Running Kali Linux inside a VMware virtual machine

How to install Kali Linux in VMware

Kali Linux is a powerful Linux distro for penetration testing and ethical hacking. It’s not meant as an everyday operating system, so most Kali users will utilize the distro by running it temporarily from a USB drive, or opt for a persistent installation in a virtual machine.

Installing Kali in VMware gives you easy access to the hundreds of security and hacking tools that are included with Kali. Any time you need to do some packet sniffing, password cracking, etc. you can simply fire up the virtual machine and get to work. It’s also a great way to test out hacking applications without having to install software on your host system.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to install Kali Linux in a VMware virtual machine. You’ll be able to follow along with this guide regardless of your host operating system, so both Linux and Windows users will find these step by step instructions to be applicable.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to configure VMware to host Kali Linux
  • How to create a Kali Linux virtual machine
Running Kali Linux inside a VMware virtual machine

Running Kali Linux inside a VMware virtual machine

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Searching for packages to install on Kali Linux

How to search for extra hacking tools on Kali

Kali Linux already comes with a lot of ethical hacking and penetration tools out of the box. There are even more tools available from package repositories, but sifting through hundreds of tools and finding the ones you want to install can be challenging.

We aim to make the task easier in this guide, by showing you how to search for more software and install the tools on your system. If Kali doesn’t include some of your favorite tools by default, or you just want to browse the selection of software to see what else might be available, the steps below will help you find useful tools to install.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to search for packages with apt-cache
  • How to search for packages with aptitude
  • GUI software installers
  • How to search for Kali packages online
Searching for packages to install on Kali Linux

Searching for packages to install on Kali Linux

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Using WPScan on Kali Linux

Use WPScan to scan WordPress for vulnerabilities on Kali

Vulnerabilities in WordPress can be uncovered by the WPScan utility, which comes installed by default in Kali Linux. It’s also a great tool for gathering general reconnaissance information about a website that’s running WordPress.

Owners of WordPress sites would be wise to try running WPScan against their site, as it may reveal security issues that need patched. It can also reveal more general web server issues, such as directory listings that haven’t been turned off inside Apache or NGINX.

WPScan itself is not a tool that can be used maliciously while performing simple scans against a site, unless you consider the extra traffic itself to be malicious. But the information it reveals about a site can be leveraged by attackers to launch an attack. WPScan can also try username and password combinations to try and gain access to a WordPress site. For this reason, it’s advised that you only run WPScan against a site that you own or have permission to scan.

In this guide, we’ll see how to use WPScan and its various command line options on Kali Linux. Try out some of the examples below to test your own WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to use WPScan
  • How to scan for vulnerabilities with API token

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Benchmarking compression results of a directory with 7zip, the winner of our test

Best compression tool on Linux

There’s no shortage of compression tools available for Linux systems. Having so many choices is ultimately a good thing, but it can also be confusing and make it more difficult to select a compression method to use on your own files. To complicate things further, there is no objectively best tool for every user or system, and we’ll explain why.

When it comes to compression, there are two benchmarks that we need to be concerned with. One is how much space is saved, and the other is how fast the compression process takes place. Another thing to take into consideration is how widespread a certain compression tool is. For example, it’d be much more appropriate to package files into a .zip archive instead of .tar.gz if you know that the archive will need to be opened on a Windows system. Conversely, a .tar.gz archive makes more sense on Linux, since tar files save file permissions.

In this guide, we’ll be looking at a variety of compression tools that are available on the most popular Linux distributions. We’ll compare their compression ratio, speed, and other features. By the end of this guide, you’ll be armed with enough information to choose the best compression tool for any given scenario.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • Benchmark results of various compression utilities
  • How to conduct your own tests to measure compression ratio and speed
  • Picking a compression utility based on compatibility

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Beginners guide to xz compression on Linux

Beginner’s guide to compression with xz on Linux

xz compression has been rising in popularity because it offers smaller file sizes than gzip and bzip2. You’re still likely to see all three on a Linux system, but you may want to start opting for xz if you want smaller file archives.

In this guide, we’re going to introduce you to xz compression, starting from basic examples to more specific and advanced usage. If you’ve worked with compressed tar files or gzip compression (files with the .tar.gz extension, for example) in the past, you’ll find that xz feels very familiar.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to create xz compressed archives from command line or GUI
  • How to decompress xz archives from command line or GUI
Beginners guide to xz compression on Linux

Beginners guide to xz compression on Linux

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Combining files into a split zip archive

How to split zip archive into multiple blocks of a specific size

When compressing large files on a Linux system, it can be handy to split them into multiple blocks of a specific size. This is especially true for squeezing a large archive onto multiple discs, or uploading a large archive online in chunks.

Linux makes this possible with tar files, as we’ve seen in our split tar archive into multiple blocks guide, but you can also do it with zip files.

In this guide, we’ll see the step by step instructions to create a zip archive split into multiple blocks. We’ll also go through the process of unzipping the split archive.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to split zip archives into multiple files
  • How to open split zip archives
Combining files into a split zip archive

Combining files into a split zip archive

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Splitting tar archive into blocks

How to split tar archive into multiple blocks of a specific size

Tar archives can be split into multiple archives of a certain size, which is handy if you need to put a lot of content onto discs. It’s also useful if you have a huge archive that you need to upload, but would rather do it in chunks. In this guide, we’ll show you the commands you need in order to split tar archives into multiple blocks on a Linux system.

