How to Install Kali Linux on an M1 or M2 Mac for Free

By Aditya Kumar

Updated on:

If you’re a hacker or a penetration tester, you might be interested in installing Kali Linux on your Apple Silicon Mac. We’ll walk you through the process of installing Kali Linux as a virtual machine using VMware Fusion Player in this step-by-step guide. This solution works with both older x86 processors and the new ARM chips included in Apple’s M1 and M2 Macs.

Install Kali Linux on an M1 or M2 Mac


Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

  1. Downloaded Kali Linux Image:(Download)(Link 2)
  • For x86 processors: Download the Kali 64-bit image.
  • For ARM processors (M1/M2): Download the ARM Apple image for MB1, MB2, MB3, and so on.
  1. VMware Fusion Player:(Download)
  • Download and install VMware Fusion Player. It’s free for educational and non-commercial use.
Download and install VMware Fusion Player

Steps for Install Kali Linux on an M1 or M2 Mac

Step 1: Extract Kali Linux Image

If your Kali Linux image is in an archive format (e.g., 7Z), double-click the file to extract it. This step is essential to access the virtual machine files.

Step 2: Install VMware Fusion Player

  1. Visit the VMware Fusion Player download page.
  2. Click on “Register for a personal license” and create a new account.
  3. Fill in your details and agree to the terms.
  4. Complete the registration process, including entering the verification PIN sent to your email.
  5. Log in to your VMware account and navigate to the download page.
  6. Copy the license key displayed on the page.
  7. Download VMware Fusion Player.

Step 3: Install VMware Fusion Player

First, Locate the downloaded VMware Fusion Player in your Downloads directory.

Second, Double-click the icon to start the installation.

Open the application and enter your password when prompted.

Agree to the terms and paste the license key.

Click “Continue” and finish the installation.

Step 4: Start VMware Fusion Player

  1. Open VMware Fusion Player from your applications.
  2. If prompted, grant necessary permissions in System Preferences.

Step 5: Launch Kali Linux Virtual Machine

  1. Locate the extracted Kali Linux image.
  2. Double-click the image to open it in VMware Fusion Player.
  3. If prompted, choose to upgrade for additional features.
  4. Confirm that you copied the virtual machine.

Congratulations! You now have Kali Linux running as a virtual machine on your Apple Silicon Mac. You can log in using the default username “root” and password “toor.”

Additional Information:

  • To exit the full screen, click the green button and resize the window.
  • To power off Kali Linux, click “Go to Power” and select “Power Off.”

Explore the VMware settings if needed. The default configuration should work well, but you can adjust parameters such as memory and processors.

In future lectures, we’ll delve into using Kali Linux for various cybersecurity tasks. If you encounter any issues, check FAQs or seek assistance.

Launching VMware Fusion fails with the error: File Not Found 

To remove the missing virtual machine entry from the Virtual Machine Library:

1: Click OK to dismiss the File Not Found error.

2: Click the Window from the Fusion menu.

3: Select Virtual Machine Library.

4: Right-click the missing virtual machine entry and click Delete.

5: After that follow -> Step 5: Start VMware Fusion Player

Congratulations, Now issued fixed.

To re-open the virtual machine from the saved virtual machine directory:

  • In Fusion 8.x and 10.x, the default location of the virtual machine is Documents/virtual machines.
  • In Fusion 11.x and later, the default location of the virtual machine is Macintosh HD⁩/Users⁩/User name/VirtualMachines⁩

Remember, Kali Linux is a powerful tool, and with the right knowledge, it can be harnessed for ethical and educational purposes. Happy hacking!

Also Read: How to apply for financial aid on Coursera

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Installing Kali Linux on Apple Silicon Macs

Q1: Can I use this guide for older Macs with x86 processors?

Absolutely! This method is adaptable and may be used on both older Macs with x86 CPUs and the newer Apple Silicon Macs (M1/M2). Just make sure you have the right Kali Linux image for your processor.

Q2: Is VMware Fusion Player free for personal use?

Yes, VMware Fusion Player is available for free for educational and non-commercial use. To register for a personal licence on the VMware website, follow the steps in the guide.

Q3: Are the installation steps the same for both x86 and Apple Silicon Macs?

Yes, regardless of the processor type, the installation procedures are the same. Selecting the appropriate Kali Linux image for the CPU architecture of your Mac is crucial.

Q4: Can I run Kali Linux alongside my Mac OS or is it a full virtualization?

VMware Fusion Player is used to install Kali Linux as a virtual computer. It functions as a virtualized operating system within your Mac OS. This allows you to effortlessly transition between the two.

Q5: What are the default login credentials for Kali Linux?

The standard username is “root,” and the standard password is “toor.” Once the virtual machine is up and running, you can use these credentials to log in to Kali Linux.

Q6: How can I adjust the virtual machine settings if needed?

To adjust the virtual machine’s settings, right-click on it in VMware Fusion Player, choose “Settings,” and then look through the available options for the CPU, RAM, and network.

Q7: Can I communicate between virtual machines created using this method?

Yes, a virtual network that permits communication between virtual machines is configured by the tutorial. This is helpful for testing network assaults, among other cybersecurity activities.

Q8: Is Kali Linux legal to use?

Yes, Kali Linux is legal to use for ethical and educational purposes. However, it is essential to use it responsibly and within the bounds of the law.

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