I need to install Kali from live desktop, but I can’t find the installer. Any idea what I should do?


4 Answers 4


To address your question, you can’t install Kali Linux from the live desktop; you need to choose the appropriate option when booting. See the official installation instructions.

As mentioned in Why is Kali Linux so hard to set up? Why won't people help me?, if you need to ask about installation, when the answer to your question is in the Kali installation guide, then you probably shouldn’t use Kali Linux. Quoting Should I use Kali Linux? from the official documentation:

As the distribution’s developers, you might expect us to recommend that everyone should be using Kali Linux. The fact of the matter is, however, that Kali is a Linux distribution specifically geared towards professional penetration testers and security specialists, and given its unique nature, it is NOT a recommended distribution if you’re unfamiliar with Linux or are looking for a general-purpose Linux desktop distribution for development, web design, gaming, etc.

Of course if you have installation questions that aren’t addressed by the Kali documentation, feel free to expand your question (or, if you’re a reader other than the OP, ask a new one).

  • 1
    This is a dumb answer for people like me who are just breaking the barrier (no I'm not professional) and want a convenient solution to the utilities available in Kali (to say, pen-test their home-built DNS). where I'm loading the ISO off my HDD through grub (for my own reasons), and it takes me straight to the live desktop with no GUI option to install and I would prefer not to use the default layout the ISO provides. (I wouldn't be here if I wasn't having problems)
    – Tcll
    Jan 1, 2019 at 18:01
  • 1
    @Tcll well, the answer is that you can’t install Kali from the live desktop; if you think that’s dumb, take it up with the Kali developers. If your own reasons push you to use a non-standard way of loading the ISO, such that the boot entry to install Kali isn’t available to you, you need to reconsider your reasons or the way you load the ISO. Jan 1, 2019 at 20:16
  • 1
    yeah, I'm pretty certain it's something I'm not doing in the grub entry, but I wasn't saying the fact that we can't install from the live environment was dumb (though in all honesty, it kinda is), I was saying this whole "if you need to ask, then you shouldn't be using it" ideology of things is dumb, and it makes us as a community look bad when all people are trying to do is get help, which is what this service is mainly designed for in a sense. I understand the point about Kali not being noob-friendly, but at most the above reference should only be a warning to "continue at your own risk".
    – Tcll
    Jan 1, 2019 at 20:56
  • You think people are dumb? Of course I tried the installer before the lix disk, but the installer didn't work. It doesn't recognize the installation media after the basic setup.
    – Kleysley
    Sep 11, 2021 at 14:08
  • @Kleysley what’s “the lix disk”? If you’re having trouble with the installer, you’d probably be better off asking a new question. Sep 11, 2021 at 14:43

Obviously alot of these people like to talk to others instead of helping them out. Its actually very simple to install from a live Kali Desktop.

apt update && apt upgrade && apt install calamares

then you use calamares, which is a gui and the same installer that is on Linux Mint Debian Edition 3.


Try to burn a DVD and install from there, the problem is that Kali Linux is tought to be used on a virtualization software, that's the way it sucks to ISO over /dev/cdromX.

Once installed it will work as in an VM. But haven't tested, I was researching because I need to install it also in host, and I can't install from grub meny neither from live desktop. So, I supose it's just a lack of implementation while you are able to install it if you successfully use what it asks you: a DVD device from source!

Sure there're other options, but I don't need to research more. Good luck.


I just wanna make a note that at one point in time there was a distribution of kali that had the installer from live environment right on the desktop with the big letters INSTALL, now don't quote me on that as it may have been backtrack 5R3.

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