This will work regardless of what type of compression (or lack thereof) that you use. So files with extensions like .tar, tar.gz, tar.xz, etc. can all be split into chunks. We’ll also show you how to extract files from archives that have been split into numerous files.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to split tar archives into multiple files
  • How to open split tar archives
Splitting tar archive into blocks

Splitting tar archive into blocks

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Gentoo

Gentoo Linux download

Gentoo is a Linux distribution with an extreme focus on flexibility and customization, right down to the kernel. For other most popular Linux distributions, please visit our dedicated Linux download page.

When I hear about Linux distros that really leave a lot of control up to the user, usually Arch Linux makes its way into the conversation, and maybe Slackware as a more extreme example. But Gentoo definitely takes it a step further, as the user must compile the kernel itself as part of the installation process.

It’s an advanced process, but Gentoo developers also make it a bit easier with the “genkernel” utility, which can help you compile the kernel in a few short commands. Advanced Linux users can still take as much time as they like to strip the kernel of components they deem unnecessary, or adding in those that they want on their system. This attribute makes Gentoo a modular operating system by design. Each user can customize their out of box experience, making Gentoo highly adaptable.

Choosing what goes into your kernel will lead to a very speedy system with a small RAM footprint. Back when Gentoo premiered in 2000, this was a very enticing feature. These days, with current hardware advancements, most Linux users will probably prefer the GUI installers and precompiled kernels that have become standard in the most common distros. However, Linux veterans that have a passion for tinkering will get their fill of it with Gentoo, and that’s really the target audience.

So, Gentoo is a good way to get your nerd fix, but it also works well for specialized servers. For example, if you are running a database server, you could exclude unrelated components from the kernel. This will give you the speediest system possible, and it will have a smaller chance of encountering problems. This is particularly useful on servers with limited hardware specs.

Granular control remains present after you get Gentoo up and running. It uses the Portage package manager (invoked with the emerge command) and USE flags to optionally exclude components from the system. For example, you can install the SeaMonkey web browser, without the PulseAudio component, with the follow command.

# USE="-pulseaudio" emerge www-client/seamonkey

Such flags are also possible to set globally, which helps to ensure that certain components never find their way onto your system. PulseAudio and systemd, among others, are popular components that users like to exclude. It’s also worth mentioning that Google bases their Chrome OS off of Gentoo.

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Slackware Linux

Slackware Linux download

Slackware is a Linux distribution that dates all the way back to 1993. As a matter of fact, it’s the oldest Linux distribution that’s still maintained. For other most popular Linux distributions, please visit our dedicated Linux download page.

Linux has come a long way since its inception in the early ’90s. Many distros from back then are no longer around, and the ones that are, have undergone extreme change over the years – as one would probably expect. Slackware, though, has only evolved about as much as it absolutely had to.

Using this distribution is probably the closest you can get to “old school” Linux. It’s not completely devoid of newer innovations; it does have a package manager after all. But package dependencies are not resolved for you. There’s no GUI installer. There’s no systemd. While the vast majority of Linux distros adopted all these conventions over the years, Slackware refrained.

Slackware offers its users a decidedly simple, barebones experience. Installation is not necessarily hard, but you’ll probably need a guide to walk you through it. There’s no hand holding, as Slackware expects its userbase to be well versed in Linux commands. On the plus side, this puts you in total control over your system.

During installation, you can control how much software is installed out of the box. The “full” installation, after everything’s up and running, weighs in at about 9 GB. So, Slackware still comes decked out with the essentials, assuming you choose that option. Package dependencies for included software are already installed, but extra packages will require you to install dependencies manually. This may take a little research on your part, but using Slackware means you’re prepared to get your hands dirty.

Slackware is for Linux veterans that want granular control over their system. It’s an extremely simple and extremely stable operating system. It’s the most UNIX-like Linux distribution that you can get. Some will get joy from using it, and others will only get a headache. It’s one of those things you either love or hate.

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Installation of VirtualBox Guest Additions on openSUSE

Install VirtualBox Guest Additions on openSUSE

If you’re running openSUSE inside a VirtualBox virtual machine, installing the Guest Additions software will help you get the most out of the system. VirtualBox Guest Additions will give the machine more capabilities, such as a shared clipboard with the host system, drag and drop file transfer, and automatic window resizing.

This makes copying data to and from a host system much more convenient. It also changes the VM’s resolution automatically when its window is resized, so you don’t need to change it manually. Guest Additions will work with just about any Linux distribution, but instrutions can differ because of dependencies and package managers.

In this guide, we’ll be going over the step by step instructions to get VirtualBox Guest Additions installed on openSUSE. With these instructions, it doesn’t matter what host system you’re using, as long as the virtual machine is running openSUSE. This guide assumes that you’ve already installed openSUSE in the VM correctly.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to install VirtualBox Guest Addition on openSUSE

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Rocky Linux download

Rocky Linux download

Rocky Linux is an upcoming Linux distribution that will be based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For other most popular Linux distributions, please visit our dedicated Linux download page.

For many years, CentOS Linux was a reliable, enterprise-ready distribution based on RHEL. In late 2020, Red Hat announced a change of direction for the distro, which would now be named “CentOS Stream” and exist as an upstream vendor.

In response, CentOS founder Gregory Kurtzer launched Rocky Linux, a project that will inherit the original goals of CentOS. Being based on RHEL means that it will only inherit the most tested and stable components that have been introduced upstream in Fedora and CentOS Stream.

Not much is known about the new distro at this time, except that it should function similarly to CentOS (the CentOS before this change) and will most likely be an appropriate replacement for it. You can stay abreast of the latest news by visiting the official Rocky Linux site, as well as Rocky’s GitHub. We’ll also be updating this article as new information is revealed.

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