Run this, and eventually you’ll be asked for a username and password for your brand spanking new Kali installation. Enter this and you’re all installed! However, there’s a couple more steps before it’ll actually work to do.

5) Installing the Extension

To facilitate the communication between ChromeOS and Kali, you need to install a Chrome extension. Due to the fact it’s playing with stuff Google don’t want customers playing with, it’s an extension you can just search for in the Chrome Web Store.

A direct link to the extension is here:

but to find it on the Chromebook without having this page open, just search ⠀”crouton integration extension”⠀, click the first link to a GitHub issue regarding the extension, scroll to the bottom and the link will be there.

Open the link, install the extension and, once installed, open the extension and toggle on the ⠀”HI DPI”⠀ setting, so Kali doesn’t look all fuzzy and big.

6) Running Kali

You should be all up and running! To run Kali at any point, open the shell with ⠀CTRL + ALT + T⠀, type in ⠀shell⠀ and then enter ⠀sudo startxfce4⠀ to launch Kali. After a few seconds (and ignoring any errors), Kali should launch full screen on the Chromebook.

Unfortunately, this is a very barebones version of Kali, with no tools or programs installed. Follow on to get those added.

7) Installing the Kali Apps

To install the Kali apps, open a terminal in Kali and first enter ⠀sudo apt update⠀, to get the latest packages from the Kali repository.

Once that’s done, enter the command:

sudo apt install -y kali-linux-default && sudo apt install -y kali-desktop-xfce

This will take a while, and there are a few things you have to choose along the way, but this will install all the apps and setup the desktop to look as it would with a normal Kali installation.

For the options it asks, choose UTF-8 for the character codes and “Let Kali guess…” for whatever the next option was. You probably don’t want a new MAC address for each WiFi you go on, and everything else just go with the default option.

By the end of it, half of your 64GBs will be full, but you’ll have any tool you’ll ever need to hack people with!

How to Get Rid of Kali

To delete just Kali (in case you get something wrong or break it), you can do:

sudo delete-chroot kali

and if you really want to get rid of crouton, even though it’s a 4kb script that does no harm on its own,
you can go to ⠀/usr/local/bin⠀ and delete anything with crouton in the name.

Or just wipe the whole Chromebook and start again.

Additional Tweaks

Boot on Startup

To get Kali to open when you boot the PC, download this extension:

Open the extension, and set the start-up command to be ⠀sudo startxfce4⠀, as we usually use ourselves.
After a reboot, this should then open Kali after you’ve logged in.

Make it Look Nicer

I’d recommend you go into the Settings and change some of them to make things look nicer. Going into Desktop and turning off Removable Drives under the Icons tab will clean up your desktop (might have to expand the window as its hidden right at the bottom).

Also, changing your theme and icons make Kali look a lot nicer too. Besides that, it’s free roam on how you want to set up your device.

Any Issues?

If you experience any issues, you can contact me here.
I will try and help you as best I can.