I am interested in taking a course on penetration testing, so I want to be able to run Kali Linux on my system.  I’m considering two options: installing Kali to a partition on my computer and running it in VirtualBox.

What are the comparative advantages or benefits of the options in general for running a second operating system?  What about specifically for pentesting?

3 Answers 3


I guess it depends what kind of pentesting you want to do. Unless you're planning to use low-level capabilities of your hardware, a VM should be fine. I suggest you start with this. And even if you decide to run it on bare metal later, you don't necessarily have to install it on a partition, you can run the live system and save your settings or other changes go a thumb drive.

  • So I already installed it to a partition (I didn't want to use persistent USB). Should I take out that partition (as I am currently trying to fix issues - unix.stackexchange.com/questions/237069/using-kali-linux/…) and then use VM?
    – Rohan
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 16:59
  • I quickly skimmed through your other question. I don't understand why you don't just try to reach the same goal by running a live system? That seems like a sure fire way to understand if the problem is your Kali installation or your hardware. If for some reason you insist on installing it, I strongly suggest to do it in a VM first (if your computer resources allow). You can always return to fixing your botched installation, or just make a new one.
    – vic
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 19:04
  • U r welcome, and good luck
    – vic
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 21:23
  • Do you know how I can solve the problems in the link I gave?
    – Rohan
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 22:28
  • What seems really strange is that you describe how your second OS also started having issues all of a sudden - that just shouldn't be unless you made some serious mistakes during installation of Kali. And you seem to lack some knowledge that would help identifying the issue without doing a full support call. I suggest you make sure that you have a properly running Ubuntu (or even Windows if that's easier for you) and run your other Linuxes in VMs. Train yourself on various boot loaders, file systems, package managers etc. Once you feel really comfortable you can always move to bare metal.
    – vic
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 22:38

If you are good with Kali, installing it in the hard drive is always the best option because thus you will have the full potential (Full availability of RAM and other resources). Installing it in a virtual machine is also a good option but in this case, you need more RAM (at least 6 GB).


It depends. If you are going to dual boot, then you need to install it in Hard Disk. This type of installation provides exclusive resource power for OS. Second option is using USB Live boot or Persistence Live USB or Encrypted Live USB Persistence. Third option is Virtualbox or VMware but for that your PC should 've atleast 8GB of RAM for smooth functioning and it is more secure. If anytime something happens,simply delete the machine. Moreover, chance of getting infected the host machine are rare.

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