Kali Linux post-installation tips and settings

Here you can find tips on how to make the system more convenient for work by configuring the installed Kali Linux to your habits.

You do not need to do everything that is written here – select only those recommendations that will make your work in Kali Linux more comfortable. Moreover, from a security point of view, all recommendations related to passwords (for example, setting up logging in without a password, executing commands without a password, turning off the screen lock) are very harmful. But personally, this annoys me more than the potential protection gives (when an outsider physically accesses the computer, password protection does not give anything, see the article “How to reset a forgotten login password in Linux”).

1. How to install VirtualBox Guest OS Add-ons for Kali Linux

No longer required. VirtualBox guest OS add-ons are now installed automatically during the installation of the system itself.

2. How to use Windows drives in Kali Linux. How to solve the problem with the error ‘The disk contains an unclean file system (0, 0). Metadata kept in Windows cache, refused to mount’

This is needed if you have problems accessing Windows drives from Kali Linux. This can happen when you installed Kali Linux as a second system or on a USB flash drive.

We look at the disks and look for the problematic one that interests us:

fdisk -l

The found disk (I have it for example /dev/sdb1) we fix by the ntfsfix command:

sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1

3. Regular system updates

Updates fix bugs in the system and bring new features. To perform a full update, run the command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y

4. Regular system cleaning

From time to time it is recommended to execute commands to remove packages that were installed automatically (since they were dependencies of other programs), but are no longer needed.

To do this, use the command:

sudo apt autoremove -y

Its use is safe and should not cause problems.

Each program update, package files are downloaded to the package cache. After the update, downloaded files (you can call them installation files) are not deleted, and gradually the package cache grows to large sizes. This was done intentionally with the idea that if after the next update you find that the new package has problems and the old version is no longer available in the online repository, then you can roll back to the old version by installing it from a file saved in the package cache.

For rolling distributions, the cache grows very quickly, and if you are not qualified enough to roll back to the old version using the installation package which is stored in the cache, then for you these hundreds of megabytes or even several gigabytes are a waste of space on your hard drive. Therefore, from time to time you can execute commands

sudo apt autoclean -y


sudo apt clean -y

clean – delete downloaded archive files

clean cleans the local repository from received package files. It removes everything except the lock file from /var/cache/apt/archives/ and /var/cache/apt/archives/partial/.

autoclean – delete old downloaded archive files

Like clean, autoclean cleans downloaded package files from the local repository. The only difference is that it only removes package files that can no longer be downloaded and are largely useless.

This allows you to maintain the cache for a long period without growing too much. APT::Clean-Installed configuration option will not allow the installation files of those packages that are currently installed to be deleted.

The following command is not directly related to cleaning, but helps maintain system health.

sudo apt install -f -y

The -f, --fix-broken option tries to normalize a system with broken dependencies. This option, when used with install/remove, may skip any packages to allow APT to find a likely solution. If packages are listed, this should completely fix the problem. This option is sometimes necessary when starting APT for the first time; APT alone does not allow packages with broken dependencies to exist on the system. It is possible that the structure of the system dependencies can be so broken that manual intervention will be required (which usually means using dpkg --remove to eliminate some of the intruder packages). Using this option with -m may cause an error in some situations. Item in the configuration file: APT::Get::Fix-Broken.

5. How to install the analogue of Total Commander

Total Commander is a two-panel, cross-platform file manager, a complete analogue of Double Commander. To install it, do:

sudo apt install doublecmd-gtk

6. How to run commands without a password

Until recently, in Kali Linux, the root user was the main user, you did not need to use sudo and enter a password when executing commands that require elevated privileges. If you do not want to enter a password each time you use sudo, then run the following command:

echo '%sudo ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL' | sudo tee --append /etc/sudoers

7. How to enable root user in Kali Linux

The root user in Kali Linux is still there. If you want to use it instead of a regular user to log in, then just set the password for it with the following command:

sudo passwd root

8. How to disable screen lock in Kali Linux

Click on the battery icon next to the clock and select “Power Manager Settings” from the menu:

In the Xfce Power Manager, go to the “Security” tab and select “Never” for “Automatically lock the session”. Also uncheck “Lock screen when system is going to sleep”.

9. How to enable login without password at system boot

Here is considered how to enable automatic login when the desktop is XFCE and the display manager is LightDM.

Open the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf file:

sudo mousepad /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

and edit (don't forget to uncomment) or just add the lines:


In the previous lines, replace USERNAME with your username. If you accidentally forgot it, then look with the command:

echo $USER

You also need to create an autologin group and add your user to it:

sudo groupadd -r autologin
sudo gpasswd -a $USER autologin

10. How to switch to a light or dark theme?

Kali Linux provides two default themes: dark and light. To switch to a light theme, go to “Settings” → “Appearance” and on the “Style” tab, select “Kali-Light”. And on the “Icons” tab, select “Flat-Remix-Blue-Light”.

Then go to “Settings” → “Window Manager” and on the “Style” tab, select “Kali-Light”.

To switch from Light to a Dark theme, simply select Dark themes in the same settings.

11. How to change the Kali Linux language?

In the LightDM login screen, select your preferred language on the right side of the top panel.

12. How to change the keyboard layout?

Go to Settings → Keyboard → Layout:

To configure, uncheck “Use system defaults”, as a result, you can add new keyboard layouts, select the default keyboard layout, change the key combination to change the keyboard.

To change and set other keyboard shortcuts, see the adjacent Application Shortcuts tab.

13. How to enable the language bar in the top menu of Kali Linux

Kali Linux does not have a keyboard layout indicator, that is, the language that is currently selected for input is not shown.

To display the language panel in the form of a button with a flag, when you click on it the keyboard layout will be switched, do the following:

1) Click on the top panel with the right mouse button and in the context menu that opens select Panel → “Add New Items…”:

2) Find the “Keyboard Layouts” and click the “Add” button:

After that, the language bar appears in the form of a flag:

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2 Comments to Kali Linux post-installation tips and settings

  1. johndoe says:

    Thanks Alex …. I wonder if you can have a paid section for penetration testing/wireless using KRACK  …. Thanks

  2. johndoe says:

    Also, if you can write a blog on setting up wireguard in ubuntu container with multipeers ( Windows , Android , Mac and iOS) ? Thanks


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