How to Install Kali Linux on Chromebook

Chromebooks have gained popularity for their simplicity, affordability, and ease of use. However, if you are a tech enthusiast or a cybersecurity professional, you may find the need to install a more powerful operating system like Kali Linux on your Chromebook.

Kali Linux is a Debian-based distribution known for its extensive collection of tools for penetration testing, ethical hacking, and digital forensics. In this article, we will guide you through the process of installing Kali Linux on your Chromebook.

Preparing Your Chromebook

Before you proceed with the installation, it is essential to back up any important data on your Chromebook. Installing a new operating system may involve wiping the existing data, so it’s crucial to have a backup.

Enabling Developer Mode

To install Kali Linux on your Chromebook, you need to enable Developer Mode. Please note that enabling Developer Mode will reset your Chromebook to factory settings and erase all local data. Follow these steps to enable Developer Mode:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Press and hold the Esc key and the Refresh key (the circular arrow key) simultaneously.
  3. While holding the keys, press the Power button.
  4. Release all the keys when you see a warning screen.
  5. Press Ctrl + D to enable Developer Mode.
  6. Your Chromebook will reboot and transition to Developer Mode. This process may take several minutes.

Installing Crouton

Crouton is a tool that allows you to run Linux alongside Chrome OS. Follow these steps to install Crouton:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + T to open the Chrome OS terminal.
  2. Type shell and press Enter to enter the Linux shell.
  3. Download the Crouton script by running the following command:
  1. Once the download is complete, install Crouton by running the following command:
sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce
  1. The installation process will begin, and you will be prompted to set a username and password for your Linux installation. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Configuring Kali Linux

After installing Crouton, you can configure Kali Linux on your Chromebook. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Chrome OS terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Type shell and press Enter to enter the Linux shell.
  3. Start Kali Linux by running the following command:
sudo startxfce4
  1. Kali Linux will start running in a separate window on your Chromebook.

Installing Kali Linux Using Crostini

Another method to install Kali Linux on your Chromebook is by using Crostini, the built-in Linux container in Chrome OS. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Chrome OS settings by clicking on the time in the bottom-right corner and selecting the gear icon.
  2. Scroll down and click on Linux (Beta) in the left sidebar.
  3. Click on the Turn On button to enable Linux (Beta).
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Linux (Beta).
  5. Once Linux (Beta) is set up, open the Terminal app.
  6. Type sudo apt update and press Enter to update the package lists.
  7. Type sudo apt install kali-linux and press Enter to install Kali Linux.

Setting Up Kali Linux

After installing Kali Linux, you need to perform some initial setup steps. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Launch the Terminal app in Linux (Beta).
  2. Type sudo apt update and press Enter to update the package lists.
  3. Type sudo apt upgrade and press Enter to upgrade the installed packages.
  4. You can now start using Kali Linux on your Chromebook for various cybersecurity tasks.

Post-Installation Steps

Once you have Kali Linux installed on your Chromebook, here are some additional steps you may consider:

  1. Install additional tools and packages: Kali Linux comes with a vast range of pre-installed tools, but you can install more depending on your requirements.
  2. Configure network settings: Ensure that your network is properly configured to allow Kali Linux to access the internet and network resources.
  3. Keep your system updated: Regularly update Kali Linux to benefit from the latest security patches and software updates.

Useful Tips and Troubleshooting

  • Tip: To switch between Chrome OS and Kali Linux, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Forward/Backward (the forward/backward arrow keys).
  • Troubleshooting: If you encounter any issues during the installation or setup process, refer to the official documentation or online forums for guidance. The Kali Linux community is vast and can provide valuable support.


Installing Kali Linux on your Chromebook opens up a world of possibilities for cybersecurity enthusiasts. By following the outlined steps, you can have Kali Linux up and running on your Chromebook, enabling you to perform advanced security testing and analysis.

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