I've been using Raspbian for a while now. I came across Kali Linux and I want to use it. I know how to install it, but I don't want to use a HDMI monitor with a keyboard and mouse. Is there a way to headlessly set up Kali Linux without the need of the monitor combo? I also need to be able to SSH into it.

  • You can enable ssh using touch ssh in boot partition of the SD card.
    – Matej
    Mar 2, 2020 at 14:53
  • And how do I connect it to the internet?
    – SkyPlayX
    Mar 2, 2020 at 15:02
  • Using ethernet.
    – Matej
    Mar 2, 2020 at 15:03
  • Any other way? I need the pi to be portable.
    – SkyPlayX
    Mar 2, 2020 at 15:05
  • And please write this as an answer.
    – SkyPlayX
    Mar 2, 2020 at 15:06

2 Answers 2


Easiest way is to connect raspberry pi using ethernet and enable ssh by default creating ssh file in boot partition. On linux it can be done using touch /media/$USER/boot/ssh

If you don't want ethernet you can setup WiFi using wpa_supplicant.conf file which location is /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf

Example of WiFi config from raspberrypi documentation:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
country=<Insert country code here>

  ssid="<Name of your WiFi>"
  psk="<Password for your WiFi>"

More info here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/wireless/headless.md This link is raspbian documentation but wpa_supplicant should be available also in kali linux.

  • The link you have given as reference is using Raspbian. Are you sure that is all the same with Kali Linux? If so you should mention it in your answer.
    – Ingo
    Mar 5, 2020 at 18:13
  • @Ingo wpa_supplicant should be available also in kali linux. I edited answer.
    – Matej
    Mar 5, 2020 at 18:22
  • 1
    OK yes, wpa_supplicant should also be available in Kali Linux. But you should correct the conf location to /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf. That's on the ext4 partition. For me it is still unclear if an empty ssh file in the fat32 /boot directory will also enable the sshd.service on Kali Linux.
    – Ingo
    Mar 5, 2020 at 18:33

Try chroot. Plug the SD card into an existing Linux machine. Mount the "rootfs" partition. Let's say the mount point is /media/user/rootfs. Then you would type sudo chroot /media/user/rootfs. Now you can do everything you want, for example install an SSH server and configure the WiFi. As far as I know, WiFi is set up in the /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf file, but I'm not sure. You'll have to look that up.

  • Is it possible to do it on Windows?
    – SkyPlayX
    Mar 2, 2020 at 15:29
  • 1
    The chroot command is not available on Windows. You can still try connecting the SD card to a vm. Maybe git bash comes with chroot, you can also try that. Mar 2, 2020 at 15:32
  • You cannot do much with a simple chroot. Before you have to mount --bind ... important virtual filesystems like /proc, /dev, /sys etc.
    – Ingo
    Mar 5, 2020 at 18:23

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