I'm looking to install a Linux distro on my new computer. In the past I have had great experiences with Ubuntu Studio and Kali Linux, but had them both installed separately.

I am wondering if it would be wise, or even possible, to install Ubuntu Studio, keep the home directory with all the studio programs, and overwrite the root directory so that I can have the functionality of Kali and the programs of Ubuntu Studio.

I would like to have the low latency kernel of Ubuntu Studio as well as have a distro that is more or less the mainstay for compatilibity, but I don't think that would be possible if I wanted Kali, especially to keep Kali updated. How does the kernel of Kali compare to that of Ubuntu Studio in regards to music production?

After some research, it looks like I could possibly install the repos of AVlinux, KXStudio, and Dream Studio all within Ubuntu Studio, but then there is the Kali issue...

Is Kali on a flash drive compared to a hard installation nearly as operational and effective?

  • I did once, install Ubuntu in Debian. I used dbootstrap, and one of the chroot helper tools. dbootstrap will install a Debian based distro into a sub-directory. Then using chroot, I could run programs from this distro. (this is a type of virtualisation, but sharing the same kernel, no emulation, no hardware virtualisation needed, and runs at full speed.) There are also versions of dbootstrap for other package managers such as rpm. Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 18:27
  • Where might I find instructions for this? What is the difference between virtualisation and not? Are you saying that I would have to find .DEB versions of the files Ubuntu Studio programs I want if I want them in Kali?
    – shpong
    Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 21:42
  • ubuntu uses .deb files, you point dbootstrap at the ubuntu repos. As for where, I just did a search on the web, and found this wiki.debian.org/Debootstrap read the recommendations, you may decide to use a different tool. Commented Mar 7, 2015 at 22:19
  • Im a little confused. Do I install Kali first then bootrap Ubuntu Studio? Or should I just download all the UbuntuStudio/AVLinux/KXStudio programs right into Kali?
    – shpong
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 23:25
  • I don't fully understand the 2nd question, but no and no. You say you want the ubuntu studio kernel. However dbootstrap with chroot does not install a working kernel. Therefore you can not dbootstrap/chroot ubuntu studio for what you want. The other way around may get you what you want. Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


To be honest, the only difference between the various ubuntu versions and kali linux are the preinstalled programs and the ones already configured in the repos. You can easily install ubuntu packages in kali (or rather, debian packages, which work in most any debian based distro) and the reverse.

You may want to look into adding ubuntu repositories to kali, or the reverse. I think this was a bit simpler when kali was still backtrack, which is directly based on ubuntu if I recall correctly.

The only functional difference between a usb install (and I mean a full install, not just dd-ing the iso to the usb device) is the speed of the usb interface vs the speed of the actual hard drive. Though usb sticks are flash media, and therefore lack the moving parts of a traditional harddrive, 'real' hard drives generally transfer data far faster over the sata interface.

  • Ah, but Ubuntu Studio's kernel is a "low latency Kernel" that is great for music production. I guess I could install all the studio software into Kali, but Im not sure if its kernel is as musically inclined as UbuntuStudio's, though I imagine that since it is for penetration testing it should also have a very efficient kernel well suited for music production as well. Also, Kali keeps its software updated and the OS secure much better than Ubuntu...
    – shpong
    Commented Mar 8, 2015 at 23:32
  • Is that so... Well in any case, I've given up all debian based linux's for arch <3, and you can install most kali type programs into it via the blackarch repo and brew up custom kernels pretty simply with its PKGBUILDS :)
    – hanetzer
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 22:13

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