In this tutorial I’m going to show you the basic techniques I use when ricing Kali Linux. But in case you don’t already know, let’s explain what ricing is first. Urban Dictionary defines ricing like this: “Ricing: To rice, or to soup up a crappy car with the mistaken idea that type ‘R’ stickers and performance yellow paint make it go faster.” In the spirit of that, the tweaks explained here don’t technically make Kali a more effective offensive security platform in and of themselves, but I find they make the interface easier to use, hence they boost my productivity. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a customized environment?
You can obtain the latest builds (ISO Images, OVA templates, etc.) from the Kali Linux download page or from the Offensive Security downloads page. For this tutorial, I’m going to deploy Kali virtually using VirtualBox. For the remainder of the tutorial, I’ll assume you are doing the same thing. You can obtain VirtualBox that from their download page.
Since we’re using VirtualBox, I downloaded and imported the 2018.4 OVA template from Offensive Security. If you need help doing that, take a look at the documentation. I named my machine “Pyrrh1c Linux” to differentiate it later from a stock Kali VM.
Immediately after you import the OVA, take a snapshot of the VM. I usually name it something like “VM Imported”. This allows me to undo any changes since the last snapshot was taken, which is important because mistakes happen, and it’s nice to only have to do one step over again instead of numerous.
Power on the machine, and you will shortly be at the login screen. No Install required! If you are following along and doing a traditional install of Kali and need some pointers for the install process, you may want to take a look a the Kali Linux Official Documentation.
Initial OS Preparations
Open up a terminal window and run the commands “apt update”, then “apt upgrade”. This ensures you have all the latest packages on your install. Go pour out a glass of Kraken, this will take a minute… When you get to the step that asks about grub, use the space bar to select /dev/sda and hit OK.
Ready to Go
With the OS installed and updated we are ready to get started customizing. Part 2 will covering installing the i3 window manager, feh, wal and rofi. That’s all for now!